Brought into existence by Borai and Denham Audio, Club Glow is their passion project; pumped to the brim with ’90s warehouse energy and euphoria. First catching our attention (and everyone else’s) with their certified rave rocket ‘Make Me’, it amazed us to know that Bristol’s Borai and Sheffield’s Denham Audio had never met before – even having made THAT track together.
Running a label project whilst living in two separate cities, from the outside, appears a mammoth task. But Borai and Denham show us just how it’s done. Now gaining some real traction with their very own way of doing things, they gear up to fire out Club Glow Vol II this week; welcoming close friends Mani Festo and LMajor on board.
In the midst of promo madness, we had the chance to peek inside the minds of the Club Glow guys. They even gifted us a hefty Mani Festo number from their next release – all for your listening pleasure…
‘Make Me’ has been hammered by the likes of DJ Seinfeld and Peach. How does it feel to have one of your records reaching such heights, receiving such love?
Borai: Everyone keeps thinking that it is a remix or a rework of Strike ‘U Sure Do’, but the truth of the matter is we just sampled the same ’80s R&B vocal that Strike did; ‘Make Me’ is pretty much 90% original material. That being said, the fact that everyone already kind of knows the refrain has definitely played to our advantage. It’s like a forgotten memory that gives you a warm hug and it really seems to resonate with people. The reception it has received has been overwhelming, we never expected in a 100 years that it would have gone this far. When we were sorting out the tracks for the first Club Glow tape, we thought it would just be a throwaway tune, something to be enjoyed then forgotten about… How wrong we were.
You run your musical project ‘Club Glow’ through which you are now onto your second release, the first coming from yourselves. Why did you decide to start it?
Denham Audio: It started with ‘6am (How Do U Feel?)’, we ended up making a Borai mix and a Denham mix of that track. The plan was to press it up with with one or two more tunes; that then spiralled into having an albums’ worth of tunes. We started to fill in the gaps with skits and little sketch tracks and suddenly we had this album, we’d spent the best part of 8 months creating. We were a bit protective of it, so we decided to release it ourselves and created Club Glow.
Can you tell us about the meaning behind it? Why the name? What does this say about the project and the music you want to put out there?
Borai: It’s all a tad arbitrary. We were throwing around ideas and that name stuck. But, for me it conjures up images of that feeling you have after you’ve been in the club all night. You step back into the world, body pounded by sound and eyes blinking in the morning sun, ready to go back to wherever and start the afters.
You’re releasing music via cassette tape, along with digital. Why did you choose the tape format for your physical releases, as opposed to vinyl?
Denham: The tapes call back to the music we’re inspired by. The whole aesthetic of Club Glow is ’90s rave, so it was a nice way to present this in a way that is true to those times. This is also why we always have an A5 rave flyer (designed by Mani Festo) included with the artwork and track-listing, along with a novelty gift for the early pre-orders; first one was an A4 poster of the artwork and this time we got some glow sticks made up… Who knows what’s next.
Borai: I am old enough to have actually lived through “The good old days” of the ’90s; with the record shops, proper raves, tape packs and Walkmans, plus the pirate radio scene that was very strong here in Bristol. I’ve always wanted to return to that world in some kind of way, so the idea of a tape was something I was instantly down for. The other reason for not releasing on vinyl is the cost, as we have more than 20 tracks on this next one; it would have been astronomically expensive to press to wax. We also wanted to try and keep things DIY and as such the option of cassettes looked ever appealing.
Your new tape release ‘Club Glow Vol 2’ features two artists, Mani Festo and L Major, with an album on each side. Content wise, this is a lot of material to fire out in one release…
Denham: We’re all pretty close as a group and we have always planned to get them on board in some capacity; The beauty of Club Glow is it’s as much ours as it is theirs. They had both made brilliantly crafted albums complete with DJ Tools and interludes, as well as full length tracks. It would have been a shame for people not to hear that in its entirety. The material complimented each other so well, so it just HAD to be a joint effort.
Borai: For me it also harks back to memories of my favourite cassettes from my collection. They were split tapes with a different DJ mix on each side (mostly recorded and released as part of multi-tape packs from nights). As Denham said, it seemed like a no brainer when we started to hear the material the guys were writing. The tapes are continuous full length mixes of each album and this was the idea they were both working towards; it’s the way it should be enjoyed – played from start to end, as both artists intended.
We could have left it at that, but as all the tracks are original productions, we felt it would be a shame if all that work wasn’t fully available. With that we decided to include all the individual tracks as well as the DJ mixes in the digital copy. That’s the reason why there are about 30 tracks in total. A few are very short or tools for tempo changes, intros etc; they were written especially to be mixed.
What are your future plans for the project? Where do you see ‘Club Glow’ in 10 years?
Denham: It’s a toughie! 10 years is a long time but it flies by. It feels like only yesterday Swamp 81 and Hessle were in their infancy and they’ve celebrated 10 years. The idea behind Club Glow is it’s a collective, somewhere for us, Borai, Mani Festo and LMajor to showcase our music; exactly how we want it to be with no outside interference. As long as we can keep doing that and bring in a few new people along the way, giving them a platform to truly express themselves, we’d be happy.
Keeping things very much in the family, Brighton producer and friend, Mani Festo T’s up on the A side of Club Glow Vol II. A mettlesome breaksy workout – as the name would suggest – ‘Journey To The Centre’ takes you right there. Plunging straight to the core of a blacked-out, sweat-soaked rave chamber, tantalising (only sometimes terrifying) bleep-formations and lashings of hardcore, conjure up a whirlwind of sheer dancefloor hysteria; An instant hit of mind-mashing, peak-time rave.
Borai & Denham Audio Present: Club Glow Vol.2 is out now.
Buy it here.
Words: Sophie McNulty