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Youandewan on the controls this month for the latest addition to the Phonica Mix Series!
Ewan Smith has been consistently forging his own tender brand of deep house since 2009. Thanks to some first-class remixes and some skilled original productions on well-regarded labels such as AUS Music, Hypercolour, secretsundaze or Simple, the Berlin via Yorkshire DJ and producer is compiling an increasingly impressive discography.
At times melancholic, at times uplifting, Ewan's delicate and emotive moods have a unique personality that patiently catches your ear. In a similar fashion, Youandewan has managed to maneuver himself into an enviable underground position in the last few years, slowly but surely cementing his place on every step of his career.
With an album on AUS Music on the horizon, the Brit producer is about to unleash his most mature and elaborated work to date. Classy selections and thoughtful programming clearly reflect his evolution on this month's podcast. Listen to Youandeawan's mix and check out the short interview below.
As usual, you can also check previous editions of our mix series on our soundcloud. Enjoy!
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Hey Ewan, how is everything in Berlin?
Yeo! All good, cheers. Just enjoyed another sweet summer here and now getting ready to settle in for the winter.
You moved there a while ago, has the city and its healthy local scene influenced you as an artist?
Been here almost 3 years now, which is nuts because it's flown by. Having the luxury of quality events on most weekends deffo has its benefits. Just being able to listen to lots of classy tunes is always good for inspiration.
What was your approach to this mix? Did you have a particular vibe to get across? What inspired your selections?
I just wanted to put together something that resembles my DJ sets. There's plenty old and new tunes in there of a similar vibe that I think work nicely together.
Your album ‘There Is No Right Time’ is expected to land in October 2016. Did the format affect the musical direction? Was the process of writing the album different to how you would craft an EP?
Deffo. I'm into quite a lot of bands and electronica, too, so I never really intended on producing a 'clubby' lp. I had a mood and vibe in mind that I think I captured eventually.
It was quite a stressful process, but it came together in the end.
What were the main tools you used to produce the album? As an artist what is your relationship with music technology?
It was pretty much made in bedroom studios over the last 3 years. I rented a proper studio for a year with all the trimmings, but it didn't really work out because I just felt pressured to work in there. Working at home deffo has it's pros & cons but it's probs where I'm most creative.
I have a pretty simple set-up with a couple synths and some nice effects racks that I run through Ableton. I've bought and sold quite a lot of stuff as I barely used them.
Your productions are often a quiet storm of subdued energy. Does the album intend to impart a particular emotional narrative to the listener?
It took quite a while to finish because most of the tracks were actually written in winter. So the music probably just resembles my mood during those times.
Club music today often harks back to its own past. What do you think should be the balance between looking backwards for inspiration and being innovative and forward thinking as an artist?
Well, styles will always be regurgitated, it's just probs the artists that combine those quality core ingredients with a bit of originality and flair that stand out. In terms of dance music, there's a noticeable aesthetic difference between tracks from the 80s/90s and a lot of tracks from today. A fair amount of modern electronic music can sometimes be a tad clean and rigid - probs due to modern production methods - so it's no surprise that the older stuff often prevails.
You are part of the AUS family. What's your relationship with the team and how did it all come together?
An old friend of mine started working for the label after I began releasing music, and I think he encouraged Will and co. to listen to my demos. We soon met and played together and got along nicely. I'm grateful to those doods for giving me the opportunity to do an album.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future? Will you be touring the album?
Yeah, I'm doing a lil Australian tour with Andy Hart in Nov, then after that, a few dates in Japan and the US, too, then seeing off the year back in Berlin at Panorama Bar.
I also have a new ep coming out in November and plan to work on another 12 for 2017.