TF Archives

Alex Smoke Blows His Own Way

Author: Mario Sanchez
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Last year saw Alex Smoke's growing reputation culminate with releasing SOMA's third installment of the Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi series. Mr.Menzies, who's been smoking hot for sometime now plans to get loose after a busy year enjoying all aspects of his touring travels.  With more to come in 2007 he took some time to go walkabout before heading to Australia but he didn't venture too far.  Tranzfusion tracked him down for a quick natter.

[TF]This is your first Australasian tour and it's taking you all over the place, have you previously visited this side of the world-  Any gigs in particular you are looking forward to- 

[AS]Half of my family is from New Zealand and I have dual nationality, so I've been a few times....but only once to Australia....I was mainly looking forward to my few days holiday in NZ, as I love trekking and hanging out in Northland. But I have a lot of friends and family in Melbourne as well so that should be great too. 

[TF]In the last couple of years you have been earning your reputation by continually releasing compelling work and 2006 was an especially busy year with several releases, remixes and compilations, will 2007 be the year Alex Smoke ventures out and dominates the world- 

[AS]I doubt it! I really just want to please myself in musical terms this year.....I have a hip hop album just finished and am also thinking about releasing a more electronica album as well, but it all depends on whether i can find a label to put it out of course! I may end up putting it out myself...... 

[TF] I reviewed your Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi_03 compilation last year and dug your all around production work, track selection and clear-cut execution, do you think that being crafty in the studio and technically proficient behind the decks is the standard for DJ and producers today- 

[AS]I think it's pretty vital to produce if you're starting out, as the days of being just a DJ are over if you want to make a living at it. But otherwise the 2 things are separate and it's always best to concentrate on one main thing....... 

[TF] Your tour is being promoted as: Alex Smoke Live is there a significant difference between one of your Live and DJ sets- 

[AS] They're pretty different......the live set is totally live and fairly techno oriented, albeit with a fair dose of melody. My DJing is more varied in style....I like to play a mixture of old and new house, techno and electro. 

[TF] With your live set how much preparation do you go thru or is it completely impulsive- 

[AS] The only preparation is to group the loops belonging to each track together, but after that it's all I don't just start with a blank page and a load of loops.  Some tracks are totally ad libbed and others are more like the original release. 

[TF] Hooking up with SOMA, your love of music and your hard work have contributed to your rapid rise as a producer and DJ, do you think your audience would have been able to buy your tracks or check you out at the club without them giving you a shot-  Were you always going to make music- 

[AS] If you mean would I have got this far without Soma, then definitely not.....they have the network to launch a career, which is vital in an industry as competitive as this....and I only decided to make music seriously when I left university at 21 and got my first Mac....but after that it was my total focus. I knew I'd make sure I never had a real job! 

[TF] When working in the studio are you always trying to finish something or are you good at completing what you start-   

[AS] I generally start a lot of tracks as that's my favourite part, but then just finish the ones which show the most promise. The tracks I don't complete, I still use as a source of loops for the live set.... 

[TF] I have read you are old school and prefer