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Welcome 'The Swedish Railway Orchestra' to Blowtorch Records

DJ, musician, producer (and Boca Juniors fan) Rob Smith is the man behind TSRO and their prolific run of edgy, electronic tales of darkness


Rob Smith from Swedish Railway Orchestra

The Swedish railway system is famously efficient, unlike the more relaxed approach to time keeping taken by their counterparts in U.K. and Ireland. Whether Statens Järnväger has its own orchestra is at this point unknown by us.

Timekeeping is fundamental to most music (and in some countries, railways) which is maybe why both sometimes involve conductors. However it is in the small glitches and idiosyncrasies that magic happens. As William Blake said "improvements make straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvements are the works of genius."

All of which rail related ruminating brings me to The Swedish Railway Orchestra, an alternative, electronic dance project run by Rob Smith and firmly based in Dublin. And, we are now delighted to announce, signed to Blowtorch Records for the upcoming vinyl release of their new album Dance To The Drum Machine.

TSRO was originally a DJ duo comprising Rob Smith and Daniel Lambert; they became late night specialists with their odd remixes and dark club vibes, playing venues in New York as well as their native Dublin, and headlined the Vantastival festival in 2015.

In 2016 Smith set sail solo with original music Northern Lights, and he began to turn heads a year later with the single I Don't See Any Daylight Anymore.

In 2017, with the lead single Why Don't You Talk To Me, the debut album This Is A Dream was released to critical acclaim with many of the record's singles, including Bullet For A Bullfighter garnering national radio airplay across Ireland. Less than a year later came the five-track You Can't Have It Your Way E.P. which featured the darkly themed clubnight-favourite Death Of The Disco Tape.

Eagle-eyed readers may notice a 'dark' theme developing in our descriptions. Not unreasonably as for us (and to continue the Swedish theme), Rob is nearer the Lykke Li So Sad So Sexy end of the songwriting spectrum rather than the Max Martin 'hitmaker to the stars' end. And all the better for it.

In 2018, the Dubliner released Remixes Vol. 1, which featured some incredible reimaginings of many album tracks and singles up to that point. A work so strong, Smith was invited to play many TSRO remix DJ sets in cities such as Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Berlin.

The following year the album This Is A Mixtape was released to much praise and featured singles such as Cold Condensation, Wy Bk Hm as well as the Brian Jonestown Massacre-inspired The Subjection.

But it was in 2020, where the greatest acclaim was achieved with the self titled third studio album which featured the single The Freaks Come Out At Night - was a mainstay on Irish radio that summer. To this day it is still esteemed and in the record box of some of the UK and Ireland's most well known DJs.

Fast forward to 2022 and an email from Rob with a link to his new album Dance To The Drum Machine. Sometimes you just know and the first track (and lead single) The Ballhaus was love at first listen. Achingly elegaic, with a Max Richter feel, it's deeply affecting and we can't wait for you to hear it.

The Ballhaus - out on streaming platforms April 13.

Dance To The Drum Machine - vinyl release July 27

All TSRO details and links to their social channels are on their dedicated Blowtorch web page.


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