Sweden’s very own Christian Smith has been soaking up the sounds of house and techno since the late 80s when Sven Vath first took the scene by storm. Since that moment his life has been dedicated to a vision which he has shared with the global techno community. Jet-setting DJ and label boss, Christian has achieved a lot in a career spanning over 20 years, with his imprint Tronic holding a special place in techno circles. Christian set the label up back in 1994 when he was just 21, and ever since then it has been a bastion of quality music. Diverse in it’s output the label has released the likes of Carl Craig, Laurent Garnier, Marco Bailey, Hobo and Jay Lumen and has been seen as a leading force in shaping a less purist techno style. It was also notably one of the first labels to embrace sounds from house and techno to create records that DJs from both scenes would play.As a producer we have seen Christian be as diverse as his own label, with releases on a vast array of labels including Drumcode, Ovum, Bedrock and Renaissance. Having recently celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Tronic and off the back or a world album tour, Christian certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing. We caught up with him after his performance for the We Are FSTVL after party here at Egg a couple weeks back.
This mix was recorded at the massive We Are FSTVL After Party here at Egg London. How was it?I have the privilege of playing regularly at Egg as its the main venue I play for in London. However this was the first time of this year as my schedule has been crazy busy and I could not manage before. I am very comfortable there and know the crowd so for me it was a lot of fun. It always is . The crowd is very open minded and not pretentious, great energy, you can play longer sets, and the staff is a pleasure to work with.
Your imprint Tronic reached an impressive 100 releases last year. What would you say the ethos of the label is and is there anything you look for in particular when signing a record / artist?
The ethos of the label is to release open mind underground house and techno. I have never been a purist and I think this is one of the reasons why the label is still doing so well after 20 years. Its easy to always do the same, but its tougher when you play around with different styles. If i like the music I'll sign it.Techno recently has seen a huge surge in popularity. What do you think has contributed to this and do you think the techno crowd has changed?
Techno has become 'cool' again in recent years. I think the fact that it has slowed down to the same speed of house has helped it popularity for sure. I'm not a fan of hypes or trends, but can tell you that techno has always had a strong global presence and this will not change for a long time to come. Honest house and techno will always be around!
We’re now in festival season, what’s your personal favourite to play at, both past and present?
Oh thats a tough one to answer. I personally really enjoy playing at festivals in Japan because the people there go strictly for the music rather than the drugs. So the vibe is immense and the fans are very loyal which is something you don't get in scenes like London that are very hype driven. I also love playing in Argentina. When it comes to festivals in Europe i really enjoyed Exit, in Serbia and of course Awakenings in Holland. Though I heard that We are FSTVL is also wicked. Hopefully next year! :)
What’s coming up for both you and the label?
New material from the following artists: Ambivalent, Dave Angel, DJ Anna, Wehbba, Harry Romero, and and album by myself. My wife is pregnant and we are getting our second child in October, so I'm diligently working on my next artist album and hope to have this finished before.
And finally, who would you love to collaborate with if you got the chance?
I would like to do something with Richie Hawtin. He