German production duo Smash TV is the new addition to Culprit’s ever-expanding clan of artists. With the three-track ‘Cascadia EP’ the LA-based label get to fulfill its long-standing wish to work with the veteran producers.
‘Cascadia EP’ displays Smash TV at their most melodic and alluring, while retaining the undercurrent of synthetic tension and a firm grasp on darker textures that the duo have become known for. The mesmeric title track has powerful subtle layers of melody reminiscent of the old Border Community catalogue, but on top of a deeper groove that retains the all-important swing.
‘Granite Falls’ is the mystical one of the bunch. Balancing out its beatific tone is the unexpected growl of its synth bassline, making for a potent combination. Dispensing with overt melodies, ‘God Key’ is the true tension builder on the EP. It’s mid-tempo stomp, a wobbly bassline and the tastefully spare synth stabs make for a perfect set-up track.
To showcase their new EP and celebrate joining the Culprit family Decoded Radio is honoured to present their exclusive artist showcase mix containing all 3 releases. Furthermore I caught up with Holger and Kai for a quick chat and a bit of a laugh.
Welcome Holger and Kai. How are you both and thanks for the opportunity to chat with us?
We’re good, thank you.
So the big news for you both recently is you’ve joined the ever expanding Culprit LA artist rosta. Congratulations. I understand this was all owed to a chance meeting at Sonar in Barcelona this year?
Thank you! Yes indeed, our friend Eyad from Bambook introduced us to Andrei from Culprit and it turned out that we all love each others work so it was inevitable to work together.
Could you reiterate how important festivals and conferences such as Sonar and ADE for example are for networking?
They are without a doubt very important. The only problem at these kinds of events is sometimes that nobody remembers anything, who you met when, where and why… Sometimes.
What better way than to debut with the release of your new Cascadia EP. Was the EP produced specifically in mind for Culprit?
The EP was produced for culprit, first we had agreed on a different track, but then these 3 just came out perfect.
They are all great DJs and very talented producers but we try not to compare us with anybody. We just basically go to the studio, turn on the machines and try to find something that sounds interesting and fresh for our ears. Something we would like to play when we are DJing. That’s what we always did and that always worked the best.
This is the first time you have released original music on a non-German label I believe, so this must be a pretty big thing for you to have an original release on a US label? Was it a label you ever envisaged releasing on?
It’s great to be on Culprit. When we release on a label we prefer to work with people we know in person, that’s the reason why we released on many Berlin based labels because we live close by. We always liked the Culprit sound and approach – so we had it in the back of our heads.
Are there any other US imprints you now have your eyes on to release music, or are you open to offers?
At the moment we are talking to My Favourite Robot about a release, which is from Canada. There are many interesting labels in the US as long as we can identify with the artistic vision of a label we are more than happy to release – no matter if it’s big or small, from Kazakhstan or the US.
At current do you feel there are any fundamental differences or similarities in style between the US underground house scene and Europe?
That’s hard to say for us. It seems like a big part of the US scene has moved to Berlin but we might be wrong with that. One big difference is for sure that our clubs don’t close at 3am, that’s something we never really understood.
I get the impression you don’t take yourself too seriously, quite the jokers and always up for a bit of fun. What’s the last funniest moment you can tell us about from performing at shows or from travelling/touring?
Yeah we are very happy with being able to make our living with this, enjoying every day. Well, like Keith Richards we unfortunately are never mentally present when the funniest stuff happens. 3 weeks ago in Beirut, the morning after the party I noticed lots of strange groceries in my friend’s kitchen and asked him where that stuff comes from. It turned out that after the party we went to a gas station to buy some water and I thought it’s a great idea to throw stuff around – so he had to buy everything, that’s life on the road with the smashbros!
Haha that’s hilarious. Outside of the studio and production you perform as a live act and DJ act. Do you have your preferences between the two? What aspects of each do you find most fun or rewarding/challenging?
We love both, for a live set we prefer a setting a little bigger so people can see and enjoy what we do. Playing live is very personal because you present your babies in a compressed form. If it doesn’t work out for whatever reason it hurts really badly. A DJ set is more of a journey with a secret destination that can be a surprise to everybody involved.
Holger and Kai, It’s been fun chatting to you guys; I’d just like to round the interview up with any future plans or projects for us to look out for in 2016? And thanks for the fantastic guest mix.
Well on January 16th we got an EP coming out on Katermukke called “LFO my ass” and shortly after that a remix for our homeboy Kant on Hive Audio, where we intend to drop an EP in 2016 of course. As mentioned we are working on an EP on My Favourite Robot and want to continue working with Culprit!
01. Lox D & Van Did – Elena (Teho Remix) [Grrreat Recordings]
02. Brian Cid – Oasis (Original Mix) [Lost & Found]
03. Simos Tagias – Wasted Dreams (Original Mix) [Movement Recordings]
04. Max Cue – Painted Dream (Original Mix) [3rd Avenue]
05. Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – Into The Edge (Khen Remix) [Sudbeat]
06. Lefrenk – Essence Of Life (Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic Remix) [Manual]
07. Rick Pier O’ Neil – Signal (Original Mix) [Bonzai & Friends]
08. Alex Preda feat. Amber Long – DNA Matching (Arnas D Dub Mix) [Manual]
01. Zeke Africa – Time Given, Time Spent
02. Roy Rosenfeld & Guy Mansour – Epika
03. Smash TV – Granite Falls
04. Matthias Tanzmann – No Sleep
05. Butch – Dope
06. Smash TV – Cascadia
07. Zeke Africa – Ghost
08. Fold – Wallop
09. Smash TV – God Key
10. Subotic – Candy Walk
02/12: Mio Radio: 3pm-5pm UTC (GMT+2) www.mioradio.net
02/12: Nube Music: 4pm-6pm ART (GMT-3) www.nube-music.com
03/12: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
03/12: Tenzi FM: 8pm-10pm IST (GMT+5.5) www.tenzi.fm
03/12: Radio Ettlingen: 2pm-4pm (GMT+1) www.radioettlingen.de
03/12: Casafonda: 4pm-6pm GMT www.casafondaradio.com
03/12: Krafted Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.kraftedmusic.com/krafted-online-radio-station/
04/12: DNA: 10pm-12am ART (GMT-3) www.dnaradiofm.com
05/12: Innervisions Radio: 5pm-7pm GMT www.innervisionsradio.co.uk
05/12: Midnight Express FM: 10pm-12am CST (GMT-6) www.midnightexpressfm.com
07/12: LeChic.FM: 10pm-12am GMT www.lechic.fm
08/12: Studio Lux FM: 11pm-1am CEST (GMT+1) www.studioluxfm.com
10/12: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
10/12: Casafonda: 4pm-6pm GMT www.casafondaradio.com
10/12: Krafted Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.kraftedmusic.com/krafted-online-radio-station/
11/12: BeatLounge Radio: 4pm-6pm PST (GMT-8) www.beatloungeradio.com
11/12: Danceradio.ca: 6am-8pm EDT (GMT-4) www.danceradio.ca
12/12: STROM:KRAFT radio (Electronic Channel): 11pm-1am CET (GMT+1) www.stromkraftradio.fm
On rotation: Inside My House Radio www.insidemyhouseradio.com