David Elders – the main behind Tuesday’s Hectors Café soundtrack. We catch up with David ahead of his new Sunday Salvation sessions, to talk music, influences and Cabaret Voltaire.

Ryan: How did you get into DJing and what were your early influencers?

David: A true but bloody stupid story behind that. It was when I was back in school, a week before the end of term X-mas school disco the DJ the school had booked bailed on them. I ‘jokingly’ said I’d do it (knowing the square root of fuck all about it and having zero knowledge of or interest in either DJing or Tunes at that point) and they held me to it! Bodged together set-up of two stacking home hi-fi systems linked to a basic audio mixer nicked from the music department plus a hired in strobe light. Got pissed doing it (obviously) and found to my surprise that I enjoyed it and from what others said they liked it. Did the ‘resident DJ in pub function room’ thing for a few years – until playing chart and cheesy shite I hated grated too much and I binned that off. By that point I’d got into proper tunes and was spending daft amounts each week on wax. Did private parties from time to time and threw the odd night with pals but was basically a hobby until I started playing out properly back in mid-2013. The rest, as they say, is history!

Ryan: How would you describe the electronic music scene in Edinburgh today and how does it differ from back in the day?

David: I think Edinburgh’s scene remains very healthy. I don’t subscribe to any notion it was ever anything else to be honest. Always had its fair share of great nights, forward-thinking promoters and cracking DJs. The types of music and nights being played and promoted always change and always will, but that’s neither good nor bad, as it’s always down to personal preference. Edinburgh has always been well served though and I’ve always thought that on the soulful-edged side it’s always been above Glasgow (who take the more harder-edged, deeper, more techno crown). I think the only practical way it differs is that everyone and their dug is a DJ now and that’s purely down to it being more accessible due to costs falling and more variety of kit being available. Again, that’s not a bad thing in itself but in terms of comparison to the past, it used to be you had to really have that feeling for the music and the scene to want to be a DJ. It took too much money, time and effort to fanny about with it. Nowadays it’s another throwaway thing that people pick and fuck around with.

“Edinburgh has always been well served though and I’ve always thought that on the soulful-edged side it’s always been above Glasgow.”

Ryan: Folks familiar with Cab Vol will know you best from your Café Voltaire residency at Hectors. What has been your favourite moment so far and why?

David: Ironically, it probably wouldn’t be a moment in the café itself and it would be wrong to call it ‘favourite’ – ‘special’ maybe. It would be the first time I played the main room for Hectors. That morning I got a phone call to say a friend had committed suicide, which made me unsure as to whether I was going to be able to play that night. Ended up deciding to do it – as a tribute to him – and everything just seemed to ‘go right’ which I hope he would have liked…

Ryan: Aside from Tuesdays’ Hectors, you’ve also started a new project in the Café called Salvation. Can you tell us a little about that?

David: Yeah – brand new party starting this Sunday the 26th March called Salvation. Just felt for a while now that there wasn’t really anything out there on the Edinburgh scene that was more like the more chilled and varied vibe of everyone sitting about the day after the night before – kinda thing. Tunes going all over the place from downtempo-chilled-vibes, Balearica and stuff not usually regarded as being ‘dance music’, all the way through to disco and house. Basically: no fixed map, more of a wander around – sticking your head into nooks and crannies a little less obvious. The kind of thing where you go along to either recover from the night before or start the next night off in a less frantic, more relaxed fashion. Think chilling with Bloody Mary’s to a varied soundtrack. You never know though… if the people wanna dance the people gotta dance!

Ryan: Having played in the venue regularly for years, what is your favourite thing about Cab Vol?

David: Favourite part of Cab Vol – luckily for me – is the café! Always has been since the day I first played there. The layout, the sound system, the vibe – everything works – low ceilings and darkness always an added bonus. Everyone there is mental about music too!

Ryan: Lastly, if you were to name three artists we should be listening to today, who would they be and why?

David: Tough one…! I’m assuming you don’t mean just new artists either… Hell, I’m not even gonna stick to just artists!

  • Glenn Underground – for me one of the definers of how wide-ranging music should be – everything from deepness to disco, from acid to vocals – can never pin down any one particular sound that he sticks to, which makes it all the better.
  • Masters at Work – obvious maybe but again so wide-ranging in terms of the variety in both their own productions and their remixes for others – on top of their game since I was just a lad too!
  • Not an artist but a label – Marcel Vogel’s Lumberjacks in Hell – the variety and quality that comes outta this outfit is staggering.

Ryan: David – always a pleasure.

David: Thanks, and see you up in the Café!

Interview: Ryan Fyvie
Photography: Ben Glasgow