As we prepare for the final week before heading to Lightning in a Bottle, we must make one of the most important decisions: who we want to see over the course of the festival. If you need some ideas, keep reading – Christian Smith is a performance you’re going to want to catch.
Smith is a master in the art of techno and joins the likes of Richie Hawtin, Guy J and Lauren Lane at The Woogie, where you will absolutely be able to get your techno fill. We were able to catch up with Christian as he prepares to make the adventure to Bradley, CA, where the festival is hosted, to hear about his past, his excitement for the festival and what’s next.
Explain how you got started in the music world. What made you want to become a DJ/producer?
Since my early teen years, I was always a hobby DJ and producer. Then while studying at university in Washington DC I produced a few tracks that caught the attention of Carl Cox, Sven Vath and a few other big guns. Before I knew it, I had booking requests in Japan and Australia. It all happened very fast! After producing a handful of successful techno records, I suddenly had a full booking schedule all over the world!
Why did you choose to go into techno? Are there any other genres you explored prior to techno, or any genres you look to for inspiration?
When I started DJ’ing at first, I was a battle DJ and played mostly hip-hop and old school electro. I even entered the DMC championships! Practicing tricks and scratching for many hours and several years definitely still helps me today at my gigs. I gradually got into house music, and later techno. It was a natural progression for me. I still love and embrace house music, but techno is my passion and tends to dominate my musical life.
What artists are your biggest influences? Why?
I am hugely influenced by early 80’s funk and soul music. I also really enjoyed growing up listening to Kraftwerk, Human League, and Art of Noise. The more futuristic it sounded, the more it appealed to me as a kid.
What one track has had the largest influence on your career thus far?
Joey Beltram’s “Energy Flash”.
This is your debut at Lightning in a Bottle – what are you looking forward to the most about it? Have you heard anything about the festival before?
I’m honestly really looking forward to being a part of this festival as an artist, but also as a raver! The production looks amazing, and I love the fact that the festival is not commercial.
What can we expect from your set at LIB this year?
I have been diligently working in the studio for the last few months working on a bunch of collaborations with Harry Romero, John Selway, Victor Ruiz, and Drunken Kong. So I have tons of unreleased music that I am looking forward to playing. I will be playing on the Woogie Stage on Sunday before Richie Hawtin.
Can you tell us 3 artists who will also be at LIB this year that we can’t miss?
Stephan Bodzin live. Not only is he a good friend, but his live show is amazing, and he is a great entertainer! I am also looking forward to checking out Argentinean prog legend Hernan Cattaneo, and a good old friend and countryman Joel Mull.
Your latest release was with a remix package from your album on Tronic, which is your own label – do you plan to do more remixes this year on the same LP? Or other projects or collaborations in the works?
This second remix package with reworks from Laurent Garnier, Pig&Dan, Shaded, and Drunken Kong, completed my album project. I did a 50-gig world tour in 20+ countries in support of it, and now it’s time to move onto different projects. I have a big collab project that will come out in September, also on Tronic. The label is doing fantastic, so it makes sense that I release on there.
What’s been your favorite stop on this year’s tour thus far? What stop are you looking forward to the most?
Womb in Tokyo, Crobar in Buenos Aires and then Sissiphus in Berlin. But honestly all gigs are amazing, all for different reasons. I am really excited to be playing at LIB for the first time, and then in June, we have the massive Tronic Beach Festival during Sonar OFF week in Barcelona.
You can catch Christian Smith at Lightning in a Bottle at 10:00pm on Sunday night before Richie Martin. Give one of his latest live sets a listen below!