Check out Dave’s interview with Australian music website music.com.au.
1. You are a veteran of the scene yet obviously still inspired and gigging and broadcasting music. Where is your head at musically in 2012? What do you like or not like about dance music?
There’s always plenty of great music around. I’ve loved the recent stuff by Electric Rescue, Butch, Hot Since 82, Henry Saiz, Simian Mobile Disco, Terranova & Thomas Schumacher. And labels like Kompakt, Systematic, Herzblut, Noir, Parquet, My Favourite Robot, Suara & Traum. And that’s just off the top of my head! But as I’ve said it before, it’s still getting increasingly more difficult to find the good stuff in amongst the average and uninspired. The digital age has brought with it so many amazing developments to our lives but equally there are plenty of downsides. One of those being that anybody can now write a book, make a film or make music and get it out without having to pass any kind of quality control filter. Of course, this democratisation throws up some occasional gems but largely it just clouds our days with mediocrity. That’s my gripe.
2. House has come back strongly in the UK, we hear, post-dubstep. What trends do you yourself discern in the wider scene?
I try not to get too bogged down with what’s “in” and what’s “out”. Fashion, by it’s very nature, is a fickle business and as you’ve just pointed out, I’ve been doing this for a long time now. I’ve seen trends come and go and entire genres morph into something completely different. At the moment, if you go onto the Beatport website and look at what they call Progressive House these days, it’s got absolutely nothing to do with what I know to be Progressive House and, as they tell me I am a Progressive DJ, I should know right?! Haha… I know genres are a necessary evil but I try to stay clear of them as much as possible. It’s all still acid house to me. But, erm… I live under the umbrella of Electronic House. How’s that?
3. Photek recently spoke to our mag and observed that DJ culture has become very show biz (on a mainstream level). Punters don’t really know who is DJing at festivals, and wouldn’t care if it was a pre-recorded set. Yet, beyond that, DJing has never been so technologically advanced with the likes of a James Zabiela experimenting with iPad DJing, and others using things like Serato Video, etc. How healthy is DJ culture in 2012?
It’s healthy enough because people are still talking about it. It’s when nobody wants to know that we should really be worried. The fact that people still care is key. Of course there’s been a big shift towards the more commercial end of dance music, particularly in the USA, which has marginalised the underground somewhat but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and what goes around comes around. Plus, like you say, there’s still plenty of interesting developments going on at the cutting edge of things. As for the celebrity DJ culture that’s sprung up, it’s actually quite offensive as it belittles the profession. I’m seeing emails every week now from some forgotten boy band or soap star offering themselves out for DJs sets. But I suppose somebody miming to a set whilst pointing a lot and making little love hearts with their hands is not actually DJing so we shouldn’t be too worried. It’ll pass.
4. You are pretty much the compilation king! In September you’re releasing a Volume in Toolroom’s Selector series. What can you tell us about it?
I think it’s a bit different to what people have come to expect from me. It’s very housey, a bit tribal in places with quite a few techy electronic synths and swells too. Obviously being a label compilation it restricted me to tracks from the Toolroom catalogue but they’ve got such a big archive now that there was a lot to choose from. There’s a few of my old Toolroom faves on there but I tried to make it the not so obvious ones. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.
5. What else should we listen out for from Dave Seaman (and Audio Therapy) at the moment?
I’ve got a track coming out at the end of September on Eelke Kleijn’s Outside The Box label called ‘Pixelated’ that I did together with John 00 Fleming. And there’s a new track with Funkagenda nearly finished too. You can also hear me every 3rd Tuesday of the month on Frisky Radio with my Radio Therapy show. I think it’ll air early Wednesday morning Australian time. Outside of that, I’m in talks with a few different people about starting a new label. I laid Audio Therapy to rest last year. Or put it out of it’s misery depending on which way you look at it. Hahaha. I had a big hand in running Stress Records in the 1990s and then Audio Therapy in the Noughties and so as the new decade started it felt like AT had run it’s course and it was time for something new. It’s just taking me a while to get organised but watch this space
6. You had a hand in Kylie Minogue’s BEST and most cred song Confide In Me back in the Brothers Of Rhythm days. What do you recall of that session?
It all happened very quickly. I gave Steve a rough idea of a starting point and left the room for a few minutes to take a phone call. By the time I came back he’d got the groove working together with the baseline and I think at that point, we already knew we had something special. We immediately added the string hook and then I grabbed my folder full of bits of lyrics I had written on hundreds of scraps of paper. One of phrases I’d written down was Confide In Me. Steve said “That’s your title” and there you have it. I went home that night, wrote the rest of the lyrics, Kylie came in and did a demo vocal a couple of days later and that was the vocal that ended up on the finished version. We did have the luxury of finishing it off in Trevor Horn’s Sarm West Studios, adding a 32 piece orchestra which was truly a goosebumps moment I will remember forever. It’s still the thing I’m most proud to have been involved in.
7. These days a lot of house DJs are working with big pop acts but, if anything, you’ve committed yourself to the underground realm. Would you ever stray into pop again?
Yes, I’d love to. It’s more to do with time constraints that I haven’t done so already rather than any need to “keep it real”. There’s actually loads of great pop music being made at the moment which is very inspiring but I’m probably not talking about the kind of house DJ/pop act collaborations you’re talking about.
8. What music are you listening to outside of ‘work’ these days?
Favourite albums this year so far would include Alt-J, Django Django, Jessie Ware, Bobby Womack, Friends, The Shins, The Maccabees, Clock Opera, Beach House & my probably favourite single of the year so far would be Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’. That’s the kind of pop music I’d like to make.
9. You are coming back to Australia for a handful of dates. What can we look forward to?
I’m going to be doing 3 consecutive dates in Melbourne 31st August, Sydney 1st Sept and Brisbane 2nd Sept and get this… I’m going to be doing them all back to back with myself! Watch out! 😉