Listen to a left-field Choice Mix from IDA, Glasgow's acid aficionado

© Sam Brill
Written by Josie Roberts
The Scotland scene mainstay shares a dark, agile and melodic mix.
If you’ve been about on the Scottish club scene for the past few years, then you’ll likely have witnessed IDA tear up a dancefloor. Born in Finland, she cut her teeth as a DJ in Aberdeen and Glasgow (where she now resides), working the club circuit with sets that connect the dots between techno, house and electro, all threaded together with her one true love: a Roland TB-303 bassline.
Her Acid Flash parties are a wild, left-field encapsulation of this. Launched in 2015 at Aberdeen’s The Tunnels, they showcase her fine ear for presenting the colourful, caustic world of acid in bright and unexpected ways, pulling together names like Mama Snake, Kim Ann Foxman and The Burrell Connection into its impressive wall of fame. It's an approach she adopts as a DJ too, one which has seen her lock in a strong line-up of Sub Club bookings, residencies for Let It Bleed and Slam’s Maximum Pressure parties. It’s not just Scotland either, and she’s played gigs further afield in Ibiza, Berlin and her native Finland.
While she continues to gain traction outside of her adopted home, this Halloween she's back on Scottish soil and is hopping over to Edinburgh for a massive warehouse workout at Terminal V Festival. Ahead of the night, she’s shared a standout Choice Mix to get you in the weekend mood. Snaking through shadow-dwelling techno, house and breaks with a hint of the weird and the wonderful, it's IDA in storming force.
Listen in the player above, then scroll down to get to know one of Scotland’s most exciting acid exports.
Can you take us back to where your love affair with acid/the TB-303 first started?
When I first got into underground electronic music, I used to listen to mixes from DJs such as Ellen Allien and Kim Ann Foxman, who play a lot of acid stuff in their sets. At this time, the acid sound was very new to me and no one I saw in Aberdeen (where I was living at the time) really played any acid. That’s how I got into Chicago house and started digging into the history of house music. I think Fast Eddie's Hip House was one of the first acid tunes that I fell in love with.
Are there any particular artists or labels that have stuck with you as sources of inspiration?
Experimental, Prolekult, Bonzai, Richie Hawtin and Plus 8, Autechre, Nina Kraviz, Woody McBride.
You are about to celebrate four years of Acid Flash. What are some of your favourite moments from the parties over the years?
I’m super excited for the birthday party – I’ve got Courtesy coming over for it. She’s a huge source of inspiration for me at the moment actually – I love her label and everything she’s playing. When we had her play for us a few years ago in Aberdeen, it was just such a perfect vibe. One of our last parties with Nonentity and Lisalööf was particularly special as well.
Would you say running Acid Flash has helped to shape your approach as a DJ, or vice versa? Do those roles intertwine and overlap for you?
I started the night because I was only playing warmup slots for big nights in Aberdeen, so I wanted to curate my own night which was acid-inspired in order to develop my own taste and style of DJing outside of opening for people. I was able to play harder music and music that I really liked, rather than tailoring myself towards whoever I was warming up for. Being able to invite guests who I feel share my musical taste has also helped me develop as a DJ. The roles overlap for me, definitely.
We hear you’re starting a label soon? Can you give us a bit of a sneak peek into what we can expect? What kind of direction do you want to go with in terms of the sounds/artists on the roster?
It’s going to be called SÄVY, which is a Finnish word meaning different tones, textures, hues, and shades of colours or even speech. It’s pronounced ’Sa-vu’ in English. I never play just one type of music in my sets. I love a vast amount of different kinds of music, and I want the label to encompass that – which is where the name came from. It will be melodic, left-field, with a lot of uptempo bits for sure, but don’t expect a rigid direction.
Can you talk a bit about the mix – where was it recorded and what were some of the ideas you had for it?
I recorded this mix in my flat in Glasgow using 2x CDJ2000s and a Xone:92. I wanted to explore tunes with more left-field and bass heavy elements, as well as melodic and trancey bits. It’s important for me to always keep it varied and interesting. There’s some unreleased bits from a few incredibly talented artists who have been sending me music. And maybe a tune from someone who will be doing one of SÄVY’s first releases…
What else have you got coming up for the rest of the year?
A tour with Boiler Room and a b2b with Daniel Avery in Paris – which has just sold out and is in a carpark, so that should be pretty amazing. I’ve also got a gig in Helsinki at a venue called Post Bar, which is always such a great vibe. It’s one of the most emerging new clubs in Finland and is run by a bunch of great people. I’m also really excited to be playing Terminal V for the first time this weekend on the Sneaky Pete’s stage, with Mor Elian and a few other amazing artists. I’m also looking forward to having a dance with some friends in celebration of our fourth birthday in a few weeks' time!
IDA plays Terminal V Festival on Saturday October 26 at The Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh. For tickets and more information, click here.