It’s Movement Detroit weekend, so we found it fitting to invite one of this year’s performing artists to the Global Vibe Radio decks.
Christian Smith is one of the world’s leading exponents of techno, as a DJ, a producer and founder of the well-respected Tronic label. You can catch him playing at the festival this coming Saturday. May 26th, when he will be performing at the Pyramid Stage at 7:30pm.
Tronic needs no introduction for those who have followed dance music for the last 20 or so years. Since its inception back in 1994, Christian Smith has founded a label that constantly delivers top techno tracks year after year. Not only does he run the label, but also has his long-standing Tronic radio show, which is syndicated in more than over 100 countries worldwide.
Known and loved for its albums, Tronic released the very first of its kind with a collaboration-only project in 2017 entitled Synergy. This June the label will be releasing a full Synergy remix package to the world including re-works by Shall Ocin, Petter B, Oliver Deutschmann and more — a release filled with their heavy hitting, synthetic soundscapes and intricate percussive elements.
Be on the lookout for more info on this upcoming release, but meantime enjoy Christian’s mix below, which was recorded live this past April at Resest Club in Zaragoza, Spain.
Hi Christian, how is it going?
It going pretty well. I just got back from an Asia weekend, and then I was home for a few days before heading to Los Angeles and Denver last weekend, all before Movement!
You’re returning to the U.S. this month. What was your opinion of America when you were growing up?
America has changed a lot with regards to techno in the recent 2-3 years. I am happy that many of the kids are jumping off the commercial EDM bandwagon and are developing their own tastes. This has without a doubt had a positive effect on the techno scene. For the last ten years I only used to come once or twice a year to North America, but now it seems I go every other month. It’s still not as developed as Europe but its moving in a good direction.
Do you remember your first trip here? Was it for pleasure or business?
My very first trip the States was as a kid. My parents had good friends in New York so we visited them a lot during my childhood. I was already into electronic music when I was very young and recorded the mix shows on WBLS in NYC. I also went to university in Washington DC, and lived in New York from 2000-2006. I really enjoyed living in NYC but ended up flying to Europe almost every other week for my gigs, so I decided to move back.
What about your last visit do you remember the most?
That I totally forgot how damn good the steaks you can get in in America are!
Techno has gone through quite the journey since it’s inception in Detroit in the 80s. How do you view the techno scene in the States currently?
Like I mentioned earlier its growing at a healthy rate. I’m glad to see that even commercial festivals are now also hosting techno stages. North America used to have a very strong techno scene in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I used to do around 50-60 gigs there a year when I lived in New York, and I feel its coming back!
Talking about Detroit… you’ll be there at the end of the month for Movement! Looking forward to it?
Yeah of course. I’ve done Movement a few times before, but it’s been a long time. I have always had a strong bond with Detroit whether through my musical influences or friends I have made there over the years. Also, it’s pretty much the only techno festival in North America so I’m happy to be on it and that I got a good time slot on one of the biggest stages.
How is the festival viewed by artists abroad?
It’s viewed as a very credible festival! We have many techno only festivals in Europe but when there is only one in North America people pay attention.
You stopped in LA where we are based. Did you do anything else while in town?
I played at Avalon and I haven’t been there in such a long time. It’s a great venue and I had a lot of fun. I managed to get a few hours downtime, but never as much as I plan to, so got a quick visit in to Santa Monica and Venice to see the beach. I love LA, so I am always happy to have a gig here.
Is there anything here in the States still on your bucket list to do/see outside of work?
I really want to go to Sedona. I have a gig in Phoenix in July, so I’ll make an effort to go there then. I know it will be hot as hell, but I don’t care. I live in Spain so I can handle the heat.
Thank you for the mix by the way! What can listeners expect from it?
This is a mix from an underground club in Spain. Spain has had a very strong techno culture for a very long time. Techno is deeply engrained in clubbing, and they sell more tickets for techno events in Spain than any other genre. So, I hope you enjoy it!
Any standout/particular tracks we should keep or ears open for?
Not really. I don’t feel that techno is about just the big tracks, but maybe because of Beatport it seems to be going that way. For me it’s about mixing a bunch of different tracks together and to get lost in the music.
Things have been going great for Tronic. What is on the pipeline for the label in the coming months?
It’s been a wild ride the last few years. I honestly never expected that Tronic would grow the way it has and that we have Tronic events everywhere from Tokyo to London to Buenos Aires. I have a strong team working with me, and we try to release music of high quality that we are passionate about. There will be a big album remix pack coming out soon on the 25th June with remixes from Petter B, Oliver Deutschmann, Shall Ocin, Jam El Mar, Agaric, and Zeta Reticula. Other than that, we have about three releases per month, album projects, and a few compilations. I try to help out a lot of new talent as I feel it’s a labels responsibility to help when it can.
How do you see the future playing when it comes to Tronic, your personal career and the United States?
I am currently planning on doing more Tronic branded events in North America. I have a few confirmed in July, and we are working on more for October. I always enjoyed playing in North America and hope to spending more time there. I feel things are going well and you will see more of me in the future Stateside!
Catch Christian Smith playing Movement Detroit this weekend. Tickets available HERE