Rising Glaswegian techno star Alex Smoke joins us in the laser pit this Saturday for a very special LIVE set for Homodrop! Having released techno and electronica records as early as 2002s on labels like Soma and more recently Optimo, Alex has since turned his hand to composing scores for television. Ahead of the party, Homodrop caught up with the Scottish producer to find out more about what we can expect this weekend...
You come from Glasgow, where the club culture is intense, what do you think about the club culture in the UK these days?
Truthfully I have to be honest and say that I can no longer speak for people who are driving club culture as I don't go clubbing nearly as much these days and play less too, but there are trends that I notice from a distance. The undergound is still there but the commercial pressures are huge, and the hype and front seem to matter as much as the music. Some of the innocence has been lost and that's a shame. Having said that, there is more great music than ever, and younger and younger producers pushing their own sounds and that is great. The occasions when nights have that magic reminds you what club culture is all about, and that it is still there.
Could you explain why our Homodropers might be so excited to see you playing at Dalston Superstore?
I've always been popular with the deaf, so I imagine you have a large following who are hard of hearing. Ho ho. Seriously, if that is true, then that's very nice to hear. Maybe because I tend to play the same few venues in London these days such as Fabric, which only caters to a certain cross-section of clubbers. I'm really happy to be playing in a small intimate venue though.... it suits me best.
Do you play often for gay scene?
Not really to be honest. I am very homophobic. Just kidding of course! I have played many gay nights over the years but less so recently.
What can we expect from your live set?
I'll be playing extra well. That's the main thing. I like to keep it very dancefloor focused but also interesting and varied. Sets which don't move in style or emotion become boring unless you're out of your banger, so I'll be catering to the full range of intoxication. Technically, it's melodic techno and rave-wonk on a laptop, pieced together as I go along and accompanied with a drum machine and possibly some singing.....
You recently released the score for the BBC’s Order & Disorder series under your real name Alex Menzies, how come?
In recent years I've been working more on scoring and composition as that is probably where I'm headed, and I got the chance to score this physics series. It's such a different outlook from club music, but it's what I enjoy most. It got picked up by Kathexis for release on vinyl and I'm really glad actually as otherwise it's restricted to the tv and I think it stands alone as music too.
Any new projects?
Yup, some more Wraetlic material (weird vocal songs) later in the year on Huntleys + Palmers, another BBC score release on Kathexis, a possible Alex Smoke album this year and a large scale psycho-acoustic installation in Glasgow Cathedral in November designed to melt brains.
Join Alex Smoke this Saturday 6th June for Homodrop at Dalston Superstore from 9pm - 3am.