Podcast 393: Alex Smoke

With a new studio album in the works, Smoke takes to his Glasgow studio to compile this week’s XLR8R podcast.
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With a lineage that runs from Harri and Dominic, the Optimo duo and Slam to the likes Rustie, Hudson Mohawke and the LuckyMe crew, Glasow has seen no shortage of brilliant electronic-music mavens—and Alex Smoke (a.k.a. Alex Menzies) sits comfortably within this category. An acclaimed label head, remixer, DJ and live artist, Smoke’s catalog of artistic endeavors has grown steadily ever since he broke onto the scene in 2002 with the Random As EP, a stunning debut release that captured the minimal techno sound for which he has become so widely extolled.

Over a decade later, however, and Smoke today is not the same artist he once was. While his vast musical knowledge and competence, picked up during a childhood which saw him play in a choir and train classically on both the cello and piano, are as in play as ever, his output has seamlessly but steadily drifted from European minimal dance floor beats to a more ambient and experimental sound. With a new studio album in the works, and more projects scheduled before the end of the year, Smoke took to his Glasgow studio to compile this week’s XLR8R podcast, with the results reflecting his artistic transformation and showcasing his spectacular musical talents.

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01 Autechre "Melve" (Warp)
02 Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma "Strange Dreams" (RVNG Intl.)
03 Burning Star Core "The Point of Departure" (NoFi)
04 Aphex Twin "Vordhosbn" (Leila cover) (Warp)
05 Oliver Coates "Raimondas Rumsas" (PRAH)
06 Junior Loves "Ignacio's Daydream" (1080)
07 Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd)
08 Alva Noto "Xerrox Isola" (Raster Noton)
09 OOBE "Radiation" (1080)
10 Arca "Wound" (Mute)
11 Alice Coltrane "Yamuna Tira Vihari" (Avatar Book Institute)
12 Damaindeh Bau "Mo-Mo" (Rounder)
13 Der Zyklus "Eigenface (Facial Asymetry)" (Clone)
14 Burning Star Core "I Wanna Make A Supersonic Woman Out Of You" (NoFi)
15 Errorsmith & Mark Fell "Cuica Digitales" (PAN)
16 Yahshu "Somebody Else's Dream" (Rysunku)
17 Alex Menzies "Robots Upbeat 7" (Kathexis)
18 Aphex Twin "rhubarb orc. 19.53 rev" (self-released)
19 Fugue - "Out Of Darkness" (unreleased)