On the road again
Sandra Marron talks to DJ, producer, remixer and label boss Ivan Smagghe as he gears up to guest at Return to Mono
Ivan Smagghe has a pretty impressive CV. Along with Mark Colin he formed Volga Select who released records on über fashionable French imprint Kitsune, 20:20 Vision and Output as well as being responsible for the Tigersushi compilation So Young But So Cold: Underground French Music 1977-1983 and a host of remixes. Joining forces with Arnaud Reboutini he formed Black Strobe releasing their first record Paris Acid City in 1996. Uncomfortable with playing their music live, he left Black Strobe in 2006 and now runs the Kill the DJ clubnight and label along with DJ Chloe. He is also one of the most in demand DJs on the planet releasing many a DJ mix including Fabric Live 23 in the long running and exulted compilation series.
Ivan Smagghe started his career like many a DJ before him – by accident. He was working in a record shop (the legendary Rough Trade) when a friend who was putting on parties asked him to play a few tunes. Coincidently this was also where he met Reboutini.
Nearly 15 years later DJing is still taking up most of his time especially at this time of year. ‘I am probably at home one day a week, but it’s the same for every DJ,’ he says. ‘The summer is like that. Summer clubs are open during the week, festivals are happening and Ibiza is open, so it’s always a very, very busy season.’
Smagghe’s Glasgow connections are strong, especially with the Sub Club. ‘I haven’t played in the Sub Club for ages. It was with Optimo about five years ago when I played.’ While Smagghe claims he cannot really remember exactly where and when he met Twitch and Wilkes they are now firm friends and label mates. Remember this is the man responsible for one of Scotland’s most eagerly awaited compilations, finally persuading Optimo to release their first mix CD, How to Kill the DJ Part 2 in 2004.
For this visit Smagghe is taking to the decks alongside Slam at their Return to Mono night. The fact that they differ in style musically suits Smagghe down to the ground. ‘I don’t believe in just one scene. It doesn’t work like that. There are loads of different scenes like Slam and Optimo in Glasgow which are completely different.’
The new Black Strobe album, Burn Your Own Church may be the talk of the town but Smagghe is remaining tight-lipped on the subject. He is more concerned with his new releases including his Kill the DJ label partner DJ Chloe’s album. ‘It’s quite nice to be able to put out some nice music even though you don’t make any money out of it,’ he laughs.
Ivan Smagghe, Return to Mono, Sub Club, Glasgow, Fri 10 Aug.