Tomorrow night sees intransigent French DJ and producer Ivan Smagghe subverting the masses in the lazer basement for Techno In My Fridge. Originally famed for co-founding Parisian electronic act Black Strobe in the late ‘90s, he’s since gone on to help shape the listening tastes of countless electronic music fans via his day-job as A&R at the Kill The DJ record label, superlative DJ sets both solo and with occasional partner-in-crime Andrew Weatherall, and creating music as a duo with Tim Paris as It’s A Fine Line.
As a world-renowned DJ who, according to his Facebook, aims “to prove that electronic music can be so much more than a one dimensional soundtrack for a night on the lash”, he’s one not to be missed. With this in mind, we winged over some geeky and cerebral questions to pose to Monsieur Smagghe…
Hi Ivan, what are you up to right now?
I'm on the Eurostar to Paris to play with (Andrew) Weatherall and Optimo; then a three day marathon: Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco.
Or did you mean in general maybe? Working on our It’s A Fine Line EP, remixing Footprintz for Visionquest, and finally maybe about to launch the 'Discipline in Disorder' book collection.
Our readers do seem to enjoy a bit of a geek-out so can you talk us through your studio set-up please?
Errrr... No, not really. Too long, tedious and secrets of the trade... I could point out to the rare things we really love like our Publison DHM89, our Fairchild reverbatron blah blah... Show off.
What was the last book you read?
I am reading 'Traveller of the Century' by Andres Neuman at the moment, amongst other things... I always have a couple on the go. Just finished 'Europe Central' by William T. Vollmann. Brilliant as ever.
What are your thoughts on and involvement in Gay Pride in Paris?
Well, Kill the DJ has a float this year representing the lesbian underground scene under the 'gouine comme un camion' moniker (roughly translates to 'fit trucker butch'). Sadly I will be in the States but not in spirit.
Who are your favourite French bands past and present?
Too many to exhaust: Alain Kan, Christophe, Bernard Sazner, Michel Colombier, a million new wave tape or 45 rpm only obscurities.
Serge Gainsbourg of course, Areski and Brigitte Fontaine have a special place in my heart, so have the too forgotten Programme. And a huge string of One-hit wonders...
What qualities do you most admire in your occasional partner in crime (and Superstore fave) Andrew Weatherall?
His ability to grow a beard rapidly and his knowledge of London/English social literature.
What is in your record bag for Techno In My Fridge?
Dunno yet as I try not to plan in advance.
What is in your fridge?
Cat food. Alvarino wine if am lucky. A definite lack of French cheese.
You founded Black Strobe in '97 with the rather amazing musical description of "frozen Balearic gay biker house". What's the best genre or description you've heard recently?
'Goth step' was mildly amusing, but I never read musical press so...
What motto do you live your life by?
One motto can't be nearly enough.
Ivan Smagghe plays Techno In My Fridge at Dalston Superstore on Friday 6th July with Natalie Coleman (Mooch) and residents Mikki Most and Alexander Parade.
Check out this brand new mix from Alexander Parade for a taste of Techno In My Fridge...