|Advance Ticket (Includes Free Vodka)||$10.00|
Alex Smoke (UK)
Sat 28 Jul 2012 @ 11:00pm
Sandwiches and What Happened to the Techno present Glaswegian techno lord, rambler, and social tease ALEX SMOKE.
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Alex Smoke is restless. He's hungry to explore new electronic ground. And he prefers never to trace his careful steps.
While his music may reside on the dancefloor along with his renowned live sets, it also resonates so much further than this. With a production style drawn from a myriad of influences that blur the boundaries between electronica, techno, classical and hip hop, Alex Smoke's music evolves in new directions with every new project he undertakes. Musically it's consistently fulfilling, regardless of the listener's preferred genre.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alex's proficiency in multi-faceted electronic-beat-making is founded securely on a lifetime of classical training, nurtured not least by his mother, by professional violinist and music teacher. At a young age, Alex received a coveted scholarship for Durham Cathedral Choir School, where he excelled on the cello, piano and drums. In fact, the very same voice that adorns his techno tracks, was once heard in Durham Cathedral Choir, albeit an octave higher. After a brief glitch, studying marine biology, Alex soon got back on his path, wisely using his student loan to buy his first decks and some simple software, giving his imagination the necessary tools to begin producing.
Fast forward to the early 2000's and his vision was condensed into a dance culture obsession that saw him revolutionize and tinker with the very DNA of techno. Where once Basic Channel diverted the course of electronic music through an understanding and re-appropriation of dub forms into overly mechanized techno: 10 years later Smoke took the same restlessness with modern inflections and introduced and embedded a complete understanding of more classical forms in techno's durable soul.
His results were startling. Soma Records released 'Incommunicado' and 'Paradolia' in 2005 and 2006 respectively and thus ushered in a new era of dance music being ferried by a deeper and more musical sophistication. His compositions took the genre beyond its naïve limitations, gifting it a sensibility above its years and marking Smoke out as a true individual spirit.
These mission statements understandably took root quickly. Within weeks he was traveling to play live across the globe. This went hand-in-hand with becoming an in-demand remixer. Steve Reich, Depeche Mode, Mylo, Junior Boys, Funk D'Void, Radio 4, Jay Haze and Envoy all fell obligingly into his swelling discography further urging on his appetite and audacity.
In 2008 Alex had the opportunity to fully realise his love of classical music when he was commissioned by Dundee City Council to compose an entirely orchestral work which was performed by the prestigious Scottish Ensemble for their 'Designs For Life' project. This foray was a vital experiment on the road to unifying his polarities of sound.
His third album, 'Lux' we find therefore acting as a counter weight to this. Nailed in March 2010, we saw a more visceral departure point employed. 'Lux' was released on his own label Hum+Haw and hinted at the expansive vision of what was to come. Warped and twisted, his techno retained a classical understanding but was being consumed by darker forces. We were going down to a place we never knew existed. Smoke revealed a blacker side to his soul.
Perhaps then it was no surprise that just a year later Smoke started to dance with the devil, literally. 2011 heard him score a production of Faust, written to accompany F.W.Murnau's seminal 1926 silent film of the same name. This work was expansive in that it comprised a large electronic and sound design element, interwoven with hidden references to various Faustian pacts of our times, from our devotion to consumerism to Aleister Crowley to Middle East politics.
Now the darkness is here to stay, 2012 will see Alex return with a new, more vocal-led alias of 'Wraetlic', a project that will focus on a shorter song-based structure and a full AV live show created by Arch Project, Japan, premiering at Mutek in June. The self-titled album will be airing on Convex Industries in September 2012.
It takes his Faustian descent and warped impressions found on 'Lux' and dives to unfathomed depths of claustrophobia, unsettled drones and surfaces along with a pseudo-paranoid preoccupation with plummeting sonic percussion.
He at once sounds utterly contemporary yet strangely alien. It's an uncompromising work, and one that's as arresting as all Smoke's equally singular statements over the last eight years of his dynamic career. 'Wraetlic' unifies both sides of his split musical personalities. The classical swoon with a huge understanding of composition, yet grafted to the nocturnal and narcotic wild tendencies of dance music's continual and vital revision.
FULL SUPPORT LINE UP TBA.
Wellington CBD, New Zealand
A restaurant, bar, and nightclub rolled into one Sandwiches caters to a wide and discerning market. Whether you're looking to share a meal with friends, enjoy mid week jazz with some of the countries finest musicians, or dance until daylight first hits - the night is yours.
Cnr Majoribanks Street & 8 Kent Terrace
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