Oliver Smith has been described as “an excellent DJ” by Armin van Buuren, “the best thing to happen in trance” by Mixmag and “sensational” by DJ magazine. In recent years the highly successful UK trance DJ and producer has released over 50 records and remixes and has performed as a DJ in many of the biggest clubs around the world. Oliver’s music is regularly played by leading DJs such as Tiesto, Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren and Above & Beyond. In addition to this, Oliver’s work as one half of the highly acclaimed production duo Smith & Pledger has assured him a place as one of the leading figures in the trance scene.
Oliver’s latest remix, “Breakthrough” is yet another prime example of the melodic, musical talent that has defined him as an artist.
You have played at numerous “superclubs” around the world, like Godskitchen , Turnmills and Passion; when you play at clubs like these, do you still get a “wow” feeling from it, or is it just routine now?
It’s always a thrill for me to play in any club. Big clubs like Godskitchen or Matter (the new club here in London) tend to have a great following and very knowledgeable crowd so that makes them particularly good. Also, the bigger clubs often have a great sound and lighting setup, which is the icing on the cake. Having said that, smaller and more intimate venues also have their charm so I’m glad I get to play both.
What inspired you about “Breakthrough” to complete a remix of the track?
The main thing that caught my ear in Breakthrough was the stuttered vocal that forms one of the main hooks in the remix. It’s quite a memorable and addictive combination of sound and melody. My overall approach for the remix was to pick out a few key elements and put them together with my own sounds to make my own personal interpretation of the track.
Your music has been played by some of the biggest names in trance. What drew you to the trance genre?
I’m a music fan in general but what attracts me to trance and progressive house is the powerful emotional content it can have. It also features a lot of epic soundscapes that really appeal to me and I like the idea of working with synths, samples and drum machines so it’s the perfect format for my music.
Working with major labels such as Sony and Universal, were your expectations different than working with smaller labels?
With major labels they are generally after a more commercial sound. It can be a difficult task to make something that pleases the major label bosses and also the more credible DJ’s. Smaller labels tend to be a bit more into trance and electronic music in general so they understand better when I go for a less obvious path with a remix. Often I find that doing the less obvious thing is the most successful for me.
In terms of djing, what has been the hardest crowd to work with? Is there a particular area you like to play better than others?
I’m constantly surprised at how good the crowds are all around the world. There are so many passionate and knowledgeable fans and people who know how to party. Different countries or regions have slightly different taste so in some places I play a bit more of my progressive or techno influences but in other places they are more up for uplifting trance. I try to have my own take on the music and take the crowd on a journey throughout the night.
Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, Paul van Dyk—all considered to be leaders in the trance scene, are all regularly playing your tracks. Is this a lot of pressure? Or business as usual?
I don’t feel under pressure, as I don’t write my tracks specifically for Armin or Tiesto etc. I prefer to please myself and make the best music I can whilst still staying true to my own taste and convictions. I think my tracks are often quite popular because they aren’t just for the clubs – I try to put in more detail and depth than a lot of producers so that my tracks can stand up to repeated listening at home as well. If I do feel any pressure it’s usually just my own desire to push my sound forward and keep improving.
When you start making a track, is there always a certain form you follow, or do you follow where the track leads you?
There is no set pattern to how I make a new track. I like to experiment with basic ideas first and then choose the best direction. Then I will flesh it out and turn it into a full production. On quite a few occasions I have almost finished a track and then scrapped it and gone back to the beginning as I feel I can do better. Ultimately I just want to make the best music I can and I work hard to do that.
How long does it usually take for you to produce a track, from start to finish?
It can be anything from a day or two to a month. It’s done when it’s done. Having said that though, I do find the ones that come together quicker are often the better ones.
Do you get a lot of inspiration from the different cities you travel to?
To be honest, a lot of the time I don’t really get to experience much of the cities I travel to. Often I will fly there on the evening of the gig, go to the club, and then fly back the next morning! I do like seeing different places and cultures though and when I get the chance to stay on a bit longer I like to have a look around. I’m planning on getting a portable sound recorder so that I can start gathering samples and atmospheres from all the places I go to for inclusion in my new tracks.
What potentials do you see for “Breakthrough”, Dancefloor or radio play?
It’s already seen support on the radio from Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond etc. and I’ve had a lot of good feedback from fans. It also works well in the club so hopefully you’ll get a chance to hear it next time you’re out!
What tools/software do you use most in music production? Are there certain instruments you prefer to others when working with your sounds?
My studio is based around Apple Logic Pro but I also have a pile of synthesizers and other audio toys that get put to good use. I’m a great fan of the Access Virus, Roland Juno2 and JP8080 but I’ll use whatever tool works for the sound I’m after at the time. The end result is the most important thing, not necessarily how I got there.
Are there any special tips or tricks that you might offer someone looking for advice in producing?
Remember that the central idea and the tune are the most important thing, everything else is just window dressing.
Do you have any upcoming gigs or projects that you might like to mention?
I’ve got a string of DJ dates coming up here in the UK over the next few months in Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow. I’m also still doing my regular slot on the Anjunabeats Worldwide radio show. Check my myspace page or website for the full details. On the record side of things, ‘Sunrise’, my collaboration with Boom Jinx, is due out in February, then, following that there will probably be an EP with my singles ‘Restless’ and ‘Horizons’. Finally, I’m hard at work on my album, which should be released later in the year. I certainly plan on keeping busy!
Vinny Troia’s ‘Flow’ once again continues to turn heads, this time receiving massive support from Tiesto. With sultry vocals from Jaidene Veda and a stellar remix from Gareth Emery, the track has withheld the test of time by continuing to re-appear in sets of the world’s biggest DJs.
Along its already large list of accomplishments, Flow reached #1 on Beatport and #24 on the Billboard Hot Club Play charts. It was also featured in Armin Van Buuren’s ‘A State of Trance 2006’ compilation, several of Paul Oakenfold’s ‘Perfecto on Tour’ Sirius Satellite Radio Shows, Markus Schulz’ Global DJ Broadcast, Matt Darey’s ‘Nocturnal Radio’ and Paul Van Dyk’s ‘Vonyc Sessions’.
To continue the long line of support for Flow, Tiesto has featured the song at #5 on his Beatport Summer 2008 chart. The video below shows a live clip of Tiesto playing ‘Flow’ at a show in Pheonix, USA.
“Sex, Drugs and Bacon Rolls.” That was Dan’s reply when he was asked what the movie title to his life would be.
Hailing from Sweden, Dan Lindeberg, aka Dumb Dan is a well known name in the EDM society. His productions have gotten the attention from some of the major international players and have landed his work on labels like Stone Boy, Whoop and Armada. After having a great run on the Beatport charts with his remix of Moussa Clark’s “Regret”, he is now focusing his time on his international DJ gigs and running his own label, Dumb Recordings.
In the midst of all his hard work, Dan’s latest release, a remix of Shawn Mitiska and Vinny Troia’s “House Revisited” has just been released on Curvve Recordings. Click here to check it out.
But being a successful producer, DJ and label manager is only one side of the story. Here are a few things that you may not know about him:
Q: Everyone dreams of being a superhero. Who would you be?
A: “I’d have to say the Phantom”, he said in a recent interview with Curvve. “It would be cool to live with a beauty queen in a cave in Africa that has a room full of high tech stuff.”
Q: Speaking of high tech, what is the one piece of equipment that you could not live without?
A: “Voxengo’s Curve EQ”
Q: With your interest in this tech environment, does that make you a PC guy or a Mac guy?
A: “I feel a little Mac sometimes, but I’m pretty sure I’m PC. “ He goes on to say, “Some of my best friends are Macs, I have nothing against them.”
Some of us have a routine when we play a set or when we produce. Dan is no different. His ritual includes “having a big pot of coffee all day long” and definitely wearing his lucky KISS t-shirt. This is the sort of preparation that has led him to produce an edgy, tech house driven remix of “House Revisited.” He also swears that he wore his lucky shirt during the entire production of the remix, which is why he can guarantee that it will be a hit.
Q: Did anything interesting or funny happen to you during the recording of your new remix?
A: Yes, Shawn Mitiska told me all about his favorite trance records.
Business aside, Dan believes that if his remix of “House Revisited” was an animal, it would definitely be an Okapi: an edgy looking animal that is a cross between a horse and a giraffe.
Interesting! But has this avant-garde way of thinking ever caused Dan to be stalked?
“Yes,” he replied, “but only by nice people.”
More Information about Dan available at
Following his previous success with Curvve, Probspot is at it again with a chart topping remix of Rowan and Jaytech’s track, “Noodles”.
Considered to currently be one of the top producers of electronic music today, Probspot has been in the scene in 1996. Over the years his originals and remixes have gained the attention of global djs Markus Schulz, Above & Beyond, Paul Oakenfold and Armin Van Buuren. Both his original track “Stalker” and remix of “Necromancer” for Curvve quickly climbed to the Beatport Top 10.
Making a debut on Paul van Dyk’s ‘Vonyc Radio‘, this remix of ‘Noodles’ is a funky progressive track that delivers a smooth consistent beat . The driving base makes ‘Noodles’ a great choice for the midnight dance floors.
‘Noodles’ marked Matt Rowan and Jaytech’s first release on Curvve. The original version is a cross between techy beats, electric sounds and spacey melodies that was favored by Andy Moor, Gareth Emery and Armin Van Buuren.
“You really have to listen to it a few times so that you can fully understand the complexity of the track, there is so many layers all stacked so neatly together, much like noodles actually. The raspy bass line is reminiscent of some of BT’s earlier works with the deep kick giving the track enough punch to shake the walls of any club. If you’re looking for something a little different to inject some life into that set of yours, you should give Noodles a listen. “ – DanceNode.com[audio:035-matt_rowan_and_jaytech-noodles_(probspot_remix).mp3|titles=Noodles (Probspot Remix)|artists=Matt Rowan and Jaytech]