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It is hard to imagine a list of prolific producers for 2011 without Christian Smithʼs name towards the top. Having consistently dominated charts and DJs playlists with a steady flow of releases on high profile labels like Bedrock, Systematic, 100% Pure, Soma, Global Underground, Mistakes Music, 1605 and his own Tronic imprint, there has barely been a month go by without news circulating of an exciting new Christian Smith production. As such, the techno tastemaker begins 2012 secure in his position as one of the most evergreen performers in his field. A DJ and producer who has operated at the top of his game for over a decade. Experienced enough to intuitively gauge what works best on the dance floor yet open-minded enough to move with shifting trends; Smith has accomplished the dual achievement of being both unshakably credible amongst his peers and popular within a global audience, as a whole new generation of fans discover Christianʼs trademark blend of high impact tech house and musical techno.
However, this latest chapter of what has been a varied and dynamic career will come as no surprise to those who have followed Christian Smith’s productions over recent years. Having delivered the crossover record of 2008 – Total Departure on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label – Christian followed up with a succession of fresh sounding club bombs that surfaced on John Digweed’s Bedrock label, Dubfire’s Sci+Tec, the legendary Renaissance, and Steve Lawler’s ultra cool Viva imprint throughout 2009. Next came chart-topping productions such as the Beatport #1 Air Miles track on 100% Pure, the anthemic remixes of Carl Craig’s seminal At Les, which proved to be a mainstay of Beatport’s Top 10 through summer 2010, and a run of club-smashing tracks such as Pitanga (Systematic), Cabecudas, System Of Survival, (Bedrock), The Price of Freedom (1605) and Automatic (100% Pure). 2012 promises more of the same with new projects for Bedrock, Systematic and 100% Pure as well as new material on Tronic including a collaboration EP with Florian Meindl and remixes for Marc Romboy and Bushwacka.
Supplementing Christianʼs original output has been a series of remixes of classic and current tracks which have propelled Smith to the position of being one of the most in-demand remixers within his scene. Underworld (Dark & Long), Laurent Garnier (Flashback), Funk D’Void (Diabla) and Robotman aka Richie Hawtin (Do Da Doo) have all been reborn thanks respectful but energized reworks of stone-cold club anthems, while artists as varied as John Digweed, Sharam, Steve Angelo, Bushwacka, Mauro Picotto, Marc Romboy, Rodriguez Jr, Darren Emerson, Gabriel Ananda, Spektre, D-Nox & Beckers and Doomwork have all turned to Christian for something extra on their releases. The net result has been the successful transformation of Christian from a member of the old school techno elite to one of the lead players in the current marketplace with a 22nd placing in Resident Advisors “most charted producer of all time” poll and an almost non-stop presence in the upper end of the Beatport sales charts – an achievement recognized by the award of 3rd place in Beatport’s 2010 “Best Techno Producer” poll.
The popularity of Christianʼs big-room, crossover sound with its melodic, euphoric highs and rhythmical funk energy is testament to the multi-genre draw of Christianʼs music. This breadth of appeal is evident in both the DJ support Christian receives and also in the gigs Christian plays. Regular supporters ranging from techno stalwarts like Richie Hawtin and Adam Beyer through to tech house DJs like 2000 And One and Stephan Bodzin, and even trance superstars like Tiesto and Sander Van Doorn. In addition to Christianʼs shows for Bedrock and Systematic at the Miami and ADE conferences respectively, 2011 saw Christian perform all over Europe, North America, Asia and South America with notable stops at Pacha Buenos Aeries, Womb Tokyo, Space Ibiza, Klubbers Day Madrid, Watergate Berlin, Lovelands Amsterdam, Space Miami, H2O Mexico City, The Loft Barcelona, Café DʼAnvers Antwerp, Ellui Seoul, Cocoon Frankfurt, The Egg London, Crobar Buenos Aires, Circus Montreal and Smart Bar Chicago. Proof, if it was needed, that it is possible for an already successful producer to reinvent their sound while maintaining their relevance and position at the very pinnacle of electronic music.