Dave, alongside his Selador label partner Steve Parry, discuss all manner of things to do with their label including how it all began, the origins of the name, the state of the music business right now, the highs and the lows of the first 5 years and much more besides. Watch it all right here >>
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…
Read my recent interview with Change Underground talking all things Selador, my go-to favourite labels and up and coming producers and the return to vogue of Progressive House..
Hi Dave, it’s good to have you back on C-U again. Last time we spoke was in 2013 believe it or not when you were doing a crowd funder for your mix CD https://change-underground.com/dave-seaman/ – would you ever do something like that again?
Never say never but I don’t have any plans to do it again at the moment. It was a great experience. A really unique project that took me out of my comfort zone and led to lots of fantastic gigs and to me meeting lots of great people. The only real downside for me was the amount of time I needed to invest in it. It really took over my life for the good part of a year and that prevented me from doing lots of other things properly over that period so if I were to do it again, I’d have to make sure I had the decks cleared (no pun intended) for a while.
You were forming your label with Selador with Steve Parry at the time, which has become one of our favourite labels. If fact, we’ve not heard a bad release from you guys for a long time. We interviewed AFFKT recently, who you’ve been working with a long time and feel he’s really begun to find his sound of late. You’ve also got artists like Quivver on the roster who always seem to deliver amazing tracks for Selador. We’ve seen you and Steve seem to be doing a lot more Selador gigs these days. Can you share with us the ethos behind the Selador brand and where you’re looking to take it?
We really just stick to the simple principle that if we both like it and we’d both play it, then it’s a Selador track. We’ve tried not to get stuck in one niche genre as we both like and play lots of different styles of electronic house, hence the fact we’ve had everyone from Victor Ruiz, Reset Robot and Dubspeeka to Gorge, Tim Engelhardt and Ruede Hagelstein on the label. It could be deep-as-you-like house or peak time Techno, it all falls under the Selador umbrella for us. And that all-inclusive family feeling is one which we intend to build on when it comes to future events. We’d like to do Techno nights or Progressive nights or Deep House nights or even better, have it all on the same night!
Can you tell us some of the stuff you’ve got coming up that we should looking forward to?
We’ve just released an EP by Greek Producer Stelios Vassiloudis. Next up is an EP by Frenchman Acumen, then it’s to Spain for a release by Affkt and then to Germany for a Florian Kruse EP. We’re also going to be doing more label nights at Watergate in Berlin which we’re very excited about after the last one was such a big sucess. So as you can see, we are an anti-Brexit label! haha
Last time we spoke, we talked about Global Underground – who are back with a vengeance. John Digweed previously said if “they had used the money to pay their bills instead of on speed boats and entertaining, they might have had a longer working relationships with people” so he had no plans to work with them again. You also mentioned in your interview that GU wouldn’t be the same today and you’ve got to keep moving forward. Obviously times change Dave but do you still hold the same opinion?
It’s good to have GU back. It’s a strong brand that so many people around the world grew up on. Obviously times are very different from in GU’s heyday when they could sell thousands and thousands of CDs, but I still think there’s a role for them to play in today’s scene. Well packaged special edition ‘physical’ albums are still highly desirable to collectors and avid music fans. Digital mixes are just too disposable for many of us. There’s no emotional attachment to a computer file. So I think there’s definitely a market for new GU ‘city’ compilations and there’s certainly plenty of DJs for them to choose from who I’m sure would be honoured to be party of such a prestigious series. Let’s see how things pan out but I’m optimistic for their future.
Progressive house has been reborn and although we know it never went away, the sound is being championed by a lot more artists across the world. Nick Warren said even techno DJs are playing it but nobody is calling it progressive. We’re receiving promos from labels all over the world, who to are pushing the progressive sound, but have no understanding of its origins. If you look at artists like Solomun, Kolsch and Dixon – these guys are playing progressive and are massive on the global stage. But as these guys are relative newcomers in comparison, to guys like you, Nick and Hernan, do you think it’s fair that you guys are not being recognized as the true pioneers and leaders of the new progressive scene? Or would you class the scene that you’re a part of now as the real underground and the one that’s emerged is part of the corporate institution, that Funk D’Void spoke about recently?
We all know Progressive House never really went away. It was Beatport’s decision to allow lots of cheesy EDM producers to hijack the genre that tainted the name and so real Progressive House had to masquerade as Techno or Deep House or Tech House for several years. But as is the circular nature of fashion, things come round again and it does seem like Progressive is making a bit of a comeback, thanks in large part to Beatport creating a new ‘Big Room’ section for all that commercial music which has allowed the more underground Progressive to rightfully reclaim it’s own genre. Of course the guys that you mentioned play a lot of music that I would consider Progressive House but I’m not sure I would consider what they do to be any less authentic than the original Progressive pioneers. They are just the new generation and the game has changed. In fact, the world has changed. You see it in all walks of life. Look at the top tennis players who all now have a manager, a coach, a fitness coach, a nutritionist, a masseur, a publicist, etc, etc. If you have a skill that can be turned into a brand and can assemble a great team around you then you can achieve bigger things. Can that be seen as being part of a corporate institution? Maybe so. But I wouldn’t question any of those guys’ passion or commitment to what they do. I think they deserve all the plaudits they receive. It’s just Progressive 2.0. Rebooted for the digital era.
Which one of your productions would you say you’re most proud of recently and why?
I was really happy with my ‘Voodoo Disarray’ track and also the remix I did for Affkt of ‘Between Us’ earlier this year. In both cases I was trying to make distinctive dance floor weapons that retained a certain understated quality and like to think I achieved that. There’s actually a remix EP of ‘Voodoo’ on the horizon with contributions from Johannes Brecht, Drunken Kong & And.Id on Selador which I’m very excited about.
You’ve got a new remix coming out on Brent’s Pro B-Tech label soon which we premiered.
Yes, thank you for that. I did that remix at the beginning of the year and so am happy that’s it’s finally coming out next week. I know it was one of Pro B Tech’s highest performing tracks on it’s original release and there were some lovely parts that leant themselves to a very warm melodic interpretation, so was happy to get involved. Really pleased with this one. Hope your readers like it too.
As you know, C-U is a platform that supports and showcases new talent. Could you share with us a couple of emerging artists that people should keep their eye on?
EdOne, Kotelett & Zadak, Drunken Kong, Clavis, Jody Barr. Too many to mention.
So we can get a flavor of what you’re playing right now, can you tell us your other go to labels right? Diynamic, Watergate, Freerange, Terminal M, Innervisions, Kompakt. Again, I could go on and on. There are so many great labels around.
Do you have any plans to release another album and what’s coming up tour wise next?
I’ve done new remixes for Affkt and Jozif coming soon and have also started a couple of collaborations with two very cool artists. Plus, unbelievably, it’s going to be Selador’s 5th birthday next year so we are already gearing up for a big celebration around that milestone. Lots of exciting things are afoot. Watch this space.
Thanks for chatting to us Dave.
The release of Beyond Borders 2, sees you choose Berlin as the inspiration for this compilation, can you give us an insight into why you chose this particular city?
After ‘King Unique’ had chosen London as the first city in this new series earlier in the year I started to think of some of the other most influential destinations in Electronic Music. New York and Barcelona crossed my mind and then Chicago for it’s heritage, plus of course, Ibiza. But I’d just been back to Berlin for the first time in a few years and it reminded of just what a creative city it is and how much quality underground music continually comes out of there, so in the end, it was an obvious choice.
With regards to putting this together, how did you approach compiling the tracks and the order in which you sequence them in the mix?
I wanted to make sure that the album had a distinct Berlin flavour so made sure to include lots of artists and labels from the city. I think I’ve managed to do that. And there’s a good balance of new and familiar names. I also wanted to use some of the big tracks from my gig at Suicide Circus in the summer so the album had a particular time and place attached to it. Another thing I decided was that I wasn’t going to worry to much about everything having to be new and exclusive. There was a time when that was an important factor for me when doing a mix CD but one thing we’re not short of these days is a supply of new music! Plus, in a few months time when none of the music will be new anymore, it’s the quality and longevity that ultimately really counts. (more…)
Hi Dave, I think the last time we talked was that frantic text conversation when I wrote the “What Is Prog?” article! How’s things?
Very good thank you. I’m in the middle of a very busy period of releases for both myself and my label Selador. It’s been a great 2015 so far and only looks like getting better from here on. I’m on a roll
So you’re headlining Hush Hush soon at Leeds Warehouse. Must be great to get to play to a home crowd, how often d’you get to do it these days?
I only get back to play in Leeds every 18 months or so and the last two times have been for Classics events, the Renaissance 20th anniversary and one of the excellent Shine parties so I’m really happy this time to be back playing a current set. There’s so much great new music around at the moment and I love The Warehouse. It’s where I first went clubbing when I was a teenager many moons ago and it’s still rocking to this day. A proper UK clubbing institution. It’s also Record Store day on the 18th so I’ll be getting up early to visit my old vinyl haunts, Crash and Jumbo to show some support. Shame Leeds United are not playing at home which would have pretty much made it the perfect day back home.
Any hints as to what you’ll play on the night?
Not yet. At the risk of sounding like a cliched footballer, I try to take one game at a time. I’m currently prepping for The Rhumba Club’s 24th Birthday in Perth, Scotland this Saturday with Slam & Graeme Park and once I’ve licked my wounds after that, I’ll start to think about Leeds.
Our own Ian Dillon has the auspicious task of taking over from you on the night – any words of advice for him?
Ha! Just tell him to come do his thing. No pressure. I promise not to drop the baton on the handover! And hopefully by that point he’ll be clear to take the glory down the home straight all the way to the finish line 😉
Your new label Selador Recordings is going well. Can you tell us about what’s up coming?
We’ve got so much amazing music lined up, it’s crazy. The next release by Jaap Ligthart and Alice Rose is getting major support with Maceo Plex, Ame, Mano Le Tough, Solomon, Dixon and Sasha all supporting it. It’s shaping up to be our biggest release yet. Then we’ve got releases and remixes from Joal, Third Son, Nicolas Massayeff, Supernova, Marc De Pulse, Petar Dundov, Justin Massei, Robert Babicz, Gorge and Villanova all in the works and both myself and my co owner of the label Steve Parry will have our own releases soon too. It’s going to be a busy summer.
We’ve heard that Selador are doing a party at Watergate in Berlin soon. Tell us about that? Have you played in Berlin before? What’s your take on the scene over there?
Yes, we’re so excited about this one. Obviously Watergate is widely regarded to be one of the best clubs in the world so for us as a label it’s quite a coup to be able to do a label night there. Steve & I will be joined by Piemont and Justin Massei on the night for what will be my first time back in Berlin for over a decade. Obviously things have changed since the last time I was there when I did the Love Parade. It seems to be pretty much the World capital for Electronic Music these days. So many amazing artists, labels and clubs operate from there, I think there’s possibly only Ibiza that can claim to have a bigger influence right now and that’s only for 3 months of the year!
Selador isn’t your first label is it? Can you tell us about Stress and Audio Therapy – both very different beasts but focused on quality music?
Yes, Stress was a label of the nineties and Therapy very much of the noughties. They were both of their time but kind of ran their course as the label game shifted business models. I was kind of glad when Audio Therapy was laid to rest. It felt like a weight off my shoulders. But it wasn’t too long before I realised how much I missed running a label and so Selador was born. It really is a labour of love. It takes a lot of time, effort and dedication for virtually no financial benefits but I just love the process. It’s very rewarding in many other ways and wealth shouldn’t be measured solely in monetary terms.
Alongside you at Selador is the irrepressible Steve Parry. How did you guys meet?
We met way back in the late 80s at Fallows Nightclub in Liverpool when I was working for Mixmag and Steve was pestering the resident DJ for a warm up slot. He’s still as enthusiastic to this day. The quintessential trainspotter! haha Seriously though, I couldn’t ask for a better label partner. We both have other business and families to take care of so we try to work around each other’s time constraints and most importantly we share very similar but not identical tastes in music. I think we’ve only disagreed once on signing a particular track. Not bad for the first 25 releases.
Steve of course was a Cream resident. I wrote a article recently about the decline of the resident in clubland and the value they have to brand stability and growth. As a veteran of the scene, are there changes you’ve noticed which annoy you?
Yeah, the general way music has become so disposable. Easy come, easy go, onto the next thing. Nothing seems to carry any value anymore. Since the decline of physical formats, attachment to music isn’t the same as it once was. A computer file carries no emotional bond like vinyl did or even CDs to a degree. You can’t have a flick through someone’s hardrive like you could through their record collection. But I truly believe they’ll be swing back towards collecting physical music again. Where else is the to go once you can have any track ever made at your fingertips within a couple of seconds which is pretty much where we’ve got to. The digital road comes to a dead end when you literally can’t get any harder better faster stronger.
With Miami Music Conference just gone and IMS just around the corner, do you find these industry gatherings as useful as they once were?
They are still important but not so much as they once were. The world is much smaller now and much more connected via the magical medium of linked computers. But you still can’t quite beat the human experience of meeting someone face to face and having a meeting, lunch or night out together. More things get done in person than by email or Skype.
We hear that you have some exciting releases coming up with some very switched on labels, including Suara, Noir and Hive Audio. Can you give us some details?
Yes, the first of those is a two tracker (‘Dance In Tongues’ & ‘Strobelight Symphony’) on Noir due out at the end of April. Then I’ve got a track called ‘Private Education’ on Suara’s next big Kitties Wanna Dance compilation scheduled for mid May and finally a single on Hive Audio with a Dario D’Attis mix entitled ‘Gumball’ out on May 25th. There’ll be lots more coming after this flurry of activity too. Like I said before, I’m on a roll 😉
If I may, can we skip back to the deep and distance past? I’d like to ask you about the legendary John Debo couch tour of 1992! You and Guy Ornadel were great friends and he had arranged a tour for John in the UK. John tells me that the trip changed the direction of everything he did from then on…
Ha! That is a long time ago. Yes, I think that visit to the UK made a big impression on young Mr Debo. He had the dubious honour of sleeping on my couch for a couple of weeks and he found himself in the eye of the storm. Things were very exciting in the UK back then. We were still relatively in the formulative years of acid house. Making the rules up as we went along. It changed a lot of people’s lives forever.
Difficult question I know, but do you have a favourite place to tour?
Not that difficult really..
3. South America
Many of your older tours were with Global Underground. Your sound back then was, shall we say, ‘trancier’ than now. As your tastes have changed do you find you still get fans who ask for music you don’t play anymore? How do you deal with them?
I do get asked to play tracks from back then but I don’t really carry any of that music with me anymore so I can’t play it if I ain’t got it 😉 And I’ve never really been one for nostalgia. I try to live in the present and look to the future. I do realise that for a lot of people they were magical times, they were for me too, but those tracks were of their time and sound very retro to me now. They were all so fast as well. Comically fast when I listen back to them now. It all went a bit Benny Hill in the tempo department for a while back there. I’d have to be playing everything at minus ten to fit with what I’m doing now.
Chatting with King Unique recently, he told me about the process he went through putting his Beyond Borders CD together. Now you’ve done over 20 compilations, so do you still find compiling a mix CD as painstaking as you first did, or have you found your stride now?
Ha! No, not really. Every one is different. Certain ones have been easy by comparison to others which have driven to the very edge of insanity. I don’t think anyone can truly appreciate the patience, perseverance and hard work that goes into one until you’ve been through the process. Anyone can put a set together. Especially these days. But not everyone can create a really good mix CD. Not if you’re doing it properly anyway 😉
Social media has now become such a vital part of the DJs toolbox that some of the bigger names employ a team of marketeers to post for them to manage their brand. Is this something you would want to do, or do you feel the personal touch is more important for fan retention?
I do all my own social media. It’s time consuming and a pain in the arse at times but nobody can represent you better than yourself and although I try to keep up with everybody’s questions and comments as much as possible, I try not to let it take over my life. I used to be addicted. There was a time when I felt anxious if I hadn’t read all the posts on my timeline and Twitter feed. But now I just dip in and out whenever I have a little free time. It’s important but it’s not that important.
Having been in the game for over 25 years, do you now look towards an end point? Will you ever feel the time is right to hang up the headphones for good?
To be honest, I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel just yet. It’s all still very dark and noisy. Just the way I like it 😉
Hey Dave welcome back to DMCWORLD, where on planet earth are you today?
Hello. Thanks. Always a pleasure, never a chore I’m at home. Just got back from DJing in Seoul and Manila this weekend so I’m just unpacking, doing the washing, getting ready to do the school run, etc. It’s not all glamour you know!
Right let’s get into it, a brand new tune ‘Naughty Forest’ you have created with Funkagenda that already has the likes of Pig & Dan, Nic Fanciulli and Stephan Bodzin jumping through hoops over. Talk us through the track…
It began as an idea after Adam (Funkagenda) and I did a gig together a couple of years ago in Jordan. He’d mentioned the idea of using the vocal sample before so as we DJ’ed together we talked about what we liked about certain parts of some of the tracks we were playing. So when he got on the flight home, he threw together some of those ideas in a rough demo. Then we tried to get together a few times to work on it but never seemed to be able to get our diaries to align so in the end he sent me all the parts and I did my own version which is what has just come out.
There’s also two remixes sending us deeper courtesy of Dapayk and Nicolas Masseyeff, why were these two excellent producers picked for rework duties?
Because I’m huge fans of both. Plain and simple. I’d been wanting them to do something for me and my label Selador for a while but this was the one I thought that they could really get their teeth into. Luckliy, they agreed and did fantastic jobs, both of them.
2013 saw you release the beautiful ‘The Holy Ghost’ track on US based Tulipa Recordings. This year you have opened the door for budding producers from around the world to remix the tune with the winner’s mix being included in the summer remix package alongside D-Nox & Beckers and Dousk.
It’s another great idea…even if people entering do have to purchase the track before getting to grips with their mix – who has the job of choosing the winner and whose initial idea was it?
The idea came from Tulipa. It’s not a new idea but I think it’s a great way for new producers to get noticed. And I always remember that I got my big break in the industry through a competition so it’s nice to give others an similar opportunity. I’m going to be listening to all the entries myself and choose the winner. Looking forward to hearing them.
It has been a year since you released your mix album on Kickstarter, you were ahead of the game yet again as other producers have followed suit releasing music through this pledging avenue…DMCWORLD Champion QBert being the latest big name to bring something out. So now that the dust has settled what are your thoughts on the whole experience. Is it something you would do again?
It was an exciting adventure as most journeys into the unknown are. Treading new ground and being out of my comfort zone breathed new life into a process I’ve done dozens of times before. I’d certainly do it again and can see it becoming a much more common way of artists making their projects happen. With the advent of social media, that direct line between the artist and their audience opens up hinge possibilities that just weren’t possible before through traditional methods.
It’s the future. Garlic bread is so last year 😉
What was the killer track you had to remove from the album lastminute.com as it was too early for the label and their release plans?
It was the Dixon remix of Mano Le Tough’s ‘Everything You”ve Done Before’. One of my favourite tracks from last year that also dovetailed perfectly with the two tracks either side of it. The label, Permanent Vacation, thought it was too early for them to agree for it to go on the album as they hadn’t even set a release date and plead with them as I might, I couldn’t twist their arm. Ironically, just after I’d finished the album, they changed their minds and brought their release forward but it was too late. It actually came out the same week as my album! Gutted.
What is coming out next from your label Selador Recordings…
After ‘Naughty Forest’ we will have a Selador Showcase, a selection of ten tracks from various artists and will musically range from deeper stuff of Samu.l to more peak time stuff from Marc Marzenit. It’s basically like a full DJ set of music in one collection! Also on the label in the future will be another track from myself, a new release from the labels’ co owner Steve Parry and new EP’s from Robert Babicz and AFFKT.
It’s going to be a big year for the label.
Okay, the name Selador. Has it reference to a psychoanalyst in Frank Herbert’s ‘The Santaroga Barrier’, the Portuguese for ‘sealer’ or is it a plain old spelling mistake and it should have said Cellar Door???
Ha! Yes it’s derived from Cellar Door. Taken from the film Donnie Darko where Drew Barrymore’s character talks about how it is the most beautiful sounding combination of words in the English language. It seemed fitting as we believe we are in the business of beautiful sounds
I hear you had a great time at the basketball in America watching Miami Heat beat the Chicago Bulls. Now come on Garforth lad, was it as good as watching a classic West Yorkshire derby between Leeds and Huddersfield Town?
Ha! Nothing beats the 5-1 thrashing of Huddersfield at Elland Road recently. Especially as we were 1-0 down to start with. I took my young boys to that one. Unfortunately I laos took them a few weeks later when we lost 5-1 to Bolton. You win some, you lose some. But I have to admit Leeds United to learn a thing or two about the razzmatazz of the NBA. It was all going off, the fireworks, the dancing girls, the DJ hyping the crowd. I tell you one thing that I boy from Leeds couldn’t get his head around though… £50 a head for the half time buffet!!! Give me a pint and a pie for £6 anytime!!
If someone ever opened up a dance music museum there would be one definite piece of memorabilia in there, something you found in a dusty cardboard box in your loft; your notepad containing your Kylie Minogue ‘Confide In Me’ lyrics. Can you recall that time writing those words which millions around the world now know and love, how long did that song in particular take to write…and what are you going to do with the notepad?
I do remember writing them yes. That song came together so quickly. Steve and I threw together a backing track in a couple of hours one afternoon and that evening I went home and wrote the lyrics. The next day Kylie came in and recorded it and that original demo vocal is pretty much what was released. Creativity is always best when it just flows out of you without having to think or work too hard. As for what I’m going to do with the original hand written lyrics? I’ll probably frame them and stick it up in the loo for a little contemplative reading whilst sitting on the throne
I loved something you said last year when discussing dance music’s biggest problem at the moment is that too much music is being made with no filter system; “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!” So what is the solution?
There isn’t an easy one. Unless the digital sites start being more selective about what tracks they take on, which goes against the whole Chris Anderson ‘Long Tail’ model of digital retail. But I think if some online platforms began to specialise and became known for specific genres they probably would have great success doing so. Beatport are bringing in new rules where you have to submit how many Facebook likes, Twitter followers, mailing list numbers, etc you have. And you have to have a certain number to have your track accepted for sale on Beatport. Which is all well and good in theory. But we all know that those numbers are easy to manipulate. I think it just encourages people to buy “likes”. So it’s not necessarily a way to keep quality standards high.
You were one of the first British DJs to start touring the world, god only knows how many air miles you have young man. Whenever you ask a DJ what the worse part of his job is they always say the traveling, the airports, the crap flights, the waiting around…sure only a small price to pay for such an incredible job, but being on tour 52 weeks a year does take a lot of dedication. How do you get through this part of your job?
It makes me laugh when I hear DJs complaining about the traveling part of their job. It’s actually one of my favourite bits. Of course it can be frustrating if you get delayed or whatever but there’s nothing you can do about it so it’s pointless getting too stressed. As for the flying time, airport lounges, etc That’s all “me” time. I can catch up on music, movies, magazines, emails, whatever. I don’t get the concept of “waiting around”. Christ, you can even make music on the go now so I don’t get what it is that’s so bad about that aspect of the job. I just think people need to adjust their mindsets a little. Enjoy it all.
What is the current Top 10 you are spinning…
Conveniently you can see that on Beatport 😉
Who are some of the producers around the world you are giving high fives to at the moment?
There’s loads of people making great music right now. Hot Since 82, Dixon, Sante, Solomun, Butch, Maceo Plex, Robert Babicz, Affkt, Wehbba. I could go on and on.
It’s WMC time yet again in Miami, we’ve already seen an excellent BPM down in Mexico and Pete Tong’s IMS over in Ibiza is shaping up nicely again in May. You will be one of the key speakers at the Brighton Music Conference in a few weeks, at last the UK has something to shout about conference wise. Do you think the UK’s record industry is ready for an event of this calibre just yet – is it getting enough support? We are slowly but surely putting our flag in the sand again as a nation…
Yeah, I find it strange that it hasn’t been done before to be honest. But fair play to John Fleming and his team for taking the leap and making it happen. I’m looking forward to being a part of the first Brighton Conference. It looks to be shaping up nicely. After the collapse of UK clubland post millennium and the shift of power to Berlin as the clubbing epicentre of the World, it seems to have taken a little while for the Uk to find our feet again. But as we talked about earlier, the green shoots of recovery seem to be springing up all over now. You can keep a good man down for long.
The UK club scene too is having a renaissance with towns all over the country finally having notable nights. Where have some of the stand out gigs been for you these past few months?
It’s true. There really are lots of new nights springing up everywhere. I’ve done more UK gigs in the last year than I had in the previous decade! The Rhumba Festival of House in Dundee last October was amazing playing alongside Hot Chip and Derrick Carter. We also did our first Selador party at the Williamson Tunnels in Liverpool which sold out. As did the Tangled gig in Manchester and the Shine show in Leeds. It really does feel like the start of the next big wave in UK clubland which should please all the DJs who moan about airports! 😉
Where are some of the gigs in your diary around the world you are really looking forward to this summer?
It’s just a little too early to announce a couple of major things I’m going to be doing but let’s just say I won’t be doing Glastonbury this year. I’ve done the last five so felt it was time to take a year off and do a couple of the other UK festivals instead. So watch this space on that. Same goes for Ibiza. I’m just in the process of confirming my Ibiza plans. Should have news in the next couple of weeks. Apart from that, I always enjoy going to South America. I’ll be in Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Mexico over the coming months. Israel was amazing last summer too. So looking forward to going there again. I played to over 30,000 people on the beach just outside Tel Aviv for the legendary Cat & Dog. Incredible!
And finally, what are the next studio plans for Dave Seaman…?
I’ve just finished a couple of new tracks. One I’ve signed to the New York label, Sullivan Room entitled ‘Distraction Tactics’ and a second called ‘Justified Replacement Of Lulu’ is going to come out on Selador. I’ve also been doing some songwriting again which will come out under a different alias. It’s more downtempo electronica in the vein of Banks and Lorde. And then there’s also a Pet Shop Boys remix due to happen which I’m very excited about. They were the first artists we ever remixed as Brothers in Rhythm so it’s all gone full circle.
So you made history recently with the first ever crowd-funded mix compilation, congratulations. Why did you decide to do this and do you see the future of mixes heading this way?
I just wanted to do something different to be honest. I’d done almost 30 mix compilations through traditional channels with the likes of Global Underground & Renaissance and doing another one of those felt a bit “same old, same old”. Taking the Kickstarter option was a out of my comfort zone, a bit of a risk and sometimes you have to do that just to feel alive. And yes I firmly believe that this is going to become an increasingly popular way in which artists and their audiences make things happen. Cutting out the middle man and opening up a direct line of communication between fans and artists can lead to all sorts of interesting possibilities.
We also hear the compilation is now finished and you have started doing the more interesting pledges, such as DJ lessons and private parties. What is the mix like and how much fun have the latter been?
I’m really pleased with the mix. The track list is like a who’s who of everyone who’s hot right now on the underground electronic house scene. It goes from floaty and melodic through tough tech and deep techno to anthemic melancholic stuff. A real cross section of flavours. It’s probably the most mature mix I’ve ever done. And all the parties and DJ lessons thus far have been really good fun. The most random was at the recent Leeds festival where I was part of a competition prize. People had no idea what they were letting themselves in for when they entered so consequently I had some winners who had never see a DJ set up before. Was all good fun though.
The compilation is part of the label Selador, how has that gone for you so far? What’s coming up on the label in the future?
We’ve got off to a flying start. Very happy with how it’s gone so far. The first release by Samu.l reached the higher echelons of Beatport’s Deep House chart and our latest release, the new mixes of paul Rutherford’s Get Real classic have had some of the best feedback across the board i’ve ever seen. It’s all been really positive. Running a label these days is certainly not easy but all this support has given us a real sense of purpose. We’ve got lots more in store for sure including a new EP from one of my favourite production duos right now Piemont, a bumper sampler compilation for ADE and my own new single which is a collaboration with Funkagenda.
So you’re playing a classics set at your hometown of Leeds, looking forward to it? We were there for a similar one at Renaissance in april last year and loved it, how much do you enjoy these occasional trips through memory lane?
I can do one or two a year and keep them enjoyable. I think anymore than that and the shine would wear off very quickly. But every once in a while it’s fun to do a bit of crate digging and wheel out some old faves. Especially stuff from the late 80s and early 90s at the moment which all sounds very current again. Things really do round and round in circles.
What other gigs are you looking forward to in the next few weeks?
I’ve got a festival in Moscow and a return to Lithuania where I did my last Global underground CD next. And then as you mentioned I’m in Leeds and then I’m really looking forward to playing alongside Hot Chip, Derrick Carter, DJ Yoda and the likes at the Rhumba Club Festival of house in Dundee in October. That’s always been one of my favourite nights in the UK and they’ve really outdone themselves on the line up this time. That’s definitely gonna be one of my autumn highlights.
What music has excited you then this summer?
There’s always so much great music around. It’s so hard to keep on top of it all. My favourite dance track recently has been Yousef & The Angel’s ‘Float Away’ Such a beautiful track. A future classic for sure. I’m also loving what Dixon and Hot Since 82 and Maceo Plex are doing right now. All those boys are on fire. And then outside of dance music, I can’t get enough of the Arctic Monkeys single, Do I Wanna Know? The new Arcade Fire track ‘Reflektor’ is ace too produced by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy.
And what else is coming up for Dave Seaman?
My next three releases are all collaborations. the first is already out on Pro B Tech which is together with John 00 Fleming called ‘Unexpected item In The Packing Area’ with remixes from Dubspeeka and Hernan Cattaneo & Martin Garcia. Then there’s a track called ‘Feline’ which I did with Guy Mantzur which is coming out on Mihalis Safras’s Playmobil label with a remix from Mihalis himself. And the finally there’s the thing I mentioned before for Selador with Funakgenda. I’m also working on a couple of remixes for a couple of big artists so watch this space 😉
– First of all, congratulations on your successful Kickstarter Mix CD campaign. It’s the very first Mix CD funded solely by fans. Could you tell us why you decided to go for a Kickstarter campaign?
I just wanted to do something different to be honest. I’d done almost 30 mix compilations through traditional channels with the likes of Global Underground & Renaissance and doing another one of those felt a bit “same old, same old”. Taking the Kickstarter option was a out of my comfort zone, a bit of a risk and sometimes you have to do that just to feel alive. I also firmly believe that this is going to become an increasingly popular way in which artists and their audiences make things happen. By cutting out the middle and opening up a direct line of communication between fans and artists, can lead to all sorts of interesting possibilities.
– After this success, do you think many campaigns will follow?
I don’t see why not. We learnt a lot on our first campaign. And there are definitely things we would do differently next time and other ideas that have since developed. I certainly hope it won’t be my last foray into crowd funding.
– You’ve said the Mix CD is in a niche market again. Why do you think this is?
Because those days so many more people are downloading their music digitally and as a result physical formats have suffered greatly. But there is still a market for CDs & vinyl. I for one, and I know i’m not alone, still like to buy physical stuff. I’m a collector. I have a library at home with all my vinyl, CDs, DVDs & books. It’s my favourite room. I don’t get that kind of relationship from my hard drive! From disposable files on a computer. And I think that there will always be people who will agree with me. Cloud computing maybe the ultimate in convenience but it’s very soulless.
– Some people would think a Mix CD is just as easily put together as a DJ set. Could you show us some insight in the process of creating a Mix Compilation? What are the main things you have to deal with?
Maybe for some people it is just like recording a DJ set but for me, I spend weeks and weeks crafting these albums. I want them to be extra special, to stand the test of time and I utilise all the tools available to me to make an album that just wouldn’t be possible to do as a live set. With software programmes like Ableton you can layer upon layer tracks so that they all almost become remixed in the process. For me it’s not just about segueing from one track to the next, it’s about creating a collage of audio that is coherent as one single piece. Also, when you’re doing a live set you don’t have to worry about the licensing process which is another major factor you have to throw into the mix.
– You’re the founder of the Audio Therapy label and helped found Stress Records. Recently you decided to start up a new label – together with Steve Parry – called Selador Recordings. What do you want to accomplish with Selador?
To put out great music. Plain and simple. I love the process. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed it after closing Audio Therapy a couple of years ago but am so glad to be back in the game. And Steve is the perfect partner. We’ve know each other for such a long time and I think our tastes complement each other. His enthusiasm is infectious too. Which always helps
– How do you select new artists for the label?
There’s no hard or fast rules. We’re always on the look out. The first release on the label from Samu.l came about as he is a friend of my cousin and I heard it as demo over a year ago. The Paul Rutherford ‘Get Real’ release was something that Steve had always wanted to put out as it’s one of his favourite tracks ever.
– You’ve been the editor at Mixmag from 1988 till 1991 if I’m not mistaken. When was the point in life you decided to leave the music journalism business and focus on a different music career instead? Were you already a DJ before starting at DMC/Mixmag?
Yeah it was just a choice that i had to make as I couldn’t keep doing everything. At least not to the standard I want to do things anyway. If you spread yourself too thinly then something has to give and my DJing and Production careers were starting to take off so it was the journalism that I had to leave behind. I decided I’d much rather be a bird than an ornathologist!
– Got any other big things we should keep our eyes on?
I’ve got quite a lot of productions on the horizon. First up is my new collaboration with John Fleming, the follow up to last years Pixelated, which is called Unexpected Item In The Packing Area. That’s coming out on Pro B Tech with remixes from Hernan Cattaneo & Martin Garcia plus one from Dubspeeka too. Then there’s a new thing I did with Guy Mantzur called ‘Feline’ that’s being released through Mihalis Safras’ Playmobil label with a remix from Mihalis himself. After those look out for collaborations with One Million Toys and Funkagenda which will be both out before the end of the year. I’ve also got a couple of remixes to do soon too. I’ve been busy pretty studio wise this year.
– Are you a coffee drinker? How do you drink it?
Medium Latte with two sweeteners please
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Here’s my recent interview with the This Is Progressive website talking dance music journalism, Kickstarter, EDM and the sullying of the Progressive name…..
Recently we caught up with one of the most worlds most recognised and respected industry veterans, Dave Seaman, who has since from the 1980’s, earned his credentials playing weddings and birthdays, through to playing to crowds in their tens of thousands around the world. Dave has provided the soundtrack to generations of clubbers, world wide with his unique and honest progressive house sound.
With over 90 releases to his name, owner of new label Selador Recordings, a monthly podcast (Radio Therapy) and a global tour schedule that puts the most seasoned traveller to shame, Dave Seaman is as energetic and passionate about the music industry and the people who see him weekly as he has ever been.
With Mixmag celebrating 30 years – You were the first editor of Mixmag, Where do you see the state of dance music journalism right now?
I think it’s like the old wild west out there. Hahaha. Basically anyone with an opinion can post up blogs and reviews masquerading as journalism these days and so finding the quality stuff amidst all the noise is increasingly difficult. When I was a teenager, the only source of information i had fro dance music was James Hamilton’s 2 pages in Record Mirror every week and now it’s just information overload. Crazy. I think places that people trust on line to give them the quality they’re looking for will be come increasingly important. We’re really still just at the beginning of this digital revolution and still finding our feet.
I see you played in Israel at Arcadia beach to over 25 000 people, one if the biggest crowds you have experienced, how was it?
Amazing. Quite a buzz I’ll tell you. There were people for as far as the eye could see. A real spectacle. Just a shame that police felt they couldn’t control it so shut us down early.
You have always nurtured younger talent, whether it be taking them on tour, putting them on your label, etc. Do you feel a responsibility to help out as a mentor?
I don’t necessarily feel responsible but it’s something I enjoy doing. It’s nice to be able to pass on a little wisdom and knowledge and open a few doors if possible. People did it for me and so I think I should do tyne same for others. Do as you would be done to and all that.
Where do you see the dance music world going right now?
I really don’t analyse the scene like that. That’s your job! You’re the journalists. Hahaha. I’ve been doing this too long to get bogged down in all that stuff. I’ll leave all that to the ornithologists while I just carry on life being a bird 😉 Basically, it all goes round in circles and will be here forever and a day.
You recently entered the world of kickstarter funding for your mix cd. How did this come about and what has the experience been like?
I’d been asked to do another Renaissance Masters but it really felt like I was repeating myself and I could tell that for everyone around me there was a general ambivalence towards it so when my agent Sara suggested Doing a crowd funding project it just felt fresh and different. I think the fact that it was a risk made it so exciting and it had never been done before, a crowd funded DJ mix compilation, so there was an instant attraction. I’m still a bit overwhelmed that we managed to pull it off and with so much time to spare. It’s definitely something I’d consider doing again sometime and something that I think a lot of other DJs might consider now.
How do you prepare for a mix album? It must take a lot planning. Where does one start? First of all you just throw the net out as far and wide as possible to get as much new music as possible. Then you sift through the catch and pick out all the goodies. Then you try to license everything that you might want on the album and finally mix together what you have cleared to use. It’s a long process. A 3 month job a t least. A painstaking but ultimately very rewarding labour of love.
Much has been said about the US and EDM market, how has this affected your more underground sound?
It doesn’t really bother me too much. There’s always been an overground and an overground and they need each other to exist and to keep the world turning. It does annoy me how much that scene is driven by money rather than music though. It’ll have it’s day and then will pass as soon as there’s something else for the corporate vultures to get their teeth into.
The name progressive has been tarnished and mismatched over the years. What is your view?
I never bothered for a long time but now I must admit it irks me a bit. What people call progressive house these days is not progressive, it’s cheesy pop music that used to be Euro Dance in the late 80s/ early 90s. Real progressive house was an underground thing. But it’s the same for most genres. What people call Deep House now and what people call Techno now are not what I understand those genres to be. It’s all a mess. The lines between all the genres have become so blurred that none of them make sense anymore. But I don’t see a solution to be honest. They’re a necessary evil, genres. We have to divide the music up somehow otherwise it would be impossible to know where to start with the 10,000 tracks a week coming out on Beatport!
What advice do you have for up and coming DJs?
Work hard, be humble and stick to your guns.
Lastly, anything exciting you can share with us for 2013?
Well, the Kickstarter CD is my main project but I have a lot of collaborative productions coming out too. I did a track with Guy Mantzur called Feline which is coming out on Mihalis Safras’ Playmobil label, a track with John Fleming which is coming out on Pro B Tech with remixes from Hernan Cattaneo and Martin Garcia & Dubspeeka and I’ve also just finished a track with Funkagenda which has been huge for me in my sets. And there’s plenty more where they all came from too. I’m making a point of getting into the studio a lot more this year. Watch this space.