This week we spoke with Dublin-based Dominic Smith, aka Laughing Man. Laughing Man and Noah Skelton release their “Element EP”, on the mysterious Silencio later this month.
Be sure to checkout the Element EP upon its release. 1939, the B-side to Element, premiered on deep house magazine earlier this week. Episode 8 of the Euphonics podcast also featured Laughing Man and be found on Soundcloud, iTunes or the Euphonics website.
Let's talk tech – what do you use to produce your music?
I have a Roland TR8 an Akai APC40, an Evolution UC33 and a few other bits of kit. I use a set of KRK ROKIT 5 G3 Monitor speakers and two Behringer Truths for Bass.
How long have you been producing and have you always had a similar style to now or have you explored other genre?
Around seven years now. It's always been house, though the style has changed a lot over the years. I was releasing under my own name for six years although I kind of wish that I hadn’t. I’ve gotten a lot better recently and to be honest I’ve only happy with my tunes with the last year and a half. I decided to go with a fresh start and start making tunes under the name Laughing Man.
So why the name Laughing Man?
I just brain storming and just came up with the name, there’s not much more to it than that!
The label your new release is coming out on – Silencio – from what I gather there's a bit of mystery around who’s running it?
When we heard about the label, all we got was the name was Rudy. But I’ve met up with Matt who’s on the label as Kepler on a few occasions.
So how did you get in contact with Silencio?
After I put out my first track I put out under my new name Laughing Man, I got a message from Greg Slater who runs King Size recordings in Leeds. Then I met Kepler who is part of that group and we started making tracks and he mentioned Silencio. I sent them a message and they took my two tracks.
What do you make of their ethos of putting music over personalities?
I’m not really that fussed one way or the other, for me it’s about making great tunes and that matches what they want too.
Are you planning are more releases on Silencio?
Well I'm starting a collaboration with ClickBox who’s also got a release on Silencio coming out. We will probably send that track to them first. At this point I’ve only sent the files over for ClickBox so there’s a way to go. He's going to take a look at those and then we’ll decide where to go from there.
What about releases on other labels?
I’ve got about 10 demos that I’ve been sending to friends as well. I’m building a big catalogue so to speak so I will likely try and put some of those out at some stage.
I’ll have a release on a new label called Pear, it’s actually an edit I did of a Noah Skelton track. I’m also working on an EP with D.Kno for Blind Vision Records. There’s also a release on Looped Reflections that will be on a VA compilation. I also have two more that I can't really talk about at this stage.
So let’s talk about your new EP. The first track is a collaboration with Noah Skelton, have you two worked together a lot?
We've done a bit together. We met a few years ago at a night that was running in Dublin and then as I was browsing Soundcloud I came across someone called Vis who I really enjoyed. When I found it was Noah I was quite surprised as he was doing other stuff than house. So we decided to make a two track EP and one of the tracks is the first one on my Silencio release.
And what about the second track?
The second one was made for my grandfather as he was born in 1939.
And it's a physical release as well if I'm right?
Yes, it will be released on vinyl definitely.
Have you been enjoying the vinyl resurgence of the last few years?
I have indeed. I bought my first turntables about four or five years ago and had a very little collection of records. I was getting annoyed playing the same tunes over and over again so it’s great that it’s starting to come back. Ever since I got a pair of 1210s have been hooked to them.
I love playing on vinyl, but there's also a nice buzz about playing on CDs. I have a pair of 1000s as well which I love to mix off. My record bag doesn’t have a trolley as it’s about 15 years old so practically speaking CDs are great too.
What does your schedule look like in terms of playing out?
I used to play out a lot but I kind of stopped. If I get asked to play I play but I want to focus on production mainly. Me and Noah were saying we’ve both come to the realization that we're not DJ's we're actually producers. Saying that, I have no objections to playing out.
So you're based in Dublin – how’s the scene over there for the type of music you produce?
It's very techno orientated over here. I don't really go out in Dublin any more as I've just been focused on making tunes. There's a new night I’m playing at, it's once a month with Noah, Phonic and Sean Carroll who goes by Fib. It’s the sort of buzz that we’re trying to build in our music and we’re trying to bring that to Dublin as nowhere plays what we do.
Pear who I mentioned earlier do some nice nights as well.
So what else is coming up for you?
I’ve started a mix series called Standalone. The second mix should be online on Soundcloud and YouTube imminently. It’s focusing on other people. It's me and my friend Sunny who are running it. The first half of the year we’ll be trying to find people from all on the series. If they make tracks we might also get them to do tutorials on certain aspects of production. We’ll also be sharing events from round the world and label news to keep people up to date.