UKB Guest Mix #31 – SiFi [UKB031]

“A journey from South America to sun-soaked Europe” from a loud and Latin-inspired Aberdonian.

Simon Smith aka SiFi, Scottish producer and DJ, sets his stall out early for the latest Urban Kultur mix. Get locked for an hour’s worth of UKB exclusive edits and unreleased tech house.

On the mix, Simon explains some of the selections for this podcast. “It contains a lot of artists and labels that have inspired me over the past 20 years such as Luciano’s Cadenza and Loco Dice’s Desolat”.

“I really wanted to make this mix as personal as possible”.

Having held down residencies on both sides of the Atlantic, Pawn Shop Lounge and B.E.D. in Miami, and Snafu in his hometown, I was thrilled to get him down for a mix.

As a DJ whose podcasts have been on rotation here for a while, especially his Hypnotic Groove appearance, I knew this would be something to look forward to.

Having ventured into production in the last 3 years he’s sprinkled this mix with unique edits and unreleased tracks which offer a tantalising taste of what’s to come in 2015. Simon’s debut EP The Vibe [Halfmoon] has had some impressive support from Dirtybird’s Claude von Stroke, James Zabiela [Renaissance] and Yaya [Desolat] and broke the Beatport top 100.

Follow up EPs including the 2 part Lost & Found and What Happened further cemented his talent. Keep up to speed with his soon to be released material on his Soundcloud.

As always, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Thanks once again to SiFi for setting time aside to record this podcast.



1. Timeline – Mirko Loko (Album Version)(SiFi Edit)
2. Unattainable – SiFi (Original) (SiFi Vox Edit)
3. Cartas Para Geisha (Falto Pepi Remix) – Danny Fiddo and Affkt (SiFi Edit)
4. Summer Love – Nima Gorji (Original)(SiFi Edit)
5. Sunseeker – Martin Buttrich(Original)
6. I Love Prince – Mirko Loko Tool
7. Spread Your Legs on a Rhodes – Christian Burkhardt (Original)
8. Darjeeling Sun (Gary Martin 12 Inch Extended Mix) – DJ 3000 (SiFi Edit)
9. What is House Musik (Ricardo Villalobos What Is Remix) – DJ Pierre (SiFi Edit) 10. Cubism – Davide Squillace (Original)
11. Duande – SiFi (Original)
12. Chupa Chups – Butch (Original) (SiFi Edit)
13. Macuto (Franco Cinelli Remix) – Aerea Negrot (Original)
14. Good Morning – Insinio (Original) (SiFi Edit)
15. Words Gone (Luciano Remix) – Popof
16. Jungle Boogie – Nima Gorji (Original)
17. Remember – D’Julz (Original) (SiFi Edit)
18. What About the Vice – Davide Squillace (Original) (SiFi Edit)
19. Cafe Del Mar (Ricardo Villalobos Remix) – Energy 52 (SiFi Edit)
20. Heat – Merimell (Original)
21. Daktari (Ricardo Villalobos Remix) – Alter Ego (Original)
22. Delusion – Butch (Original)
23. Don’t You Worry – Carlo Lio (Original) (SiFi Bass & Vox Edit)


On the public art trail in Edinburgh with Fraser Gray, FiST and Kirsty Whiten

Having found time to dig out my old Praktica and, find a day where it wasn’t raining heavily (even in Scotland in mid-July that’s quite unusual…) I set out to take in two of Edinburgh’s latest mural artworks.

The first, under the Abbeyhill railway bridge near the Royal Mile, was the location for Fraser Gray and FiST to set about completing their collaborative mural with the help of design inspiration from local elderly residents via Viewpoint Housing and Edinburgh’s public art pioneers, Leith Late.


The stories and memories of the elderly residents of the area heavily influenced the eventual outcome of the mural, which certainly still retains the flavour of Fraser’s past mural projects.


The mural was made possible thanks to the help of the anti-graffiti initiative A1derful Abbeyhill that works closely with local businesses, schools and residents to clean up the area.

Great, then, that they chose this style of mural artwork to help deliver the message. However, I can’t help but feel given the ultimate root of art of this sort is tagging and graffiti, that it’s slightly ironic…

Maybe mural art of this sort has gotten to the stage in Scotland where it’s become sufficiently detached from its origins, and holds up in its own right.

I jumped on my bike and set my sights for the People’s Republic of Leith, the location of Kirsty Whiten’s latest mural (her previous in Edinburgh adorning the gates of the latest home of the Bongo Club).


Painted to coincide with the launch of her latest exhibition, Wronger Rights: The Quing of the Now Peoples, Kirsty’s mural combines half-human half-animal dreamlike creatures seemingly in the midst of a tribal routine.


They’re oddly unsettling, in that way where you really can’t take your eyes off them.

Speaking to the Evening News last month she said “I’ve been working on a lot of ritual, rite-based figures, I wanted to have something ceremonial and mysterious going on.

“I’ve found that people respond to the animal/human hybrid, and I believe it goes back to classical, ancient, even primitive art.”


Brightening up the wall that previously read ‘Scotish Art’ [sic] and not much else, Kirsty’s mural really is one of the standouts of the whole spectrum Leith Late public art projects in town.

Check out the wall near the Out of the Blue Drill Hall on Dalmeny Street and drop by Wiff Waff for some ping pong and a drink afterwards!


UKB Guest Mix #30 – Frau Hug [UKB030]

Regularly found DJing as one half of Les Enfants Terribles Zurich duo ‘Hug & Schiemann’ (Christian Schiemann [UKB022]), Swiss born Nicole Hug does the honours for UKB030.

I first discovered Nicole’s mixes about a year ago, having asked her DJ partner Christian Schiemann to put together a podcast following his appearance on the Friede Freude Freitag show.

Her mixes as part of the b2b act with Schiemann, but especially solo, made her podcasts a staple choice for my working day tunes! So it was with great excitement when she agreed to record just over an hour of deep tech tracks for UKB that make this mix not only a fantastic set, but a window in on a burgeoning Swiss deep tech scene that I am becoming a real fan of.

Les Enfants Terribles continue to serve up some of the best music both on their label and via a number of events in Switzerland and beyond, check out their soundcloud page for more podcasts.

Like what you hear? Then discover more of Nicole hug’s work as Frau Hug or as part of Hug & Schiemann.


UKB Guest Mix #29 – Andi Mack [UKB029]

This week’s podcast comes from Inverness-based DJ talent Andi Mack (Andrea Mackintosh) [Hypnotic Groove] in the form of 45mins worth of impeccable techno selections. UKB029 is non-stop fire from the off.

As one half of Scotland’s newest record label, Hypnotic Groove, Andrea’s almost intimidatingly encyclopaedic knowledge of dance music makes for a real journey and is coupled with some tight mixing. This is one of the most enjoyable, well-constructed podcasts submitted to date.

Her angle for piecing together this mix was firmly focussed around tracks she’s been playing out recently, and no doubt represent just a taste of her not insubstantial techno collection. It’s an organic approach and one that I really enjoyed listening to. I don’t doubt you will to.

Spearheading Hypnotic Groove alongside Johnny Wilson, the digital label from the north of Scotland has some exciting releases penned in for 2015.

With an undeniably sharp collective ear for seeking out both DJ and production talent, Andrea and Johnny will almost certainly establish HG as one of the labels to watch over the coming months. This is an opinion that’s being reinforced by notable support in the music community. If you don’t already know, get to know…

Get this mix cranked up!

Andi Mack [UKB029].


Edinburgh’s Bold Town

Following the recent “Bold Town” graffiti jam organised by local art supplies store Spectrum Arts, Edinburgh’s Old Town has seen a glut of impressive new public artwork appear to the delight of many, not least workers who traipse these drab roads to and from the headquarters of Edinburgh City Council.

With a number of ‘arches’ providing the unusual canvas for the local and not-so-local talent in addition to the straightforward wooden boards guarding the impending Caltongate development site, this latest layer of paint displays some fantastic talent in the capital.

Among the standouts are the Toasters trio, with an abstract angle on everyone’s favourite household appliance.


Edinburgh’s seemingly becoming favourite destination of theirs having chosen the city for the Toaster Tuesday giveaway back at the start of the year, which UKB nabbed the only one on offer. A number of their sticker pieces have also become more frequent across town. I could be wrong, but I think this is one of the first larger scale pieces from them in the capital. Anyone with a better knowledge of their previous conquests in Edinburgh feel free to correct me here…

Glasgow-based Rogue One decorated one of the arches with homage to cult film protagonist Donnie Darko, in his signature photorealistic approach. Well known in public art circles for some of his larger works, particularly in Glasgow, it’s great to see some paintings through on the east coast.


Work in Progress Edinburgh (WIPE) co-founder and local artist Chris Rutterford, displayed Scotland’s official animal, the unicorn, with a really interesting technique. As an aside, it still baffles me how our official animal isn’t actually an animal at all…all very evocative though.

Nevertheless a really cool piece of work. In many ways it reminds me of guys like Jimmy C and El Mac whose work is built up from specific geometric shapes or smaller elements that when put together form an impressive whole. Jimmy C’s circular spray can drips and El Mac’s overlaid concentric circles and lines are well worth taking a look at to appreciate that approach.


Hope there’s more to come from these places, it really feels that since groups have taken ownership of organising jams and other events we’ve seen how they can be used for the better.

However with impending gentrification, these events could well have their days numbered. The offer of big money investment (£150m) over local artistic endeavour looks likely to be one too good to refuse for this area, traditionally something of a no man’s land…


ItaloJohnson @ The Mash House [Lezure]

Relatively new on the Edinburgh circuit, Lezure aren’t mucking about when it comes to booking guests.

Starting strong with Marquis Hawkes [Houndstooth] and following with Jeremy Underground [My Love is Underground] these guys know what they’re doing, and where they’re going with their night.

And while you’re going for a hat-trick in this manner, there’s no point going for the simple tap in. Sticking anonymous trio ItaloJohnson behind the decks for 4 hours was a screaming volley into the top corner from 30 yards out…to utilise over-enthusiastic footballing parlance.

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Dubbed as ‘one for the heads’ and with a high quality RA mix from 2014 and Boiler Room appearance (below) to get in the mood, this was definitely one that needed checking out. The trio have a reputation for letting the music talk, no fuss, no egos in the way, as evidenced by their ‘anonymous’ public image and no frills vinyl series.

Behind the decks the b2b2b set up was seemless, while one mixed, the other two nodded and danced, knocking back beers like those down the front.

And while many of the night’s memories for me are stuck somewhere at the bottom of a number of beer bottles, a couple were made of stronger stuff, staying with me well through the inevitable lifeless lull of Saturday.

Firstly, the place was firmly on the upswing by about midnight, the Mash House’s bar area was unusually quiet, the selections from the main room too much to resist. Among a number of harder house and softer techno tracks, ItaloJohnson weaved their way through a pretty epic set that it seemed no-one was in the mood to miss.

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Secondly, the crowd reacted positively to pretty much every track change, but especially well to a couple of standouts.

Dusky’s 17 Steps material went down a storm. Inta was blowing minds and, probably, the doors off the place at one point with a soundsystem that, to my ears, is one of the best going in Edinburgh. A common occurrence throughout the evening though. Incredible stuff from start to finish.

I honestly can’t remember enjoying a set that much for some time. Having been behind the decks of Trouw, Fabric and Panorama Bar it shouldn’t really have been unexpected.

Excited to see what Lezure come up with next. Keep it going lads.