Cincinnati has been trying for years to get a leg up on the various music scenes that are sprouting up throughout the city. Though there are some scenes that are lacking in creativity and fan base, there is a scene that is really starting to come into its own. The scene that I am speaking of is the electronic dance music (EDM) scene.
The EDM scene has been steadily growing in Cincinnati since the widely popular, bass heavy Dubstep has been invading dance floors and clubs all across the country. With the EDM scene having a solid fan base in Cincinnati, it is easy to see how a lot of local DJ’s are getting the recognition that they deserve (or don’t deserve).
There is a particular DJ that seemingly is going unnoticed under the radar, even though he has quite an impressive resume and diverse play style to boot, for some reason a lot of people in Cincinnati turn a blind eye to his name.
SMIRK has been spinning for roughly 14 years, and within those years he has acquired a very eclectic take on dance music as a whole. “It’s called dance music for a reason,” states SMIRK. “I try to keep people on their feet and moving the entire time I’m playing. I want to play the tracks that make people want to get drunk (in a good way!).”
Having started out at the age of 17 and dropping some serious money on a DJ setup that can still hang with a lot of the more “advanced” setups today, SMIRK got his inspiration from the various Raves that he attended during his youth. “One night in Lexington when Spree played his remix of the Never ending Story theme,” says SMIRK. “After that I went home and started doing some research on the net and discovered happy hardcore and a few sites/forums like HappyUSA and Kickin’ Beats then eventually I became a part of American Cheese.”
Starting out playing a lot of Happy Hardcore, SMIRK has kept an open mind to a lot of different genres, which eventually started his love affair with Drum and Bass. “I would mix UK hardcore and drum n bass. As my taste for hardcore waned I kept playing drum n bass.” Playing Electro and Dubstep in his sets has proven that he is able to mix things up when need be.
Along with keeping up with the ever changing music industry SMIRK is also one half of the Dance Hard Die Hard camp which does a great job in releasing pocasts and very underrated, under appreciated mixes (read my review on Boss Rush if you think I am playing). It is a given that SMIRK is more than in love with his music, this is a part of him like my hands are a part of me, and with each mix that he releases to his live DJ sets, one can see the passion and the care that he puts into his craft.
SMIRK is hard at work with building a Cincinnati fan base. While generating a buzz closer to home, SMIRK has also been hard at work with sharing the stage with some pretty good artists (AC Slater and Dieselboy for starters) as well as playing in festivals outside of Ohio.
Before I close, I want to say this about SMIRK. I look at him somewhat as “Mr. Consistency” in regards to his live DJ sets. I say this because every time that I have seen him play, his sets have been consistently good. Actually his sets have been so good to the point that I have found myself looking forward to seeing and hearing his live sets. I rarely say this about a lot of DJ’s, but SMIRK is seriously good and I think it is highly recommended that people get hip and start supporting actual good music.
For those of you wanting to check out some of SMIRK’s mixes then visit the Dance Hard Die Hard site:
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