Scottish techno/house fusers Slam have built a reputation as one of the most dependable, invigorating sources for high-quality dancefloor gear. Bent on breaking down the boundaries that separate the last decade of U.K. dance music's two most well-known forms, Slam's Stuart MacMillan and Orde Meikle have taken the less-is-more approach, releasing records only sporadically, but which consistently rise to the top of dance music charts and DJ playlists. Prior to their celebrated 1996 full-length debut, Headstates (released, as with all their material to date, on their own Soma label), the pair released only a trio of singles -- "Positive Education," "Snapshots," and Dark Forces." But their progressive approach to the space between house and techno -- two styles which measure innovation inch by inch rather than by leaps and bounds -- has figured them (along with artists such as Motorbass and Lionrock) as one of the most important new talents in post-rave European dance music.
Mates since childhood, MacMillan and Meikle grew up with a basic love of music -- from funk, soul, and disco, to hip-hop, punk, new wave, and, of course, acid house. Both DJs of renown, the pair are more likely to reveal such disparate influences in a club setting than on plastic, but even 1998's Positive Education and tracks such as "Hybrid" and "White Shadows" from Headstates draw elements of that background -- dirty, Detroit low-end, funky electro-breaks, sparse house ambiance -- together inspired, head-twisting combinations. With a second Slam full-length nowhere to be seen three years on from the debut, the pair released an LP from their Pressure Funk alias, also on Soma. Finally, in the fall of 2000, the pair issued the mix album Past Lessons/Future Theories under the Slam name; in 2001, they returned with an album of new material, Alien Radio. Two more mix albums (Slam in America, Fabric 09) followed during the next two years, and Slam returned to the studio to record Year Zero for a 2004 release. ~ Sean Cooper, Rovi