Christian Smith has spent the past two and half decades building his Tronic imprint into what many would consider to be one of the most respected imprints in all of techno.
The label has seen appearances from an enormous list of talent over the year, including names like ANNA, 2pole, Hannes Bieger, Drunken Kong, Andres Campo, and Christian himself.
This month the Swedish artist will make his debut on Patrick Topping’s fast growing Trick imprint, with the release of his brand new 3-track Infatuate EP.
We caught up with him recently to chat about the release, what we can expect to see on Tronic in the near future, which other labels he might be working with soon, and more. Get the full discussion with Christian Smith below.
Hi Christian, we hope things are good up in Sweden at the moment, how has your week been so far?
I’m actually in Tulum, Mexico at the moment. I have a few days off while on tour in North America for the month of March. It’s been going really well so far. I quite enjoy playing in the US these days. The scene has grown a lot over the years and the kids are getting more educated.
As for Sweden, I don’t really know as I haven’t lived there in 20 years. I moved around a lot. This is one great benefit of being an international DJ. You just need to live close to a good airport and can always get to your job. Throughout the years I’ve lived in New York, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Mallorca, and now London.
You recently made your debut on Patrick Topping’s Trick label with the release of your new ‘Infatuate’ EP, how would you describe the two originals included on this one?
It’s my typical style. I have never been a purist. I like everything between house and techno. I always like to include a lot of energy in my tracks, no matter what style I produce. The two tracks are clubby and groovy techno. I really appreciate the fact that Patrick Topping is open minded and also embraces different styles on his label.
And it also includes an instrumental version of ‘Step By Step’, what made you want to add that?
I added this because some DJs are uncomfortable using tracks with vocals in their sets. I personally feel that vocals bring an interesting edge to club music, but it’s not for everyone.
In the past you’ve also released music on Drumcode, SCI+TEC, and We Are The Brave, which other labels might you be releasing with in the near future?
I have a release coming up on Eric Prydz’s Pryda label at the end of next month. I don’t really change my style all that much for different labels. During the pandemic I had a lot of time to produce music so I am happy to see that people seem to like my output. I also have a single planned for Tronic in June. I like to have a good balance between studio work and touring, though sometimes heavy touring can take up most of my time.
You launched your own Tronic imprint back in 1995, and it has since become one of the biggest techno labels in the world, with appearances coming from ANNA, Drunken Kong, Ian O’Donovan, and Andres Campo, who else might we expect to see on Tronic in the near future?
I always put a lot of effort into pushing new talent. I feel that this is a responsibility of anyone that has a strong platform to develop talent. As for the future there will be an album from Uruguayan artist Diego Infanzon, a few singles from Drunken Kong, and of course more releases from myself. I will also start doing more branded Tronic events again now that all countries are finally opening up again.
You’re from Sweden, a country which has produced names like Adam Beyer, Eric Prydz, and the late Avicii, what do you think is the reason behind Sweden being responsible for some of the biggest names in dance music?
That’s a very good question! I honestly have no idea. It’s really interesting because if you look at the neighbouring countries such as Denmark or Norway, the output that Sweden has is incredible. On a totally different note, if you every get a chance to visit Sweden, please do, as its a beautiful country.
Which emerging Swedish producers would you say might be among the next generation of top artists?
I haven’t been focusing on Swedish talent, but rather looking worldwide. I do not really care where the artist is from as I put most of my emphasis on the quality of the music. I am proud to say that we have released music from artists from more than 25 countries.
And as someone with so much experience in all areas of club music, what advice would you give to anyone that’s hoping to pursue a similar path?
Work your ass off, get your own unique style, and be patient, there are no shortcuts!
Christian Smith – Infatuate EP is out now on Trick.