Ivan Smagghe will DJ at the Grounded Festival alongside local acts like Red Axes and Yotam Avni and other techno stalwarts such as Lawrence and Robag Wruhme.
Ivan Smagghe Interview:
You’re going to be part of the Grounded Festival, which will take place in Eilat this upcoming November. The city is used to host dance festivals with a more mainstream/EDM like appeal. Are the organizers intending to turn Eilat into the next Ibiza?
I think you should ask the organizers, they will be very pleased with your question. As far as I’m concerned, I think they’re trying to do the exact contrary. Why would they book me if not so?
You’ve been in Israel multiple times, at various Tel Aviv venues. Is there any set or party that stands out from your visits here that comes to mind?
I have my crew in T.A. They know who they are. No need for names. They are now friends, not promoters or DJs. I loved Jerusalem too, a proper punk scene where you’d expect nothing. Pergamon is an amazing place.
Since this isn’t your first time here, what is your impression of Tel Aviv and its club scene?
Tel Aviv is party central, with the good and I supposed the bad. It’s important to preserve the good but also the bad. You want bad clubs for idiots so they don’t come and annoy you in the good places. Tel Aviv is a tourist destination now, cater for all, I’ll stay with the locals.
There are no best DJ. That’s a myth. There is a good DJ for a certain moment and that’s it.
Talking about club scenes, London has lost its staple with the closing of Fabric, another club joining an unfortunate list of clubs closed in the past decade, such as Turnmills, The End and Plastic People. Is this trend going to continue, or do you believe there’s still a chance to save London?
I make a point not to make a stand on general questions. Especially when answers are obvious: the closure of Fabric has got nothing to do with the death of two kids but with the regeneration of an area.
Speaking of Fabric, back in 2005 you released your part of the classic mix series, with Fabric 23. How did you take the news of the club’s closing?
I live with the Fabric main PR person, I’ve played there for 10 years, Craig is one fo my best friends, How do you think I took it? On the chin.
Ivan Smagghe Interview:
While London is losing its heart and soul, the focus in recent years has shifted to Berlin, with Berghain being the focal point. The place has recently been given a high culture status, which will aid them with a lower tax rate. This is highly significant for a club, which has gained a monumental reputation, to the point that even Conan O’Brien filmed a sketch for his show outside the facility. How do you view all this?
I view it as a poor city trying to get money any way they can. That’s fair enough. I don’t like institutions, whatever they are. “High Culture” will get fossilized in a bit. I don’t really care, that’s their game. I have my own deck of cards.
What is your favorite club these days, one that makes you feel like home, enabling you to play things you wouldn’t necessary play at other venues?
20/44 in Belgrade by a 1000 miles.
Until 2006 you were part of Black Strobe. These days you’re teaming up with Tim Paris as part of It’s A Fine Line. How crucial is the chemistry between the two of you, playing and releasing an album together?
That’s 10 pages of an answer. I’ll sum it up for you, though: we are different but there is no ego fight between us.
Besides Tim, who’s the DJ you enjoy playing the most with, and who’s the best DJ at the moment, in your opinion?
There are no best DJ. That’s a myth. There is a good DJ for a certain moment and that’s it. Recently, playing with Vladiimir Ivkovic has been really enjoyable.
The DJ’s role in culture has shifted vastly from someone who stands behind the deck playing records, to a pop phenomenon opening sports ceremonies, in this case your fellow Parisian David Guetta playing at the Euro 2016. What is your take on the current DJ status and how do you feel it should actually be?
I just play records. And I don’t give lessons. I actually know David Guetta quite well. In a way, he’s more honest than a lot of people who pretend to be “underground” and get €50000 per gig. Another debate And I’m not judging anyone. You can if you want, just not under my watch…