Christian Smith, the Tronic man

Christian comes from a different background, from a funk and soul background. A point Christian feels strongly about, and is quick to detach himself from any notions of purism. While Smiths releases ensured his bookings continued to soar, the Swedish DJ/producer identifies the release of his first major mix CD, Tronic Treatment as another turning point in his career.

With his Tronic label and Tronic Treatment club night going from strength to strength in Barcelona, Christian Smith is most certainly a man to check out now. Then there's Smith & Selway "Silver Bullet" on Josh Wink's Ovum label, a remix of the classic "Higher State Of Consciousness" (Smith & Selway Rmx), and a never ending global trek to DJ in every country possible. Christian has released music for several record labels, including Intec Records, Primate Recordings and Underwater Records amongs many others, together with his studio partner John Selway. Christian's schedule is very busy, playing from Madrid, Barcelona, London, Buenos Aires, to Singapore, the Eastern Europe.

He's one of the most compelling, hand raising, foot stamping interpretations of modern house and techno of recent years, and its no surprise that Christians profile was raised by the mix. His sense of diversity and unwillingness to adhere to one dimension is an ethic Christian believes is inherent in the worlds finest DJs. Christian was most inspired by Carl Cox and Laurent Garnier.

Dj's are the new rock stars (...) some very famous DJ's can attract more people than some rock bands that have sold over 1 million records.
Beat Factor: How things are going? What do you know so far about Romania?

Christian Smith: Things are very well thank you. I'm in Brazil on tour at the moment and am enjoying being in South America. Had a few gigs in Chile, Brazil and Argentina. What do I know about Romania? Allot ;). I have traveled the world and been in most eastern European countries with the exception of Romania. I know that you have beautiful women, like progressive house, have lots of social problems to deal with, and of course Dracula.

Beat Factor: You run a record label called Tronic Music. What do you plan to do with it in the future? Any new artists that will be featured?

Christian Smith: I plan on doing the same as I did before. Releasing quality music ranging from minimal to tech house to funky techno, just like my dj gigs.

Beat Factor: You have recently compiled a mix CD on the Ekspozicija series. What can you tell us so far about the mix compilation?

Christian Smith: I have always been a big fan of Eastern Europe. The scene in these countries is really good and the crowd is very passionate. So when I was offered to do this mix for the Slovenian label I figured, why not. I still have not Dj'd in Romania...hmmm....hopefully in 2007.

Beat Factor: Since there are quite few tracks made by you, when do you plan to release an artist album?

Christian Smith: Very Very soon. In the beginning of 2007 actually. The album will range from musical donwtempo to minimal and even electro with vocals. The idea behind the album is to make it very listenable and not just a bunch of peak time dance floor tracks. Of course there will be some of those as well, but I am focusing more on a nice listening experience from beginning to end just like on this mix CD.

Beat Factor: There are various producers that adopted the minimal techno and techno style lately. How come you succeeded and your tracks have been played and still are by some of the biggest techno DJs? Shall we say this was a lucky opportunity?

Christian Smith: I have never been a purist if something is good its good. A lot of people hate progressive house in the techno world, but I don't care if its good I'll play it. I use the same philosophy in my dj sets and when I make music in the studio. It is very important to be open-minded. I think this is why a lot of djs play my productions as they work in many different styles of sets. People ranging from Carl Cox to deep Dish always play and support my music. Thankfully 

Beat Factor: How's going the collaboration between you and John Selway? Do you happen to remember how you two started to work together?

Christian Smith: We started working together over 10 years ago. We are very good friends and still enjoy working together. The forthcoming artist album will be Smith & Selway.

Beat Factor: What was the longest live set in your life and how was it?

Christian Smith: There have been many long sets. Especially in the earlier years when I started playing. Back then a DJ had to play all night. So I learnt fast to play long sets and enjoy building proper progressions. Now these days I like to play anywhere between 3-5 hours. I think this is long enough to bring your message across and have a good night. Sure it sounds impressive that people such as Danny Tenaglia play 10 and sometimes even 15 hour sets. But does that make them better just because they are longer in length? It depends.

Beat Factor: For the ones which don't know yet your music, how would you describe it and what are its roots, its origins?

Christian Smith: It's a mix between house, electro, minimal and techno...and its always funky. I do not like this nosebleeding hard techno at all. For me it's important that there are many girls on the dancefloor as well. In terms of my musical background and origins I am very influenced by early 80's funk and soul and electro.

Beat Factor: How a Christian Smith live act would sound like?

Christian Smith: A smooth progression that will rock the house!

Features Archive

[2008]

Christian Smith, the Tronic man
PUBLISHED

October 12, 2006 at 1:15 PM CEST

WORDS

Beat Factor

Beat Factor: You have a residency called Tronic Treatment/Club4 in Barcelona. How did you obtain it and what's new at this night?

Christian Smith: I wanted to do something little different when I moved to Barcelona last year. It's always fun to have a midweek residency once a month and play sets with more variety. Not just peaktime sets like I do on weekends, but also sometimes opening the night etc. It's been lots of fun and the night is packed every Thursday night. We have had guests ranging from Richie Hawtin to Josh Wink to Steve Bug. It's a good fun night.


Beat Factor: Do you see any connection between electronic dance music and drugs?

Christian Smith: It depends where you are really. In some countries people don't do drugs at all when they go out. Like Japan for example. Then there are other countries like Italy or Spain where the majority of the clubbers are on drugs. It really depends. I do not do drugs. I drink, but that's about it. I don't feel like I need drugs to be happy when I'm out.

Beat Factor: What artists and record labels do you recommend so far?

Christian Smith: There are so many good artists and music out there. Some newcomers that I recomend are: Paco Osuna from Spain, Shiendoe from Holland, and Deetron from Switzerland. I also enjoy the music from Adam Beyer, Technasia, Ame, and Funk D'Void.


Beat Factor: During a set of yours, does ever happened your telephone to ring? If so, did you answer the phone?

Christian Smith: Haha NO. I once had a gig at Fabric in London where Sasha also played the same night. I saw him do this and I felt shocked. I mean common. Ok the tracks he plays are often more than 10 minutes long, but still. You get paid a lot of money to DJ just a few hours. At least give it your 100% attention.

Beat Factor: What do you think is the most important event you took part?

Christian Smith: By far the benefit party I organized in New York Sept. 15th 2001. It was a benefit for local fire department as they lost a few of their people to the terrorist attacks on sept. 11th. It was a very emotional party. We organized to have Richie Hawtin, Derrick Carter, Jowl Mull, and myself play for free. Rammed packed and we managed to donate many thousand dollars that night!

Beat Factor: When you make a remix, do you use the same pattern like on the original tracks? Or you're trying to get close to the track's sound you have to remix?

Christian Smith: I think its very important to include the main elements of the original track and then add and and change parts. Otherwise, why accept to do a remix if you will do a whole new different track?

Beat Factor: Do you think that people will remember a DJ after he passes away? If not, how come artists have documentary DVDs with their life?

Christian Smith: Dj's are the new rock stars. I think DJ's will be remembered and will not go away. For example some very famous DJ's can attract more people than some rock bands that have sold over 1 million records.

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