While you won’t find many of them listed in the Fringe programme, the club nights and parties that roll on through the night are one of the best things about Edinburgh in August. Thanks to 5am extended licenses and a huge influx of young people looking for a good time the city’s nightlife takes on a whole new dimension. Here’s a round-up of some of the best ones to look out for this month, running the gamut of music styles from funk and soul, to house and techno, hip-hop, Afrobeat, dub and more.
Horse Meat Disco
Another one of 99 Hanover’s free Thursday specials sees London leftfield disco tastemakers Horse Meat Disco’s James Hillard head north for a night of anything-goes dancefloor movers from classic to cosmic to deep disco, italo, punk funk, house, techno, oddities and a whole lot more. Get down early to avoid disappointment.
Hot Dub Time Machine
An annual Fringe fixture, self-styled ‘Best.Party.Ever’ Hot Dub Time Machine is a nostalgia-powered decades-and-genres spanning club experience that sees party goers travel back in time and music history, to the birth of rock'n'roll - and then dance, sing, yell, rave and hug their way back to the present day. It’s a twisting to ‘Twist and Shout’, doing the running man to New Kids On The Block and bouncing around to The Proclaimers kind of night out.
Corn Exchange, August 12-13, 18-20
Soulsville presents Rhythm Machine
“Tom tom heavy synth boogie and smoke hazed new wave disco,” so they say, with added conceptual art and live performance. Resident DJs Mr Miyamoto and DJ Yves host three festival specials each Saturday night of the month, with guests including Cleoslaptra, Ruaidhri McGhee and 12th Isle’s Fergus Clark.
Summerhall, August 13, 20 and 27
Mmmm, world-renowned scratch DJ is he, as Yoda’s Star Wars namesake might put it. In conjunction with local collective The Syndicate, the London hip-hop turntablist comes to Edinburgh for a marathon festival special with local support from Cunnie, Rob Ralston and Gav Miller. As with all Thursday parties at 99 Hanover Street in August, entry is free
99 Hanover Street, August 18
Highlife Annual Sun Ritual
Highlife’s annual Sun Ritual party pays special tribute to the thing we don't nearly get enough of in Scotland (vitamin D), with an unmissable lineup: Auntie Flo plus Laurie from Golden Teacher. Fun quirks of the night include free shades for the first 50 people through the door (bring your own if you’re not planning on getting there early), and the DJs taking charge of the lights, bringing in the dawn themselves so you can bask in the glow.
Sneaky Pete’s, August 19
A veteran party of many a Fringe and a venue over the years, Edinburgh house, techno and electro institution Musika’s annual festival special returns with a heavyweight line-up including Bicep, Jasper James and Hammer. Such is high demand for tickets both the Liquid Room and adjoining Warehouse will be in play.
Liquid Room, August 20
Awesome Tapes From Africa
Go forth in search of obscure sounds from the continent between Mediterranean and the Cape with your knowledgeable guide Awesome Tapes From Africa (pictured above), AKA blogger and DJ Brian Shimkovitz. It was while on a Fulbright scholarship in Ghana that he became hooked on the cassette culture of the region, as street vendors hawked lo-fi recordings of all from highlife to African disco, old left-field soul and curious local pop. When not creating a dense library of these sounds on his website (awesometapes.com) he’s out weaving them together into truly revelatory DJ sets.
Summerhall, August 25
Looking for more nightlife action? Check out our rundown of the best clubs in Edinburgh.