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Blackstrobe's Black Moods

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

French electro-house star producer Ivan Smagghe from Black Strobe, Volga Select and a myriad of other production teams kicked off promotion for his upcoming Fabric compilation (Fabric 23) this week by admitting he fully deserved his renowned Parisian outlook on life.

"My reputation for being moody as fuck comes from working in the shop on a come down," he confessed, "but also from not being part of this bunch of people."

The small bunch he was referring to was Paris' dance music scene of the early 90s, which he admitted he'd found tricky to penetrate having grown up listening to rock.

"You gotta' remember being born in 1971, I was 14 or 15 in 1985, before electronic dance music exploded. I mean it existed, but I was 14 in a suburb of Paris - I was not going to know about underground music. I don't pretend I did," said Ivan. "When I was a kid, dance music was bad because nightclubs were seen by people like me as places where yobs would go to get drunk and pinch arses."

He also admitted that his record shop job was a key stepping stone for his now skyrocketing career.

"I've always bought a lot of records and I ended up working in a record shop to pay for them. That was mid 90s. I was also writing; I was a music journalist before getting on the other side," he recalled.

"Then from working in a record shop and having a lot of records, a friend of mine who was throwing parties asked me to DJ." From the start, however, he made sure to maintain parallel careers including presenting a radio show on Radio Nova.

"For years I didn't want to only DJ because I didn't want it becoming a necessity. Now it's fine because I can pick my gigs - but I didn't want it to be like "oh, I've got to do this gig for just the money' - that's awful", he said.

Fabric 23- Ivan Smagghe, is out shortly on Fabric.