Phil Smart has played music for people in clubs, bars, warehouses, fields, forests, deserts, basements, car parks and bunkers around the world for more almost thirty years. He’s renowned for playing fresh sounds and forward thinking electronic music. His skills has been credited from various awards, such as Australian DJ Of The Year at the National Dance Music Awards in 2000 and twice voted into DJ Magazine’s prestigious list of the worlds Top 100 DJs.
He has played at the premier events around Australia including Subsonic, S.A.S.H, Spice, Motorik, Picnic, Love, Sabotage, Tweekin, Mad Racket, Chinese Laundry, Honkytonks and Revolver, and festivals such as Lost Paradise, Burning Seed, Big Day Out, Field Day, Falls Festival, Global Carnival and Splendour In The Grass. He also held an infamous long-standing residency at Tweekin, the Sydney clubbing institution described by DJ Magazine in the UK as “coming under the very short list of proper clubs around the world”.
Amongst his international DJ experiences includes Funky Teknotribe, Spundaes, Basics, Sunset and Green Gorilla [SF], PS1 [NY], Shambhala [BC], Black Rock City [NV], Bedrock and Club UK [London], and E-Werk [Berlin]. As an indication of musical versatility, Phil has been chosen to play alongside visiting DJs as diverse as Michael Mayer, Steve Bug, James Holden, John Tejada, Adam Freeland, Sven Vath, Derrick Carter, Sasha, John Digweed and Jose Padilla.
Apart from being a well known DJ with a big skillset he’s also been promoter or co-promoter of some of Sydney’s most legendary parties and club nights, including Sabotage, The Project, NY2K, Jus Right and Organic. On top of that he’s also co-founder of record labels Think and Thunk, which were responsible for early releases by Infusion and Pocket amongst others. Phil Smart has also released original material and remixes under various guises, including Headland, Earthlink, Altitude and Sprocket, and in collaboration with Francis Xavier, Dave Basek, Jimi Polar and Jon Williams on labels like Motorik, Junkbeats and Future Classic.
As a long term DJ and artist, you would have gone through many fluctuations in your popularity and personal drive to maintain your presence in the dance music industry. How do you think you have been able to maintained both your relevance and drive in the scene?
I think I managed to keep at it this long because I don’t play just one thing and I don’t do it all the time. I enjoy pushing forward with new sounds – which keeps it relevant, and playing a variety of styles – which keeps it interesting.
Tell us what you believe to be your personal height of achievement in your career and what lasting effects that has had?
Probably the community that coalesced around Tweekin and Sabotage, they were the best times and many people still hold them as seminal. I know a bunch of people that met there and went on to get married, have kids etc… which is a pretty long lasting effect!
If there is one choice you made in your music career that you got the option to change, what would that be and why?
I often wonder what would have happened if I’d moved to San Francisco, where I spent a lot of time, but we did such great things over here I wouldn’t really want to change it either.
Do you believe you will ever stop being a part of the music industry?
Even from early on, I always figured I could DJ in some form or another forever, and I definitely haven’t made my last record yet. I imagine I could play ambient and downtempo sets into yonder though… While ever it’s fun and creative I’ll keep doing it.
We’re very excited to have a veteran like Phil Smart starting off our 10th Mini-Mix series. This podcast is an amazing mix of intricate deep techno tracks and sophisticated beats, with each transition smoothly building up the tension. Press play and please enjoy this Mini-Mix by Phil Smart!
KONTRAST COLLECTIVE is a group of creative spirits who loves to combine raw sounds, dark, thumping beats and intense, edgy musical experiences with extraordinary visual elements in an experimental and innovative way. Apart from organising events we love to shine light on Australia’s best upcoming and veteran DJ’s. The tenth round of the KONTRAST Mini-Mix series marks an historical step for KONTRAST and will run from January 4th to 25th. Because of this we have chosen to give each artist the same 4 questions together with the podcast to see how they has experienced their musical career.
Mini-Mix Series #10: