Smoke is a newly formed techno duo delivering an onslaught of bass driven, reverb heavy, dark and choleric techno by SFBM and Alter Mind. This Bomphcast is mixed on Traktor, however the duo also perform using hardware setups and produce in the studio as well.
As well as citing Oscar Mulero, Shifted, Regis, SHXCXCHCXSH, Developer, Ancient Methods and Headless Horseman as their major influences, they also draw inspiration “from the wider concepts of science, engineering and technology” for the productions and vibe towards techno music in general.
• No Soundcloud as of yet. Fresh new techno.
Ontal – Output
Truncate – 21
Wire – Distance
Milton Bradley – Assembled
Audio Injection – Disfunction
Audio Injection – Darker (Shifted Remix)
Lucindo – Act 133
AnD – ADBF
Flug – Visceral (A. Mochi, DJ Shufflemaster Main Remix)
Terence Fixmer – Aktion Mekanik Theme (Kobosil 44 Version)
Alberto Pascual – Doer
Hans Bouffmhyre – Increase (Mark Reeve Remix)
Alex Cortex – Huyendo Part 2
Boston 168 – Black Hole
2000 And One – Kawasaki
Kevin Wesp – Destroyed System (Gleis 5 Remix)
Octave – Cracked (Deh-Noizer Remix)
Hans Bouffmhyre – Shine
A001 – Gyno
Drumcell – Disturbance (Tommy Four Seven Remix)
Fusky, Dolgener – Framework
Xhin – Vent (Pfirter Remix)
Flug – Consequences
Flug & Hans Bouffmhyre – Common Interests
Cleric – Restore
Developer – Space And Concrete
Luis Flores – New Flesh (Drumcell Remix)
Paula Temple – Colonized (Perc Metal Mix)
Secluded – Delusional
Jonas Kopp – Alkitran
Norman Nodge – Body to Body
Woo York – I Am Against (Phase Remix)
Pfirter – Iteration
Sleeparchive – 3
British Murder Boys – Don’t Give Way To Fear Pt. 1
Ontal, Dronelock – Relation In Time
Kerridge – MPH
Q: Smoke are pushing for the harsher and darker styles of techno. You describe it as choleric. What attracts you to dark industrial sounds?
With our productions and mixes for Smoke both Aydan and myself strive to create the most industrial and dark soundscapes we can possibly manage. Whilst some of our work can, and does, stray over to the more experimental, noisy, and even ambient areas – we mostly try to maintain a good amount of raw and pounding techno intensity. ‘Choleric’ is a term in psychology that relates to different types of personality. Taken from wikipedia: “Choleric people may be excitable, impulsive, and restless, with reserves of aggression, energy, and/or passion, and try to instill that in others. They can be ambitious, strong-willed and like to be in charge. They appreciate receiving respect and esteem for their work”.
This extract really describes both our personalities, production methods, DJing style and musical tastes quite well. Although our music may be quite confronting and dark, I think that Aydan and I are really laid back guys when it comes down to it. In fact, most of the time when making these harsh, raw and gritty techno tracks we are just hanging out in my studio or chilling in my backyard with our Macbooks whilst chain smoking, haha. For me, there’s just something inherently addictive to the darker, heavier sounds. I never really get bored of dark techno – it has this deep and reaching hypnotic depth to it that pulls me back to it every time. This sense of primal urgency and veraciousness that digs in beneath your skin. I’ll never get tired of that.
I spent the last two years studying an audio production degree that required regular travel through the busy Melbourne CBD. I went into it with hard-core and metal being my primary musical tastes – the rhythmic drum and bass components and ridiculous breakdowns are really what do it for me. While studying, I was exposed to synthesis theory and techniques and simultaneously discovered techno and DJ mixing thanks to Robin (Devant), who I shared classes with prior to Node co-hosting responsibilities. As my technical production skills increased, and as my ear became more attuned to sounds, particularly rhythms, around me, the industrial city soundscape that I would listen to for hours a day suddenly became a lot more interesting and hence a new source of inspiration.
As for the “dark” side of my tastes, this is explained by expression. I rarely get a buzz out of music that would be considered (in terms of popular opinion) as “uplifting” and “euphoric”. My attraction to dark music – be it in the studio or on a dance floor – is a way of ridding myself of negative energy, and capturing as a composition of sounds in a way that others can communicate with in the form of dance. Meeting, bantering and working with Andre was a real catalyst in terms of defining the sound that I wanted to translate from inside my head to out of the speakers.
Q: Given your influences, what would be the ultimate gig that you would want to play?
Given my style of unapologetic dark and industrial techno, I think my ultimate dream gig would have be playing a set at the Tresor nightclub in Berlin. Or really any sort of club where heavy dark pounding techno is not just widely appreciated – it’s an active requirement. Maybe Berghain too. I’ve never been there but I have several friends who have and they tell me it’s absolutely amazing. I’d like to secure a few sets at venues like Brown Alley, The Railway Hotel, Platform One nightclub and Lounge, if I could. Also, one of the primary reasons I got so heavily into techno and kept getting involved was due to partying at so many great Bunker events – so one of my aspirations is to DJ at a Bunker open air party or some other Bunker event in future if I can land that!
As for the ultimate gig for Smoke: I’d really like to see Aydan and I perform either a live hardware set or a 4 deck traktor set at the Mercat basement some day. The Mercat basement is sort of the unofficial birthplace of Smoke, plus it has the ideal sonic layout for our style of raw, hard-hitting and bass heavy techno. We’re still in the early stages of getting our name out there, although we definitely know our style of techno and what we’re about. Both Aydan and I are quite hopeful and ambitious about any potential gigs that may be coming our way.
To be absolutely honest, if you had have told me one year ago that I’d even be where I’m at now in terms of DJing and production, I wouldn’t have believed you. After having only been practicing in my room for a while (and learning as much as I could about techno and production in the meantime), it was a huge step up for me when Andre conceived Node and got me on board. Now with Smoke in the equation and the many things we’ve been hard at work on in the studio, I haven’t really spent much time mulling over the “dream gig” concept.
I must say that I have really enjoyed literally all of my nights spent across New Guernica, Brown Alley and the Mercat, and I consider these to be my “spiritual homes” in terms of my love for electronic music.
Power Station (previously at Brown Alley and now at New Guernica) was the first club night that I would attend religiously, and through the people I met there, I discovered Stranger, Bunker and the darker side of techno, and now feel like a huge part of what constitutes my identity owes a lot to the local underground scene.
Back to the question – my ultimate gig (playing as Smoke) would undoubtedly be one at the Mercat – techno has never sounded techno-ier and never before witnessing Paula Temple play have I experienced actual sweat dripping from the roof above a dancefloor. If you ever hear me saying “remember that night when…”, it’s most likely got to do with the Mercat.
Q: How do you two perceive the Melbourne techno scene currently? How has it progressed over the last few years?
The techno scene in Melbourne has been extremely thriving over the previous five years and we’ve shown that we have what it takes to be a key player internationally – despite our small size and our distance from Europe. An impressive number of techno heavy-weights have performed here in the space of just a few years: Pfirter, Developer, Krenzlin, Drumcell, Phase, Norman Nodge, Paula Temple and Reeko. And even if you don’t factor those big name acts into the equation, our underground community is powered and supported by a huge group of top-notch local DJ’s, Producers and Live Acts.
I actually had the very good fortune of being discovered through soundcloud by Batton (David Keane) who runs the record label One4SevenOne Records, Who signed me onto his label to release my debut EP (Chronotype) in October of last year: Which gave me the opportunity to not only be part of a great team of up and coming artists, but allowed me to find several similar producers and DJs who I’ve now worked with either on collaborations, having them play a guest slot on my TRNSMT show, Node, or even just making good friends with.
I’ve especially grown to like the amount of live hardware techno that’s been on offer at various gigs I’ve been to and have ended up making friends with a lot of the guys doing them. There’s so many I could mention, but I always love the stuff that D-rex does, Andy Muscat (either as ACM or with Johnathan Terlato as Tercat) as well Back Burners. I know that Juxtpose, Enclave and Split Silo do some pretty cool live stuff.
The best thing about techno and the Melbourne techno scene is that everyone is so welcoming, accepting and open minded. You go to 2 or 3 gigs and quickly feel accepted as part of the community, and the same goes for the production and DJ community here, too. I’ve done a lot of my networking of other DJ’s and Producers through social media and have gained a repertoire with them before even meeting face to face. And that’s most definitely helped me move forward not only in my career, my production skills, my personal musical style but also my friendship circles, too. I’ve made some extremely passionate, caring, interesting and amazing friends through our techno community, and I’m so massively appreciative of that.
One person I can still not thank enough is Matthew Drape (Lateral/Backroom reality) as he was pretty much the first ever person I added from the techno scene onto facebook and just started talking to about production (inundating him with lots of questions whilst I did) whilst I was honing my producer skills, and his enthusiasm, patience and passion for music kept my inspiration going whilst I was In that relatively unknown, unsigned producer stage. He remixed one of my debut EP’s tracks and we’re now working on more collaborations for the foreseeable future, too, and he is definitely one of the people I admire and have the utmost respect for as an artist, he’s the sort of techno producer who I think encapsulates what the Melbourne techno scene is all about.
I’ve “been around” throughout my teens in terms of hobbyist and music scenes, from playing Warhammer to moshing at hardcore shows, and I can say without doubt that nothing has felt closer to home than the Melbourne techno scene. While there are too many amazing people to name here, my sentiment on the matter matches that of Andre’s. Smoke wouldn’t be what it is, nor would my own music or interests be what they are, if it weren’t for the great community that has been consistently encouraging and supportive. I haven’t been a part of this for long enough to tell you how it’s progressed over the years, but the fact that Bunker’s third birthday is just around the corner and that we’ve had an absolute plethora of huge international acts come through within the last year speaks volumes. In the short time I’ve been around, I’ve seen new collectives pop up (namely Konnekt’d and Arteq Productions) and progress exponentially, and I’ve been almost more pre-occupied in discovering local talent than I have international.
I’ve been to many a party that consists of little more than debauchery and gack-chat, which isn’t a bad thing unto itself but I’ve noticed a vast contrast when comparing to the more underground techno events – events in which I can have in-depth discussions about the genre and music production, and leave the venue with gained knowledge and mental stimulation rather than just sore knees and a hangover.
This would be a perfect moment to give a huge shoutout to TRNSMT.tv – the platform in which I played my first public set and the launchpad for a significant amount of what Andre, myself and the Node crew have achieved.