Slovenian drum & bass artist Smooth has been making waves in the electronic music scene for over a decade with releases on labels likes of Ram Records, Blackout, Viper, Eatbrain, & Elevate. His most recent composition ‘Circus’ dropped today on the Evolution Chamber record label.
We chatted with Smooth to dive into his history, find out more about his creative process, the challenges of making music in the drum & bass genre, and get his advice on how new talent can break into the scene…
First & foremost let’s do a brief history lesson for people that may not know your back story. Where are you from & how long have you been making music?
I’m from Slovenia and I believe I’ve been making music now for 20 years. It’s quite hard to wrap my mind around the thought of making music for such a long time. Sounds crazy haha
What were your first experiences of hearing D&B music? Can you remember the first tune that caught your attention that made you want to find more?
One of my friends took me to a dnb night here in Ljubljana, since then all I wanted to do is to make music and DJ. The first tune that blew my mind was I believe Vinyl Syndicate ‘Man Of Steel’. I still look back at it with nostalgia and as one of the main tunes that got me into this music.
We’ve been loving your recent releases. How do you feel your music has evolved over the years?
It’s hard to say. I always try to jump around all the sub genres of dnb and not do the same thing over and over.. Just depends on the mood I’m in when I start a tune. I’d like to say that the core of my music is not changing that much over time, but the technical aspect keeps growing.
I just do what I love and hope people enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.
What’s your creative process like when you’re in the studio, and do you have any particular routines or techniques you rely on to stay inspired?
Generally I set up my basic drumkit and then start working on the melodies and basses as soon as possible. I find it’s a very good way for me to be creative very fast. I can then deal with the drum sounds, mixdown and sfx stuff later on. This is a process I love, but I find it less creative and more technical.
I believe both are equally important, the idea and the quality of the tune, but a good idea goes further than just a sick sounding tune with no real hook to pull you in.
Do you have a favourite go to plugin? If so what is it about that plugin that you like so much? (Please don’t say Serum, everyone says Serum)
Okay I won’t say Serum even tho it is my go to plug in for pretty much every bass / lead I make haha.
Zebra2 is a plugin I’ve been loving very much lately. It has got a very organic sound and I always use it for intro leads and atmospheres!
The new release ‘Circus’ is great. It’s a real skill making electronic music sound funky. How do you even start making a track like this? Do you know how you want it to sound or do you find the sound once you start bringing samples together?
I seldom know what I am going to make before I am actually in the process of making it.
With this one it was all about the main sample. I sampled an old funk tune and based the whole song around it. Hard sidechain on the bass I believe was the key ingredient for the funk feel of the tune. It makes the tune quite a bit more choppy.
Going with the Circus theme, if you were forced to change careers & become a circus performer what would your act be? Clown, lion tamer, human cannon ball?
Most probably a clown… Because you can never tame a Lion. Unless there is an option to pick lion? If not I’ll stick with clown 🙂
Advice For Up & Coming Artists
‘Circus’ is out on Evolution Chamber, your released music on some of this genres biggest labels. What advice would you give to any artists wanting to break into a the D&B scene?
I would say the most important thing is to never give up. There’s always ups and downs. If it doesn’t work out the first time it’s very important that you don’t take it personally and think that you can never make it.
As Thomas Wayne said to Bruce Wayne (young Batman)…. ”Why do we fall, Bruce? So we know how to pick ourselves up”
Finally what’s next for Smooth? Any particular goals or milestones you’re hoping to reach in the coming years?
Yes I am working on my LP. Pretty much done with it in all fairness. Just at a point where I’m trying to squeeze those last 2% out of the tunes. I am also working on a couple remixes which will be announced in the very near future.
More Music For You
Have a listen to all the freshest drum & bass on our very own LoveThatBass record label. Our music covers the full spectrum of the jungle / dnb genre with tracks from the likes of Kleu, Waypoint, Glitch City, AKAS, Jaydan, Georgia Phoenix, Oversight & more!