Ivan Smagghe belongs to a top table of DJs that journalists like to lazily describe as “The DJ’s DJs”. Along with the likes of occasional partner-in-crime Andrew Weatherall, Ivan has the ability to play music like a raw conduit between his famously obscure records and the dancefloor’s strobe-soaked bodies, injecting something of himself seamlessly into the mix along the way.
His genre defying/defining production work originally in Black Strobe and now in It’s A Fine Line has connected him to and garnered the praise of (amongst others) James Murphy, Trevor Jackson, Ata, Optimo and the aforementioned Weatherall. All fellow crusaders in the fight to prove that electronic music can be so much more than a one dimensional soundtrack for a night on the lash.
His project with Tim Paris, It's A Fine Line, has already put out numerous remixes (from Superpitcher to the XX, Discodeine to) and releases that can't be pigeonholed (electro rockabilly on Kompakt to italo rickety disco on Marketing Music). Their long-awaited album is nearly completed and should be out by the end of the year.
Aside from his A&R role for now more than10 years old label Kill The DJ (who have released the first EP of RMVN, Ivan’s project with Roman Flugel, also to be re-initiated this year), Ivan has also started this year ‘Les Disques de la Mort’ (LDDLM)
This new home will show how broad Ivan's taste in music is: new kids & old friends (Erol Alkan remixing Margot for 001, Zongamin remixing Manfredas for 002), seven inches (by Daft Punk's Guy-Manuel's brother or library wunder kid Yorav) and reissues (003 is composed of edits of israeli cold wave).
LLDLM is the, as Ivan calls it, the 'style of no style', the refusal to be pigeonholed. The website (www.lesdisquesdelamort.org) will fuse Ivan's past blog activities (expect freebies, edits, art, rants, reviews and much more) into some kind of soap box for his ideas.
Ivan is also back on the airwaves , hosting CHANNELING, a fortnightly strange feast on London’s uber-cool ICA linked radio NTS (every other Tuesday 1800-2000GMT, all shows available on mixcloud :
As far as solo work is concerned, finishing the IAFL album will open the door to new ventures: remixing (his remix of VoXloW was instantly picked up by Rebolledo for his forthcoming CD; he has remixed Asphodells, Le carousel and has more lined up for Colors or My Favorite Robot), new partnerships (ICAR with C.A.R for some Chris & Cosey type of lo-fi dance music, a 12" with Simian Mobile Disco, going back to work with Ewan Pearson).
Aside from music, Ivan will also start his own book publishing collection later this year in Paris, and he runs a very secret cinema appreciation society online.
You can catch Ivan subverting the masses on any given weekend, at venues such as Panorama Bar/Berlin, Robert Johnson/Frankfurt, Bugged Out & Fabric/London, Rex/Paris, Arma17/Moscow, Trouw/Amsterdam, Lux/Lisbon and many more dancing dens of iniquity worldwide.
Go to http://www.lesdisquesdelamort.org/ for more info, thoughts, and edits.