Smoove & Turrell Interview and Remix Album Release
Over previous weeks we have had the pleasure of reviewing and listening to some of the tracks from the excellent remix album of Smoove and Turrells Statos Bleu. An incredible array of great producers have been involved and the result is well worth your ears!
We were lucky enough to ask the guys a few questions about the album to give you all a deeper insight into the remix album and here is what the fellas had to say.
LondonHouseMusic: You’ve worked with some great producers in the past who have remixed tracks for you but this is the first complete album remix package. Is this something you have always wanted to do and if so why did this album feel so right to take this project on?
Smoove & Turrell: We’ve had remixes done for previous albums but never as a full album release – because Stratos Bleu is much more of a dance album compared to our previous albums, it leaned itself naturally to this idea. After 12+ years in the game we have built up a lot of great friends in the industry, really it was about getting that solid core of remixers who we loved and then we worked out from there.
LHM: When making the original album, had you already decided on the remix project and what was the impetus?
S&T: It really went hand in hand with the original concept. We knew we were taking a risk by going in a new direction and we didn’t want to completely alienate our fans. Having a remix package gave us the freedom to have our tracks taken into totally new areas. So far the response has been phenomenal. It gives us even more creative freedom on following albums.
LHM: How did you go about selecting the producers to work with on the remixes? We are aware of your relationship with one or two from previous collaborations but was there a wish list or process to this?
S&T: We collected a few names within our friends who we know could deliver the goods and our record label also chipped in with a few suggested artists. We have previously worked with Ashley Beedle, Hot Toddy, Krash Slaughta and Dr Rubberfunk and we really admired artists like Ray Mang, Fouk and Steve Cobby along with new comers Sorley, Rayka, Vandebilt and Twin Beam. Rayka actually hit up our label Jalapeno Records requesting the stems to try a remix after sending some demo work we thought “Yes” let’s see what they can do. They turned in two massive old Skool sounding rave anthems that we love! All the mixes work so well alongside one another. We dreamed of Steve Cobby remixing as John is a huge fan of his solo work and we both had a fond love of his early works as Fila Brazilia, so that was epic too. Ashley Beedle turned out a disco masterpiece, the extra layers he’s added are stunning and Fouks remix of Fade Away is so god damn groovy! Ray Mang utilises the original stems by extending everything and showing off the brilliant musicianship adding that Ray Mang disco bump he’s so famous for.
LHM: The remixes cover a multitude of styles and genres. Was this a natural result of the people you wanted to work with or did you approach producers with this variety of sounds in mind?
S&T: The whole thing about dance music is its diversity. We gave people free reign on their remixes, so it was a case of just waiting to see what came back. The fact that it all sounds great together is the result of picking the right artists and ultimately giving them the right material to work with. We are so proud of all of our collaborators on this album.
LHM: All of the tracks on the original album feature on the remix album with the exception of Still Don’t Know. Is there any particular reason for this? Will we see a remix of this in the future or is this project now put to bed with the release of the album?
S&T: Still Don’t know is actually a remake of an old Smoove & Turrell song called You Don’t Know which was remixed by Dutch super stars Kraak & Smaak. We loved their remix so much we thought we would recreate it for our live shows, which in turn made us decide to record a new version for Stratos Bleu- therefore it seemed pointless remixing the remix of the remix!
It’s a Kraak & Smaak remix all but in name!!
LHM: What is next creatively for you? With the lack of opportunities for performing in 2020 and uncertainty ahead, has this had any affect on your plans in this area or has it pushed you into any new direction creatively or project wise?
S&T: We have an amazing fan base who have always stuck by us through thick and thin so it’s been heart breaking not to be able to share our live show with them this year. We have done online gigs but the costs of doing it right are astronomical. We are renowned for our live shows so we don’t want to skimp when it comes to broadcasting something that our fans are paying for. Musically it’s difficult to dust yourself off when everything is against you but we have a great group of lads who are constantly keeping us going with new ideas and sketches.
The UK government have made a real pigs ear of the whole situation and made it impossible to gig, they’re killing the hospitality industry as a whole without any furlough plans for musicians or tech guys. To become a professional musician takes hundreds of thousands of hours of dedication and practice, this and the fact that the U.K. music industry brings billions into the coffers has largely been forgotten by a Government that really doesn’t care. We really hope to be on the road again all over the globe come 2021 but we will just have to wait and see what the new norm will be.
Check the player below for snippets of all 14 tracks from the album