To accompany an exclusive 60 minute mix recorded live on the Greek island of Santorini during the summer, Dave discusses his upcoming plans for Selador, 3D & ADE as well as his thoughts on maintaining relevance, the evolution of his own sound and the best club scenes in the World right now. Read it all here >> https://www.sweet-musique.com/allnews/dave-seaman/
It’s been almost 20 years since you were last in Cape Town for a gig: it was to record your Global Underground: Cape Town Boxed release in 2000. What are your recollections of our mother city?
I have nothing but good memories to be honest. I remember it to be a breathtakingly beautiful city and the gig itself to be a special one. One particular lasting memory was of the whole club having to be evacuated half way through my set do to a bomb scare! As everyone congregated in the car park, they spontaneously burst into a rendition of Happy Birthday for me which I was celebrating that weekend. It was a special moment. And then once we had the all clear, everybody literally ran onto the dance floor and took the atmosphere to a whole new level. For whoever tried to sabotage the event, it really backfired!
Have you ever been back to South Africa since; holiday perhaps?
No. Never, unfortunately. There’s been numerous occasions where it’s nearly happened but for one reason or another, the planets didn’t align and it didn’t materialise.Any country or city that still on your radar to perform that you haven’t been to yet?
I’ve been so lucky to travel to so many places doing this job. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get to go all around the World so I have ticked off most places on my bucket list but there are a handful I’d still like to see. Marrakech, Vietnam, Hawaii, Milan, Monaco all spring to mind off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s a lot more if I thought about it. Even though I’ve been to almost 100 countries, there’s still many more to discover.
You’re still as active as ever and I’m sure you get tired of the questions about longevity in the music game, but after almost 30 years it’s inevitable; so, what is the secret to keeping the fire alive?
The Music. It always has to be driven by the music. I still get a big buzz from finding and playing new music to people. If that ever changes, then that will be the time to consider hanging up the headphones. Until then, I love it now just as much as I ever did!
You’re the co-owner of Selador alongside your partner in crime Steve Parry. What’s it like being in the label business these days and what releases do you have forthcoming.
It’s changed almost beyond all recognition from when I first stated running a label back in the early 90s. I suppose that can be said for most industries though.The digital revolution has turned a lot of things on its head. It’s really a labour of love these days. There’s to much in the way of financial reward but we just love the process of finding new artists and music and packaging it altogether to unleash to the World. It’s addictive. And it also gives us a platform from which to collaborate with other like minded artists. I think that’s really important in this day and age. There’s a lot to be said for strength in numbers
You’ve rubbed shoulders with some pretty heavyweight pop music stars during your time; actually, that’s an understatement- you’ve done more than rub shoulders, you actually co-wrote and produced a hit single for Kylie Minogue, did production work for Pet Shop Boys and remix work for David Bowie, New Order, U2, Michael Jackson among others.This was all at a time when dance and pop music were not still relative strangers to each other (unlike today). Do you feel like you pioneered the way for dance music to reach a broader audience through these projects?
Steve (Anderson) & I worked together as Brothers In Rhythm for many years during the 90s and were very lucky to be in the right time, right place at the emergence of electronic music cross pollinating with pop culture. I never really saw it that way at the time, we were just in the eye of the storm, loving every minute, but I suppose looking back, we did play a part in Underground Dance Music becoming more mainstream. By the end of the 90s, what had initially been a small Underground club scene had turned into the biggest cultural revolution of a generation. It’s hard to overstate how much ‘Acid House’ changed the social fabric of the UK. And consequently, the World.
Did you ever meet any of the big music stars you did work for? [I know all the work took place in the studio and people often imagine the recordings to happen simultaneously.] If so, who do you have the fondest memories of?
Yes we were together with Kylie and the Pet Shop Boys a lot who were both amazing to work with. Anything that was a co-write or Production tended to be done in close collaboration with the artist. It was when remixing where we left to our own devices and didn’t have much contact. Shame as it would have been amazing to meet the likes of David Bowie and Michael Jackson. Though we did do a remix for Sting once who came into the studio whilst we were working. He sat quietly in the corner, minding his own business, thumbing his guitar. It was a little bit off putting if truth be known! :-/
With electronic dance music in all its genres and sub-genres being ubiquitous today, does an underground scene still exist or do we just term it underground if nobody’s listening?
Ha! That’s a good question. I suppose yes, the niche scenes and styles are deemed to be Underground because they are smaller and have not on the radar of the masses. But those scenes can quickly develop into much bigger movements and then by definition become more mainstream once they reach a certain tipping point. So Underground music can become popular without actually being cheesy and commercial sounding music. And then likewise, cheesy happy hardcore music could be deemed Underground because it operates in the cultural margins. I suppose it all depends on your definition of Underground.
Paradoxically, despite the EDM business being a multi-billion-dollar industry today – bigger than it’s ever been – DJ/Producers are finding it tougher to earn a living out of their music than ever before. What’s your take on the current state of the music biz, globally?
Of course there are the big artists making big money but they generally have huge teams and overheads attached to that so maybe their bottom line isn’t what you’d think. For your next level DJ Producer though, it is hard to make a living now unless your are regularly touring. Music sales are generally not at a level now to sustain a decent income, so you also have to think outside the box and look at all the possible revenue streams. Be it creating music for film or games or adverts. Or creating exclusive physical product and merchandise you can charge a premium for. Or offering teaching/ management/agency services, etc, etc. Basically, times have changed dramatically in the last decade and you have to adapt to that. The music industry was one of the first to really feel the effect of the digital revolution but we’re certainly not the last.
Okay enough with the serious stuff; I believe John OO Fleming tipped you off about the legendary Goldswindler parties in Cape Town; you will be playing an extended set at the event. I know as a seasoned DJ you’re likely to decide on the night exactly what to play, but can you give your fans here an indication as to what to expect?
Aha! Since you ask, I will be attempting to seamlessly play one track after another for somewhere in the region of 3 hours to create a wild and hedonistic sense of euphoria on the dance floor. It will include a lot of button pressing, a few whoops and hollers and intermittent raising of hands and all, I might add, without the aid of a safety net. You’ve been warned!!
Danny Howells, Darren Emerson & Dave Seaman’s 3D Project is back on Selador with 3 more original productions from the intrepid trio.
When three high ranking Acid House Generals world’s collide, the results were bound to produce something special and so it’s proved.
Coming straight off the back of a highly successful tour of South America and a string of European Festival dates, the legendary threesome pick up where they left off on their debut EP earlier this year with another high calibre release.
This time Dave paves the way with ‘Rodales’, a huge weapon in his sets over the last few months, it’s all about the prolonged teasing build, distorted melodies and bass drop payoff. All good things come to those who wait!
Then Darren steps up with the wonderfully titled ‘BUB’, a multi-faceted mystical beast straight out of the leftfield. Balearic Techno anyone?
And finally, Danny drops a banger in the form of ‘Violencia’, an acid tinged, peak time roller that’ll singe your eyebrows if you stand too close. Hot!
In a way, the EP neatly encapsulates the 3D project as a whole. Individually, each is a winner in it’s own right but collectively, it’s greater than the sum of its parts. Three is the magic number.
Selador Recordings – All for one and one for all x
After remixing Affkt’s ‘Between Us’ to wide acclaim last year, UK originator Dave Seaman now returns to Sincopat for his first full release for the label. Led by two original productions, Dave continues his rich vein of form showing a tougher edge to his range or if you prefer we use the slang term… a pair of bangers!
Not only that, both ‘Heavy Petting’ & ’Shimmer’ also come flanked by a brace of remixes from two talented artists currently riding high on the crest of a huge creative wave. Label favourite Just Her and Italian break out stars Moonwalk both work their magic with transformative effect to add a variety of alternative flavours to the menu. A platter to suit all tastes then. Bon appetite.
Recorded live at Selador’s 5th Birthday launch party at Watergate Berlin on April 26th, here’s Dave’s set in it’s entirety including an exclusive of his brand new track ‘Rodales’ which is forthcoming on Selador in July. Enjoy!
Talking all things Selador to coincide with the label’s 5th Birthday celebrations, here’s my recent interview for the Germany’s Faze Magazine transcribed into English…
Wow, time went by so fast… You and Steve Parry have managed the label Selador for five years now. We tried to figure out what Selador means – but did not find it. Please help us.
We adapted the name from a line in the cult film ‘Donnie Darko’ where it’s said that the syllables that make up the words ‘Cellar Door’ are the most beautiful sounding combination in the English language. It kind of struck a chord with us. Musically, we’re always on the search for beauty and perfection
How long have you known each other and how did you get the idea to start a label?
We’ve known each other for almost 30 years! Steve served me vinyl for many years throughout the 90s and early 2000s when he worked at 3 Beat Records so we’d always had a bond over our shared love of music and clubbing. After I had laid my previous label, Audio Therapy, to rest in 2011, I took some time off from that side of the business but it wasn’t long before I realised how much I missed it. So when Steve mentioned to me during a phone conversation we had late in 2012, that it was one of his ambitions to run a record label, it wasn’t a stretch for me to propose the idea of starting an imprint together. 6 months later, Selador was born.
Let’s review the first five years of Selador. Which acts are under contract and what is Selador’s style?
We’re really happy with how far we’ve come and what we’ve achieved in our first 5 years. It’s such a competitive business running an independent dance music label these days so it’s hard to establish yourself but we believe we’re slowly getting there. We’ve worked really hard and there’s still a lot more work to do. We’ve always tried to release a variety of styles that reflected our wide tastes. We definitely didn’t want to get stuck in one niche genre. Hence, over our short history we’ve released everything from the tougher Techno influenced work of Reset Robot, Wehbba and Victor Ruiz through to the deeper end of the spectrum such as Ruede Hagelstein, Tim Engelhardt & Charles Webster. And everything in-between! But if we’re asking who’s actually appeared on the label the most? Aside from Steve & I, that accolade would probably fall to either Quivver or Robert Babicz. Too close to call.
It’s better look forward than back but with you, it is worthwhile to have a look at the past. Keyword “Global Underground”. How did you experience this time? It was the stepping stone for you to the top?
Yes, I look back on the big Global Underground years with very fond memories. It’s not so often the Underground actually becomes mainstream for such a extended period of time but that is exactly what happened around the end of the 90s and start of the new millennium. There was a huge appetite for what we were doing all around the World. So many new places were really just opening up to the dance music/DJ revolution so they were very exciting times. I think GU really managed to capture that with their releases. It was an honour to be part of it.
Back to the future: What are the future plans with Selador?
Our immediate focus is our 5th Birthday. It’s a big project for us and we’re very proud of the results. We’ve lined up have 3 EPs featuring 12 exclusive collaboration tracks between 24 of our artists. The final line up is..
Quivver & Cristoph
Stelios Vassiloudis & Robert Babicz
Raw District & Just Her
Luke Brancaccio & Tim Healey
Martin Eyerer & Namito
Florian Kruse & Justin Massei
Acumen & JOBE
Gorge & Joeski
Guy Mantzur & Lonya
Marc DePulse & Several Definitions
Wally Lopez & Joal
And finally Steve & myself
As you can see, it’s a huge project!
On April 26, you celebrate the fifth anniversary of Selador at the Watergate club in Berlin. What about the line-up, is there already a timetable and what awaits the party people?
Steve & I will both be playing alongside our Berlin resident Justin Massei and this time our guest will be Quivver. It’s going to be be our 4th label showcase at Watergate. It’s such a great club and we’ve always had such great fun there, we really couldn’t think of anywhere better to kickstart our 5th Birthday celebrations.
Your current top 5 tracks are:
Well, whilst we’re talking all things Selador, let’s make it a current Selador Top 5.