Could you please introduce yourself to our listeners?

Hello, my name is Stoyan aka Charlie Smooth. I moved to Berlin thirteen years ago with the intention to become a DJ and that’s what I do now. I also run a series of parties called Get Deep.

What is the Get Deep collective and who is involved?

Get Deep has five members – Nano Nansen, DJ Xing and me as bookers and DJs and Leon and Philipp as part of the event production.
Get Deep is a platform that presents our vision on contemporary dance music, ,allowing us to experiment with our DJ sets in a way that is possible only in that particular setting. Iit gives us the opportunity to book artists who are not playing in Berlin very often, although they should be. We started in 2009 in a naïve excitement, basically just wanting to make a better party than the ones that we were booked at at that time. Eventually, things went beyond expectations and here we are, six years later still raving.

How did the Get Deep party/collective changed over the time and where do you wanna go with it?

We became more daring in terms of bookings. In the beginning we were working with friends and friends of friends, but two years later we were flying people in from Tokyo, Chicago and all over the world.
Another significant change was the size I guess. On our first party we had probably 200 people. Now our summer parties are twenty two, even twenty five hours long and host up to two thousand people, which is like a mini festival.

The third thing is that we evolved a lot as DJs. To play along some of the best in the world on a regular basis changed a lot my personal standards and self expectations in terms of what a good DJ set is.

What’s the idea behind your mix?

The idea is to have a podcast that you can listen to over and over again in different situations and moods, and that will still be interesting in five years. It is actually my second take on the mix. The first recording I sent was rejected by my dearest friend Albrecht Wassersleben with the argument that it sounded too Uncanny Valley. Albrecht said he wanted to have 110 % Charlie Smooth. I found that challenging and inspiring. It motivated me to walk the extra mile. So I guess that is also part of the concept – to present a very personal, authentic musical world. It’s like a warm up set for another Get Deep party in Berlin, or a soundtrack of a sunset at a black sea beach party in Bulgaria.

How did you approached that concept?

I made a rather generous pre-selection from around eighty vinyls. I was just messing around with them for a couple of days until the podcast started taking shape by itself. I took more and more records out of the box until I had only the ones that I definitely want to play.

The most difficult part was to fit in the tempos. The podcast stretches from 100 bpm till around 130 bpm in one and a half hours, so I always had to keep the tempo in mind. Some of the records on the podcast are from the 70s and 80s and are played with live drums, which means that the bpm is not constant. It took me some time to find out at which point of the track the tempo is changing significantly.

The final version was recorded in the middle of the night on a weekday and it was mixed on headphones only because of the neighbours. I had a strong desire to play that music and record the podcast in that particular moment, so I couldn’t wait until next morning. I was using a very simple, classical setup – two Technics 1210 an A&H mixer.

When and where did you started djing how has it evolved over the time?

The first time I was playing in front of a crowd was the winter of 1999 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Although we didn’t have the legal age to go in a nightclub, we were already organising parties. We would rent any kind of place where they would let us do our own thing.

Then I moved to Berlin in 2002. At first I was not playing out because of the university and the jobs, but I kept on buying records and gear. Then we started Get Deep in 2009, which changed things even more. My record collection kept on growing, more and more new genres were explored. The venues that booked me were getting bigger, better and more renowned, and I started playing directly before or after some of my favourite DJs. I started being picky about where I play as well and in the same time my enthusiasm about playing out music was growing.

Is there a record that triggered your interest in collecting music or even start to perform in front of an audience?

It was not a particular record, that made me start collecting music. It was more the process and it’s charms. I have always been collecting music. My cousins were older and they knew a lot more about music than me, so I constantly had the feeling I need to catch up. This is how I ended up having all the albums from Queen and Freddie Mercury by the age of ten. It was all on tape back then.

A few years later I was already in to stuff like Prodigy, Underworld, The Orbital, Daft Punk and then came techno. That period was on CDs. I guess the label Tresor was the reason I started collecting vinyl back then. It was also one of the reasons why I moved to Berlin. My first very own vinyl record was an LP from Terrence Dixon on Tresor, which my mum brought me from her trip in Germany. The first record I bought myself was Matthew Herbert – Second Hand Sounds vol. 2.

The reason why I started DJing was also not because of a record. The moment when I knew I wanted to perform in front of a crowd was in the end of the nineties in Bulgaria when I saw people like Jeff Mills and Space DJs spinning on three turntables. They were playing stomping techno mixed with old school breakbeat and early hip hop played on 45 instead of 33. I was suddenly fascinated and I wanted to know how do I do that.

What do your parents think about what you do?

My parents were sceptical. They used to say ” DJ is ok, but don’t you want to get a real job?”. It was not easy to explain to them exactly what I do. I remember once saying to my grandmother what a DJ is – “I play two records at the same time”.
She simply replied – “I don’t want to be in the same room while you are doing that”. Which made me laugh so hard.

Anyways, last autumn I was playing in my hometown Plovdiv. I was supposed to play on a big stage, with my name on posters, spread all over the city and people asking me for interviews and so on. Back then my parents not just accepted, but started admiring what I do in their silly parents way. From that moment on I didn’t need to explain and justify myself anymore.

What are your projects for the next time?

My main project is of course Get Deep. We are planning the bookings for the seventh year now. The next goal on my agenda is to have my first vinyl release soon, I spend a lot of time learning about music software hardware and acoustics. I also want to travel to different countries for gigs. It is a lot more exciting to play in a city where you have never been before. I recently had my first gig in Belgium and it was a special night – shout out to the Vice City crew. In December I will do a mini east European tour including my premiere in Romania and three to four gigs in Bulgaria. On Sylvester I am returning to our homebase and favorite club in Berlin – ://about blank. Other than that – buy records, play records and repeat.

Finally, what’s the last record before the lights are switched on?

It’s hard to pick one. I could make another podcast with only last records. If I would have to finish my set right now, I would play Boban Petrovic, the vocal version of Zajedno Srećni, a truly beautiful yugoslavian soul song from 1984.
If the people are still there after the last song finishes, which usually happens, and if the night manager allows, I would play

Khan feat Julee Cruise – Say Goodbye

Or DJ Sprinkles – Reverse Rotation
Or The Cure Lullaby
Or Chaka Khan Fate …

to be announced…

iTunes / direct mp3 download