Smashed is Romain Moly Escorsa. You might recognise the name because the Ibiza slash Barcelona based artist was in Cape Town just last November. You’re in luck if you missed his set at Remanufacture, because he’ll be returning this weekend for Alien Safari’s Masqued Ball. Catch Smashed kicking off the Sunday session from 06:30 to 07:30AM!
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Psymedia : Hey Romain! For the uninitiated, tell me a bit about your earlier years and how you became involved with Psytrance?
Smashed : Hi! First of all, thanks for having me. Well, I started DJing in a club in my local town at the age of 13, next to my much older friend, Julian. He would also become my first production partner in our project called Profound, which we started when I was 15. I quickly got involved in DJing at most of the Trance parties around Ibiza, which eventually lead me wanting to focus on producing even more
Psymedia : You were born in France, moved to the United States, and currently live in between Ibiza and Barcelona. Do your surroundings play a large influence in the music you make?
Smashed : Well, yes. I would even be blunt to say a lot. As a teenager growing up in Ibiza, I’ve been able to follow most of my favorite electronic artists and have been fortunate enough to meet them, leading me to be inspired and keep what I like most about them. Although, after some years, it was pretty much impossible to avoid making a Techno/Tech House side project and eventually I started working with IBZ Recordings and Pacha Recordings as Dexel.
Psymedia : Ibiza is well known for its nightlife and electronic scene, but not really Psytrance…
Smashed : I came to Ibiza at the age of 8 with my parents and got involved with the scene just a few years later. Back then, there was still a strong Trance movement that moved most of the island. There were quite a few festivals every summer and those were actually what made me fall in love with Trance music. Nowadays, illegal parties have made Ibiza a very hard place to do any kind of outdoor party or psy movement whatsoever. Only mainstream music like House or Techno in clubs are moving the island today.
Psymedia : And you mentioned it’s impossible to avoid the other styles?
Smashed : In Ibiza you can’t avoid hearing house or techno everywhere. A lot of my closest friends also work in the industry too.
Psymedia : That’s how you got connected with Pacha Recordings?
Smashed : Yes, one of my friends is a resident DJ at Pacha. We (Dexel and LeManuel) have remixed some of his tracks. His DJ name is John Jacobsen.
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Psymedia : Do you think Dexel could become your primary project?
Smashed : Not at the moment, no. We are still working on it and have upcoming releases, although it has been a busy year for me and I haven’t had the time I’d like to work on this side project. I’m actually worried I’m not spending enough time on Smashed as well. I’ve been playing every month I’d say, and that doesn’t leave me much time to work at home.
Psymedia : When did the Dexel alias come to life? And D-Unit?
Smashed : Dexel is actually a name I started using when I was a teenager, when I was making some alternative tunes. But after some years, it ended up being my side project and I’ve mainly been collaborating with LeManuel (Dj Nanuk from Ex-Gen for the trance scene) for the last couple of years. It wasn’t hard or difficult working with LeManuel, because we were already living under the same roof. D-Unit became my main project for many years, after splitting the first duo (Profound). It is mainly music focused on day-time full-on.
Psymedia : You live with the Ex-Gen guys?
Smashed : Yes, along with Christof (Absolum).
Psymedia : But I guess you don’t collaborate much because everyone has a different schedule?
Smashed : Yes, we barely work together. Not as much as I’d like, although we do share everything.
Psymedia : The same equipment?
Smashed : Everyone has a little drop there, yes.
Psymedia : Dropland Recordings have released two out of three parts of the Malfunktion series featuring tracks selected by you. With the first part being released in 2010, and the second part being released in 2011, are there any plans to finish off the series?
Smashed : Yes, of course! I felt it had to happen in 2012, but then the idea of a Smashed Remix-ed series suddenly came to life and was actually ready ahead of time so two parts of it were released right after each other, changing the original plans of my releases to begin with.
Psymedia : The first edition (of the Remix-ed series) featured remixes of tracks Damage, Physical Matters, and You Go Banzai, with the second installment featuring another remix of Damage and two of Physical Matters. Tell me about how you decided on the artists and why you chose those tracks specifically (and to have them remixed numerous times)?
Smashed : I had a lot of artists wanting to remix Smashed all of a sudden, so the remixed versions just sort of fell into place and we thought it would make sense to release all these tracks on our small, but proud label Dropland Recordings. With regards to remixing the same track several times over, I thought it would be a rare and interesting opportunity – being asked by all these great artists at once – to compile a vision of each artist and of what one same track could represent. But in short, we just went for it and they pretty much picked the track they liked the most. I believe the outcome of these remixes kind of speaks in a voice for themselves. I personally loved every one of them!
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Psymedia : Are you part of the Dropland Recordings team?
Smashed : Yes, I am the current manager, along with the Ex-Gen guys.
Psymedia : What was your tour of Japan like?
Smashed : I have to ay it was a great experience. My first time touring, my first time in Japan. 1 month, 5 parties in 5 cities – it’s really another world. I only have good words for the Japanese organisers and stompers I’ve met there. It was all an indoor tour as it was raining season. The world should take note of what a sound system in a club should look like, the best memory that I have is of the dance floor. They really give 100% and feel the music.
Psymedia : What was it like playing at Remanufacture last November?
Smashed : I love the energy and the people I’ve met at the parties are amazing. It was my first time in South Africa and I was very well received. I pretty much felt at home in Cape Town, and I left with a feeling of support for my music.
Psymedia : Have you seen the venue for Masqued Ball?
Smashed : I’ve seen photos of the venue and it looks simply amazing. To be honest, I can only picture in my head what the party is going to be like right now, but I don’t think I’ve ever played at such a nice beach party before. I’ve only heard good words from my coworkers about Alien Safari and wouldn’t expect any less.
Psymedia : Any upcoming releases you want to mention?
Smashed : Yes. I’m pretty excited to release a 3 tracks digital EP on 3D Vision Records, along with some collaboration tracks in the near future. My latest edit of “You Go Banzai” will be coming on Terror Lab Industries and hopefully I’ll be able to give you more details on the rest soon.
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Psymedia : Thanks for the interview. See you next weekend at Masqued Ball! Any words before we finish off?
Smashed : Thanks for having me! I’m really looking forward for this one!
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