In Conversation
Ivan Smagghe & Chloe Discuss New Projects and er... Man Trance

Great back to back sets come off spectacularly when each party involved holds true to their own elements, bringing their own penchants to the mix while still enough mutual territory to stir up a special kind of synergy. All you need do to be reminded of what can happen when two DJs compliment each other is to take a look back at set we shared the other week (embedded below) when our resident Craig Richards went back to back with Ivan Smagghe in Japan where Smagghe's electro punkish riffs bounced off Richard's dubbier moments perfectly. The next B2B union we are about to celebrate here in EC1 again sees Smagghe taking the spotlight, but this time he'll be playing alongside long time friend and Kill The DJ collaborator, Chloé, who is set to add her dark and sensual avant-garde leaning selections to the mix.

With such a complimentary history behind them - both of them sharing the city of Paris for so long (even though Smagghe now bases himself in London) as well as both being able to call the same record label home - we passed the interview reigns directly over to the pair to shed a light on their latest projects such as Chloe's Lumière Noire Rex Club residency her collection of the same name on Kill the DJ Records and the multitude of things bubbling away in the background. Ooh and we discover a little more about a sound known only as 'man trance'.

Ivan Smagghe: The phrase Lumière Noire is an oxymoron right?

Chloé: Yes, Lumière Noire literally means 'blacklight'. The idea was to give a double sense to this collection I’ve created for Kill the DJ Records. Basically, it reminds me about the club lights of course but you can also take it to another step, the name also reveals what I'm going for: music between shadows and light, tracks that light up the dancefloor with electronic epics and psychedelic adventures.

The first release is Il est Vilaine’s Surf Rider EP which will be released on 29th June on vinyl and digitally at the beginning of July. Lumière Noire is also the name of my night at Rex Club.

Ivan Smagghe: Playing records is cool and all, but does one get bored with DJing?

Chloé: Being a DJ isn’t as easy as we think. It is full of travel and only sleeping for a very few hours and it takes up so much energy. But on the other hand, and I think you know as much as I do, it’s difficult to stop. I often wonder if one day I'll be able to say 'STOP' to it all but I am so addicted - my entire life is about clubs and music.

Ivan Smagghe: Should we be excited about the future of Kill The DJ?

Chloé: Yes we should! I feel we have new inputs in the label that we will feel [the effects of] soon. It has already begun, new artists like Nova Materia, Yula, Clara 3000 and other projects like C.A.R that are so exciting and there's still more to come. Obviously the collection, Lumière Noire, that I’ve just started also brings something new to the label...

Ivan Smagghe: "MAN-TRANCE"? Discuss...

Chloé: [Laughs] I didn’t know there was a category called for these anthemic, male vocal, heavy melody techno tracks, so thanks for the tip. Now I'm wondering if there's a Facebook page for it? A lot of these tracks are just replicas of some excellent tracks from producers like Âme or Maceo Plex - it's so boring.

Ivan Smagghe: What will your next album be like?

Chloé: Again, it seems like it will be 'in between styles', probably closer to my live sets more than my DJ sets. Not especially dancefloor focused. Mental, psychedelic, sonic, weirdo vocals, modern with vintage sounds. All of these elements combined.

What’s the link between Les Disques de la Mort & Kill the DJ?

Ivan Smagghe: None and a lot. It's a separate venture because I live in a separate country, but there have been collaborations (the huge Roman Flügel C.A.R. remix came out on both labels) and there may soon be more. I put out good records and we put out good records. It 'stays in the family' and we all have to gain from each other.

Chloé: How far are you finished with the It’s a Fine Line album ?

Ivan Smagghe: There's one song left to mix but it is finished. Yes, for real, it is finished. There'll be more news after the summer.

Chloé: Do you feel like you have influenced some artists?

Ivan Smagghe: That is really something I don't want to think about. The responsibility? The "bad" influence? Yes, I probably have but I would not lay claim to it.

Chloé: It looks C.A.R is working on new tracks, is this the case?

Ivan Smagghe: She's her own work, I am only entitled a glimpse at points (usually quite late in the process). We should be working on pre-production/arrangements on her next LP next month so yes, the bee has been busy.

Chloé: Should we continue to cultivate the difference in Kill the DJ?

Ivan Smagghe: I don't know what else we could cultivate really. It's all we've got left, right?

Chloe photo credit: Bruno Clément

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