A day with: Smash TV
Pubs, pints & records, we spent the day with Berlin based duo Smash TV
Holger Zilske and Kai Preussner, self-appointed gardeners, baristas and dating coaches, better known as the internationally renowned Liveact, DJ, and Producer team; Smash TV.
Adopted into the Get Physical family, the duo didn’t have much of a choice than to produce their highly acclaimed long-player “Noise & Girls”.
What do DJs do in their spare time before a show? We spent a day with boys and got to know them a little bit better:
Holger - as the founder of Smash TV and a producer on BPitch Control since 1999, how do you think your sound has evolved considering the overwhelming resurgence of techno over the last few years?
Ooooh, 17 years in 5 minutes, a tricky one. The way I make music has changed totally. In the beginning, I came from a synthesizer background and was totally composing music, not for the dancefloor, I was making more songs, music that could not be mixed, it was totally different. I’ve now been DJing for 12 years, and we always stick to the music we want to play, we want to buy, and this gives us a completely different perspective on the way we compose. At the same time, my taste in music continues to change and evolve, and I say it always does for every artist, with that in mind, it’s still so important that I play the music I want to play, make the music I want to make, hear the music I want to hear.
Preussner - how did you meet Holger and when did you realise you could both create a special vibe and sound that would set you apart from other up-and-coming artists?
We met at university and studied Economics, what was a terrible decision. I’m initially a guitar player, Holger asked me to play guitar for one of his albums, that was in 2003. I was also DJing more Hip-Hop and Drum n’ Bass, not really Techno, although I was already partying at places like Tresor. After the album it just made sense, we got along and worked together great. I remember we used to go record shopping separately and meet after, one time we met, and we had brought 7 records that were the same. The great thing about working together is that we have enough similarities in taste what creates sync, but also have enough differences that we each bring something new to the table creatively.
Working as a duo, how do you approach spending time in the studio - who does what?
Sometimes we can come together with ideas and bring them together, sometimes we don’t have any ideas and just try things out. The best thing about being a duo is you have two minds in every creative process. What we have learned is we make some music, leave it on the side for a week, then we listen to it again, and if we still think it’s a great idea, and both have the same meaning in the track, then we start to finish it.
Smash TV takes on a tongue in cheek attitude to underground music, as well as incorporating a high level of tune selection and mixing. Considering you’ve been doing this for over a decade, do you think the music industry sometimes takes itself too seriously and should be more laid back when it comes to attitudes within the industry?
I would say yes. The magic about this scene and industry is you can lose yourself in it, no matter how problematic your life is, you can go to a party and have an f****** amazing time, it has (or had) no ego. What’s changed and almost taken over a bit in this industry is POP music principals, these days we have big stars, and some artists Instagram page and likes might be the only interesting thing about them as a DJ.
So you’re on in an hour, you’ve seen the club and the crowd, what do you expect from the night and your set?
I’m super impressed with the club, it’s constantly changing, I always get lost and say “hey, what room is this?” haha. It looks great, was busy, the crowd looked great, they look the type where you don’t have to hold back and experiment you can do what you want and they will accept it.