Christian Smith Interview

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– Hi Christian, I’m glad to ask you some questions for Differentgrooves.com
First of all, congrats for your new album, the tracks are club oriented and the whole thing sounds clean and energetic! After years of experience are you satisfied with the result you reached?

I am very happy and confident with the music that I currently make. It’s a long process before a song is 100% finished – I usually test each track during my gigs and then go back to the studio and make changes. I have been making music for a long time and can honestly tell you that I love techno!

– If you think about all the time you spent working on it, what does “Omakase” mean for you?
It’s a straightforward album for the floor. I didn’t try to re-invent the wheel or make music that is outside my comfort zone. As much as I appreciate albums with a big variety, in techno this does not make much sense to me. So I made an album focusing on the different styles within techno – some musical tracks, minimal, peak time, groovy etc. I think and hope that I managed to make a well-balanced club album.

– This is only the second album released in your long career, what do you think about all the people who abuse of the album “thing”, publishing big amounts of tracks with nonsense and no logic?
I don’t think there are many successful people out there that abuse it by doing too many albums, but there are many people who release way too many singles that all sound the same. Making an album takes a lot of discipline. People who want quick success usually don’t embark on bigger projects such as albums.

– I notice that you have released only 2 or 3 albums by different artists on Tronic and lately the big one from Dosem. Can we say that this is part of the evolution process of the label?
Tronic has done really well over the past 4 years and it’s great to be able to help artists grow their profile with their albums. Very few techno labels release albums these days and I feel the ones that do differentiate themselves from the many others. It makes you a more “serious” label. But at the end of the day, I feel it is great to push yourself, work a lot and eventually have people gain a lot of respect for you because of bigger projects such as albums.

– Inspired from the previous question, since 1994 you have run the well-known Tronic label. How has been your approach to all the influences and contaminations of techno music? Also, how did you handle the relationship with new talents (recently you released few tracks from the italians Macromism and Tony Dee)?
I always try to be open-minded and international. Techno has changed a lot since 1994 and I am very happy about this. I would be so bored making and playing the same music all these years! My goal with Tronic is to release music that is cutting edge and music that I play in my sets. Recently, Italy has had many up and coming producers and I support them a lot because what makes a good well rounded and successful label is a good balance between new and established artists.

– Will your fans hear in the future some fresh stuff from the super duo “Smith & Selway”?
Right now there are no plans for me to work with John Selway. We are still good friends, but I have moved on and am focusing more on my solo career. After my album, I will do a few remixes and singles. And on top of that I’m playing every weekend so I’m very busy.

– A little off topic question. As you said in an old interview for Beatport, you changed your production process from “out of the box” to “in the box”. Nowadays a lot of people are still spending entire days wasting all their breath debating which is better or not. Briefly, what’s your opinion on all this?
The key is what you do with what you have. Some people have amazing big studios, but don’t make good sounding music. Others have just a laptop and it sounds as if it was recorded in a massive studio. It all depends on your skills rather than how much you spend on the studio. I worked both ways and can honestly say that with the high quality plug-ins these days it is close to impossible to hear if something is digital or analogue (assuming it is well produced off course). One thing that many people seem to overlook is the importance of good acoustics. No matter how good your analogue or digital studio is, if you don’t have good acoustics in your room its very hard to do a good mixdown. So forget about this stupid analogue versus digital debate, but instead invest on some proper acoustic treatment. Nobody will debate that this is a bad idea;)

– Is anything new forthcoming in the next months you want to tell us about?
Yes, always…haha. Besides my album “Omakase: which is out this week, I will be doing singles for Minus, Tronic, and Systematic. I will also be doing a few remixes for artists such as Paul Ritch, Pig & Dan and Dosem and others. I work a lot on music. I also have my Tronic Radio Show which is currently on over 50 stations around the world. All this keeps me very busy. But if you love what you do its fun!

– Thank you for having spent the time to let our readers know more about your music and thoughts! :)
Thanks you and see you all soon in Italy! :)

Interview by Matteo Pitton

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