LWE Podcast 176: Youandewan

Not long out of school, a young Ewan Smith began messing around on DAWs like Reason and Fruity Loops. He proved to have a propensity for production, before long scoring a track on an artist sampler as Youandewan. With more tracks forthcoming over the next couple of years, his considered, melodic, deep house cuts started finding appreciative listeners, leading to remix offers from a wide array of artists. Smith had decided his own productions needed some incubation time, so while his remix work started picking up (he has done nearly 20 since 2010) he put more and more time into his own tracks. That focus had paid off, with Smith’s new releases coming out on notable labels like Simple, Hypercolour, 2nd Drop, and Secretsundaze. With more releases around the corner and Smith now DJing further and further afield, LWE reached out to put some questions to the Englishman. He filled us in on his approach in the studio, what he’s had to do along the way to stay afloat and what his plans for the future are. He also mixed our 176th exclusive podcast; a lovingly curated mix of some of his favorite tracks, a fair amount of his own edits and more than a hint of what we can expect next from the talented producer.

Download LWE Podcast 176: Youandewan (64:44)

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01. Youandewan, “1988” (Intro Edit) [Lo:Rise]
02. Youandewan, “Main Sauce” [*]
03. The Mole, “Lockdown Party” (Sprinkles’ Crossfaderama) (Edit) [Perlon]
04. Alan Hurst, “Nzambi” (Terekke Remix) (Edit) [Emotional Response]
05. Youandewan, “Whateveris” [*]
06. Leaves & Iron Curtis, “Simple” (Youandewan Version) [*]
07. Youandewan, “Talk About” (Edit) [*]
08. Tevo Howard ft. Rick Howard, “House Room” (Paul du Lac Acid Dub) (Edit) [Bio Rhythm]
09. Baaz, “Chummy” (Edit) [Slices of Life]
10. Rick Poppa Howard, “I Won’t Lay Back” (Edit)
[Hour House is Your Rush Records]
11. Jared Wilson, “A Little Moonlight Dancing” (Introsampled) [Skudge Presents]
12. Fetishes, “1996”
13. Flori, “Dusty Socks” (Lowtec Remix) (Edit) [Aim*]
14. Santiago Salazar, “Smile Now, Cry Later” (Edit) [Seventh Sign Recordings]
15. Youandewan, “Furthurrr” [*]
16. Jovonn & DJ Deep, “Spring” [Distance]
17. Alex M, “It Works” (Bump Edit) [Final Cut]
18. Jump Cutz, “Deep Introspection” [Luxury Service]
19. Ksoul & Muteoscillator, “Funkn Our Ass” (Edit) [Kinda Soul Recordings]
20. Flori, “SU 3150” (Berg Reduktion) (707 Edit) [Aim*]
21. Lo Shea, “Alice (Edit)” [Seaghdha]
22. BLM, “Yeah This Is Me” (Snip) [Tsuba Records]
23. The White Man & The Arab, “WMA 4 (Tool)” [*]
24. Santiago Salazar, “Gaffs Theme” [Finale Sessions]
* denotes tracks which, at the time of publishing, are unreleased

Hi Ewan, what have you been up to lately?

Ewan Smith: After 20 odd years living up in Yorkshire, I’ve recently moved down to “that London” to pursue all things musical.

You’ve been releasing for a few years, but things are really taking off for you now. Is there one release or track that you consider to have given you a real break?

Well, I was a tad impatient at the beginning. I regrettably dropped outta uni to go full whack at it, which was a bit daft in retrospect, as it’s really not that simple. I’ve realized you gotta play it cool and liaise with the right people to make a bit of progress. My early discography probs correlates this. It’s been more of a steady, slippery climb.

How have things changed for you over the past year? How much more time are you devoting to making music and playing gigs now?

After doing the Disfigured Dubz record, I took a good two years off releasing anything new and instead, took to learning a few things; such as experimenting with bits of hardware and properly getting into Ableton, which I had rarely used in the past after learning the basics on Reason and Fruity Loops at school. So, after joining The Secret Agency, I went into 2013 with the intention of releasing some fresh music on some decent labels.

Do you look at music as a long term career choice?

I’ve always been fairly confident as a musician, so knew that’s where I was gonna go, but in the long term I dunno, because it’s a tough world now. Because everyone is a producer and budding DJ, which is cool in many respects, but worrying at the same time. I’m fortunate enough to be in a half decent position at the minute, so I’m just seeing where it takes me. So there isn’t a life plan in place, per se…

Looking at your discography, you devoted a lot of time to remixing in 2011 and 2012. How did you find the experience, was it taxing in terms of not working so much on your own tracks? And what were the positive aspects of it?

The only thing that was taxing was my rent, which I couldn’t afford to pay at that time. Going back to what I said before, I just kinda went for it, and rather ignorantly refused to get a job, so remixes were a bit a cash. Saying that, I’m still proud of some them, such as the Midland, Gerry Read, Sei A and Dusky ones, but I was also in a position where I was unable to turn some others down, which maybe I should have. But to me, it isn’t embarrassing or whatever, you just do what you gotta do, which is eat, sometimes.

How long had you been producing before your first release?

Not long. After I grew out of my teenage grungy bit, I messed around on Fruity and Reason at college and made some tracks. One of them is called “1988,” which funnily enough, is still the track I’m most associated with to this day. It actually makes a cameo appearance in the intro to the mix, but reversed and messed up, which is kind of a message that it’s over with that track, and I’ve grown up a bit and hoping to move on from it.

From another interview I read I understand that your first brush with electronic music was through getting into trance. What were the things (records/clubs/DJs etc) that moved your attention towards house, garage and the like?

Ha, yeah… well, along with commercial 90s house & garage, trancey stuff was also on the local radio. I can even remember being aware of it as far back as primary school and wondering how electronic music was physically produced and created, which got me interested. I suppose since I had an early musical background of playing instruments and stuff; I must have been seduced by the melodic aspects of say, trance, which I suppose echoes some early bits I have out there.

You can hear various influences in your work — any non-dance music related music that you feel plays a part in what you make?

Away from “da club,” I’m into all sorts of stuff and have been through plenty phases growing up. I’m fond of psychedelic stuff like early Led Zeppelin, Tame Impala, and even stuff like The Mars Volta. I also love guys like John Martyn and Nick Drake too, along with Radiohead, (obviously) among others. All those artists have struck certain chords with me in many different ways over the years. Whether those influences have impacted my own music is debatable, as the styles are quite contrasting. Perhaps unconsciously they have embedded something into what I’m doing.

How do you feel your productions have evolved over the past few years and what do you feel is influencing your work at the moment?

They’ve evolved as I’ve evolved I guess. I just take in influences from here and there and lay something down, with hopefully some form of unique touch too.

Your tracks are all imbued with a deep sense of melody. When you make music, do you have a particular environment for them in mind?

I wouldn’t say I take a particular environment into consideration, no. I just sorta sit down and try create something that makes me feel something there and then. If it doesn’t do anything for me, it gets binned.

What can you tell us about the mix you’ve put together for us?

It was recorded at home and processed through Ableton afterwards. It includes various edits and transitional effects to give it more a “piece” feel, rather than a straight up mix (I hope). It doesn’t exactly comprise of entirely exclusive jams either. It’s more of a bunch of tracks I’m fond of, along with some forthcoming music from myself and friends.

What can we expect from Youandewan over the next year?

I have a Finale Sessions record coming soon along with an Iron Curtis remix too. Some of those tracks feature on the mix. I’m also working on another EP for Aus or Simple to hopefully come out early 2014.

Dave Wood  on September 10, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Really enjoyed this, flows so well through a variety of reference points, from the home grown main source sampling production which kicks things off through to the fantastic Jump Cutz track on Luxury Service, an entirely rewarding listening experience.

Michal  on September 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

Amazing podcast. Can’t stop liestening!

sma  on December 11, 2013 at 4:21 AM

keep coming back to this. one of the best mixes i heard this year for sure.


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