My interview with Lost & Found

Here’s a transcript of my interview with the Lost and Found website from earlier this month…

So much has changed since the early days of House. Going from an underground movement to gaining global recognition and acceptance. What are your thoughts on the current state of dance music and prediction for it’s future? 

I think it’s come full circle now. A lot of the music that some of the new younger producers are making reminds me of late 80s early Chicago House music. Acid is back in vogue, the tempos are slower and there’s definitely a strong DIY ethic going on again. A lot of small new nights are cropping up. Especially in the UK. The underground had to start a fresh after the scene became so commercial in the 90s and then the EDM movement took over across the world but the circular nature of fashion means that the bubble will burst and people will look to the underground again for what’s next. You can already see the deeper house stuff starting to penetrate the UK chart. The likes of Disclosure, Ben Pearce, Breach, etc. What goes around comes around as they say.

You’ve released close to 30 DJ mixed compilations to date and it could be said that you’ve mastered the art of the DJ mixed CD. What goes into track selection for a timeless mix?

Ha! A lot of care and attention to detail. I really put my heart and soul into these mix compilations. I spend weeks crafting them in the hope that they’ll stand out from your DJ regular sets which are two a penny these days online. I don’t think you can guarantee a mix will be timeless. Some stand the test of time better than others. Some of the old GU albums now sound so fast to me now but that was how it was back then.

You were one of the featured DJs on what was possibly the first, legal, commercially available mix CD – Mixmag Live Vol.1. More recently you’ve made history with The Selador Sessions mix being the first crowd-funded compilation. Can you tell us about the process involved in raising funds for the mix.

It was an fantastic experience. One that I hope to do again one day. When you do something for the first time there’s always an added edge of nervous excitement and it really took over my life for a few months. First of all, the 30 day fundraising period (which is the rules of the crowd funding platform I chose to use, Kickstarter) is a 24/7 commitment because you really have to get the word out as far and wide as possible and be there to answer everybody’s questions on a daily basis. I don’t think you can just put out a press release and hope that everyone just comes to you. You really have to sell the idea. Especially as this was the first time a DJ had done a crowd funded compilation. And then once the album had been done you still have to deliver on all the pledges. Everything from private parties, to DJ lessons and VIP nights out. These were all things I offered in return for certain levels of contributions that I needed to deliver. It was a big undertaking and one I couldn’t have done without my agent Sara who’s idea it was in the first place and who took care of all the logistics. Thank you Sara.

Mixmag has been instrumental in spreading the gospel of dance music around the world. You’re credited with turning the initial DMC mailout into a fully fledged magazine. What were some of the highlights of your time as editor?

It was such a glorious time in the development of dance music culture. The halcyon days. And to be in the eye of the storm was a privilege I will treasure forever. Back then all everybody wanted was for dance music to be taken seriously. It was very hard to get dance music played on the radio and rock and pop very much ruled the roost. But if you were going out to clubs regularly as I was, you knew it was the beginnings of a cultural revolution and the likes of MARRS, S.Express & Bomb The Bass were more than just the novelty hits they were being treated as by big record companies. They really couldn’t get their heads around the facelessness of dance music. How DJs were making hit records in their bedrooms when they could’t even play conventional instruments. It was a passing fad they said. Of course, the rest is history. Dance music took over the world and broke down more barriers and boundaries than even rock music before it. I enjoyed every minute of my time at Mixmag but actually taking it from a subscription only publication to the news stands was the pinnacle.

You’ve recently launched Selador. What is your vision for the brand? Which artists have delivered tracks on the label thus far and who can we expect to see releasing on the imprint?

I set the label up with my long time friend Steve Parry as we have similar musical inclinations and vision for the label. We wanted to show our diverse tastes off and not get stuck in one niche sub genre of electronic music so we’ve released everything from the minimal deep house of Samu.l’s ‘Restless Dreams’ to the full on Techno stomper of Robert Babicz’s remix of Paul Rutherford’s ‘Get Real’ and everything in between. We’ve also had releases from Piemont , Rob Hes and Seff with more planned from Affkt, Babicz & Marc Marzenit. All killers, no fillers! It’s going to be a big year for Selador ;-)

You played an amazing set in Cape Town a few years ago and celebrated a birthday on the night =) when will you back for another performance? Possibly a Selador showcase?

We’ve been working on that recently actually. There’s been one or two enquirers from South African promoters so fingers crossed it actually happens. It’s been such a long time since that infamous GU night. I remember it well. Largely because there was a bomb scare and everybody was made to leave the club. As it was my birthday everyone sang happy birthday to me in the car park and then we were let back in and carried on with the night. It was suspected that it was a rival promoter that had started the bomb scare but it really backfired on them as the intensity of the night only went up several levels after the hoax. A night to remember indeed.

What can we expect from Dave Seaman in the near future? Any forthcoming release info you’d like to share?

I’ve just released 3 tracks in the last few weeks. ‘Flatter To Deceive’ on Great Stuff, ‘Everything Comes In Threes’ on Tulipa and ‘Naughty Forest’ on Selador. But there are another two done and ready for release already. One called ‘Distraction Tactics’ is going to come out on New York label, Sullivan Room and another for Selador called ‘Justified Replacement Of Lulu’ which will come out initially on our Selador Showcase compilation in April but then will have a full release with remixes later in the year.

There’s also going to be a Remix EP for Tulipa in the summer featuring remixes of my stuff by Dousk and D Nox & Beckers. You can also be a part of that as the label have launched a remix competition where the winner will be their remix released on the EP. Find all the details here…

https://soundcloud.com/tuliparecordings/sets/dave-seaman-the-holy-ghost-competition

You’ve been a DJ and actively involved in the Music business for over 25 years. What inspires you and helps you remain committed to a rapidly evolving industry?

It’s a cliche but it’s the music is that drives me on. There’s nothing like hearing a fantastic new track to get you inspired and those creative juices flowing. If that feeling ever leaves me then that will be the time to hang up my headphones but I can’t see it to be honest. Dance music is in my bones :-)

http://thelostandfound.co.za/dave-seaman/

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My recent interview with colorising.com

1. Before house music landed in the UK, you were spinning various records of multiple genres. Do you remember the very first house record that you heard and what were your immediate thoughts on it? Did you know right away that you had to be a part of this new, emerging sound?
I do remember yes. I’d been into the Electro and Soul scenes for quite a while by then so was following James Hamilton’s dance music pages in Record Mirror religiously so I knew of this new “House Music” that was coming from Chicago but it wasn’t until I was at Roof Top Gardens/ Casanovas in Wakefield one weekend that I heard Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley’s ‘Jack Your Body for the first time. It blew my mind. It was so different to anything else that it really stood out and I immediately went off to search for more. Marshall Jefferson’s ‘Move Your Body’, JM Silk’s ‘Love Can’t Turn Around’ and The House Master Boyz ‘House Nation’ all arrived at around the same time. It was pretty obvious that this was the start of something exciting. I couldn’t get enough.

2. You were also attending many of the early raves during the house explosion. Those parties were quite cavalier in a sense. Part of the excitement was trying to determine the location and playing this “cat and mouse” game. How would you contrast those early raves to the festivals that are happening today?
The early Rave scene was subversive and underground. It was completely new and because of the illegality of the parties had an element of danger. Festivals nowadays are very much a part of the fabric of modern day culture. There’s nothing subversive about them. Latitude (or Latte-tude as it gets called) is particularly family friendly and as middle class as it gets. There’s a great book I can recommend about the Acid House explosion by Matthew Colin called Altered States. It really gives you a great insight to the madness of those halcyon days.

3. Many people know about the infamous Mixmag competition that you won when you were DJing early on, but what initially led you to becoming the editor at the magazine?
I was initially just doing reviews for Mixmag and maybe the odd interview but when the then Editor left hastily I was catapulted into the deep end. I ended up covering for him whilst a replacement was found but after managing to pull two issues together myself the powers that be just said, we’ve not found anybody that we’d rather do it than you so you might as well carry on. I had gotten my English O level but really had no journalistic experience so it was sheer enthusiasm and passion that got me through. I was living and breathing the scene though and I was very much right time, right place. Right in the eye of the storm as it were. As I arrived at Mixmag- M/A/R/R/S, S Express, Coldcut and Bomb The Bass had all just hit the top of the pop charts. DJ Culture as we know it had just begun.

4. With the advent of technology, music has become extremely accessible and the lines of genre are increasingly getting blurred. As an industry expert who has been in key positions such as DJ, producer, editor and label boss, do you think music is still at a healthy point creatively?
Undoubtedly. There is always fantastic, creative music being made but with so much music being made and as you say with almost everything being instantly available to everyone, it’s not as valued as it used to be. MP3s are such a disposable medium. So cheap and replaceable, they have no real worth. And so in that sense it’s not healthy. Cheap and disposable is not good. The real problem though is quantity over quality. There’s just too much music being made with no filter system in place like record companies used to provide in the past. Imagine if everyone who thought they could cook were allowed to put their product on the shelves of a supermarket. It would take you a week just to get past the cereals!

5. I have read that growing up you constantly listened to the radio. Going back to the topic of technology, people have gone on to use the medium of the internet to produce their own shows and podcasts. On one hand, it’s liberating to have the ability to broadcast music, however, does this slowly eliminate the idea of the taste maker, similar to what we used to have on radio?
To a certain extent. You could argue it takes the power out of the hands of a few and spreads it around a bit more but at the end of the day you’re only a tastemaker if you have an audience and the people with real influence still have a lot more listeners than your average podcast.

6.From working at Mixmag to producing Top 20 hits such as Brothers in Rhythm’s “Such a Good Feeling”, on down to working with acts like the Pet Shop Boys and David Bowie, you have had a continual train of success. Are there ever times when you have had to step back and really take it all in?
Ha! Not really. I’ve always been all about the present and immediate future. Maybe one day I’ll get round to writing it all down though. I probably do have a pretty good story to tell :-)

7. More claims to fame are your labels Stress Records and Audio Therapy, which included releases by a slew of top acts in the scene. You now run Selador Recordings with Steve Parry. What prompted you to start a new label?
It’s all Steve’s fault. I blame him! hahaha. It was following a conversation we had where he expressed a long time ambition to run a label that got me thinking. I had been out of the game for a couple of years after Audio Therapy and didn’t realise how much I’d missed it until we spoke further about the idea of Selador and that buzz very quickly returned. It’s a labour of love. It’s not really profitable in monetary terms but you get so much out of it in other ways and I just love the process. It’s a great way to collaborate with like minded artists and put your flag in the sand.

8.You have the new “Selador Sessions Vol. 1” mix compilation out right now which was funded by the people through Kickstarter. I think this speaks volumes in terms of the support from those who love house music. Do you envision this process to soon be the wave of the future for releases?
I hope so and can’t see any reason why not. It’s a fascinating development and actually more of a throwback to the way things used to get done before capitalism took over the world. This idea of a communal project. And now with the advance of social media it’s so much easier for artists to be able to get together with their audience to make creative projects happen. It’s a win win situation really.

9.Finally, what projects are coming down the pipeline at Selador?
Our next release is a compilation to coincide with the Amsterdam Dance Event this month which features a lot of the artists that have already featured on the label and a few more besides. Then there’ll be a new single from myself together with Funkagenda called ‘Naughty Forest’ which has been a staple in my sets for the last few months and also features on Selador Sessions Volume 1. And then who knows, there’s even talk that Mr Parry will be getting back into the studio although I’ll believe it when I see it! :-)

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Paul Rutherford ‘Get Real’ 2013 Remixes out now on Selador Recordings

SEL004 ArtworkThe 1988 release ‘Get Real’ by Paul Rutherford ranks amongst the most seminal of acid house classics. Highlighted by many as a one of the very best of the genre, with the likes of Josh Wink, Christian Smith, Danny Howells and Paul Woolford all ranking it amongst their all time favourites, here at Selador we felt it high time to resurrect this gem and bring it to the attention of the new generation. Needless to say, we had some of the very best production talent in the world queueing up to offer their remixing services but in the end, it was Darren Emerson, Just Be Bushwacka & Pete Gooding that secured the honour and the results are nothing short of remarkable. From Darren’s monster new techno remake to Bushwacka’s faithful rolling techy tribute and Pete’s contemporary deep melodic anthem, every interpretation has been handled with the upmost love and care. Selador Recordings are proud to present Paul Rutherford’s ‘Get Real’ 2013 style. Miss this at your peril!

http://www.beatport.com/release/get-real/1141240

 

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