Selador’s Interview with DJ Mag NL

My label partner Steve Parry & I did an interview for DJ Mag in Holland recently discussing all aspects of the label and more besides. Read it in full here>>

This will be the fourth ADE for the label. What has meant ADE for your label over the past few years?

Steve: Always love ADE – so many things to keep you busy! Meeting friends, people you work with, artists and remixers for the label, and also spending time with Dave as we live in different cities in UK so don’t see each other that much! Also we had our first party, at Club NL in conjunction with our good friends at Sincopat – was great!

Dave: It’s the best industry conference out there for actually getting stuff done rather than just having a bit of a “jolly”. For starting and developing relationships, for promoting and growing your brand and also for celebrating our culture, with so many parties to attend and so many DJs to hear, there’s nothing more important on the dance music calendar.

Next April Selador will celebrate its 4th birthday. How did the label develop the past few years?

Steve: I think musically we wanted to show that we were more than a ‘progressive house’ label, and highlight all of the music that we like. Over the years we’ve been fairly diverse with tracks and remixes, but all fits nicely under our Selador musical umbrella.

Dave: We’ve worked tirelessly from the beginning and I think it’s now really starting to pay off. It was definitely a lot tougher at the start. Gaining people’s trust is something that only comes with time but we stuck to our guns and we feel we’re in a really good place after 3 and half years in existence. There’s still so much we want to do though.

Selador has built a clear vision and quickly built a reputation as leader of house and techno. Has the label developed as you expected from the very beginning? 

Steve: Its been a great experience, and has been hard work from the start, but we knew if we put the effort in, then time would start to reward us. I’ve been involved in music through DJ-ing, promoting, radio shows, record stores and more since i was 15 and I thought I knew a fair bit about the industry, but running a label was more time consuming and harder than i expected, not in a bad way, but in a way of having g to learn new skills and realising to take your time and do it right, rather than putting any old release out. We take care of the tracks we sign, the remixers, the artwork, videos, promo.. every strand of the process. Working hard on every release is very important.

Dave: Yes, as Steve says, it’s really competitive out there these days with so many labels and artists vying for your attention so we really try to keep the quality as high as possible. Presentation has been an important factor for us. And we’ve got a great team of people around us now too. You’ve got to do your best to stand out from the crowd.

Most artists start their own label so they can instantly release their own music on the label. If we take a look at the history of Selador’s releases, especially in the beginning, you guys didn’t release that much yourself. Why is that? What’s the philosophy of the label?

Steve: We just wanted to release music we like. That we both like, and we would both play. And that’s it really. It could be house, or an ambient remix, or could be melodic or serious heads down techno. It makes sense to Me and Dave, but i imagine from an outsider’s view or for a producer, we are a bit of a nightmare to second guess!

Dave: Ha! That’s true. The amount of times someone has said to me that they have a track that’s absolutely perfect for the label and when we listen to it we just think, really?! That’s not something we’d ever consider signing! Then on the flip side of that, you’ll get another producer say they’ve got some new music but don’t necessarily think it’s something we’d like for Selador and we absolutely love it. With regards releasing our own music on the label, we just wanted to make sure we chose the right tracks. We weren’t particularly in a hurry. We knew we’d know when the time was right. And are very happy that ‘Naughty Forest’, ‘Justified Replacement Of Lulu’, ‘Apricity’ & ‘Nightfalls’ are the four we decided on.

You (Dave) and Selador managed to fund the first mix compilation through crowd sourcing, which I find very interesting. Can you explain what this means exactly?

Dave: It was a CD that I did through ‘Kickstarter’ where we raised the funds for a mix compilation through people pledging money to the project and in return, depending on how they’d contributed, I would give them a DJ lesson or DJ at a private party at their house or simply just send them an exclusive signed copy of the CD and/or a T shirt – none of which would be available to buy anywhere else. We reached our target of £25,00 and then some and it was a thrilling project but took a crazy 12 months delivering on my side of the bargain afterwards.

This is a new way of funding, especially now that we live in a digital world this is an important milestone. What does this development mean for the future of releasing and funding music?

Dave: You’re right, it’s a huge development in that it cuts out the middle man. If you have an audience that trust you and follow you through social media, you can communicate directly with them and get all sorts of projects off the ground by asking for their support. If as an artist you’re capable of being your own label, promoter, distributor or whatever, the floodgates have opened, the world is now your oyster. The digital age has brought a whole new way of working on many levels.

Steve and Dave, you’re both owners of Selador. Why are you the perfect combination in terms of the label?

Steve: We’ve known each other for years – and we have very similar musical tastes, but not exactly the same, which is a good thing! We have a hunger for new music too – we’re both a little bit obsessed to be honest. As well as this, we both have other companies and both have families, so we understand that sometimes one of us needs to take the baton and run for a bit, as the other is having a hectic time.

Selador is a relatively young label. What is the future perspective according to you guys?

Steve: Onwards and upwards really. Keeping up the quality of the releases, and doing more label parties. We’ve been lucky that we’ve already done Space Ibiza, Watergate Berlin, ADE and Pikes Ibiza, some fantastic venues, so hopefully more of that!

The roster of the label is of great size. How is the composition of the roster established?

Dave: Again, there’s no hard and fast rules. We just both need to like an artist and they’re music and we’d welcome them on the label. Our only problem at the moment is finding room on the release schedule. We’re already full for the next 6 months! It’s been crazy how much material we’ve been sent.

Last one: If I visit your website, I can pre-order Selador’s debut vinyl release. What can you tell about this?

Steve: You can indeed, as well as a choice of t-shirts! (always got to get a plug for the merchandise in!). Well we wanted to dip our toe in the world of vinyl. I worked in record shops for years and dave ran Stress Records and Audio Therapy, so is fully aware of the love, hard work and also unpredictability of vinyl! Robert Babicz is one of our boys and we wanted to present him with something different – and we backed this up with some fine remixes too. So everyone was happy!

Dave: We’d definitely like to do some more vinyl releases. In fact, like I said earlier, there’s so much more we’d like to do. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough hours in the day.

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Cristoph ‘Foregone Conclusion’ EP out now on Selador incl. Dave Seaman Remix

christoph_2Hello again and a huge Seladorian sized Happy New Year to one and all. After what was a momentous 2015 for us here at Selador Towers, we’re now primed and ready to make this year even bigger and better. Here to prove it, starting as we mean to go on, is our first release of 2016.

As regular receivers of our music you should already be familiar with the Forgone Conclusion EP by label fave, Cristoph which we released last summer and you may also remember that somewhat unusually for us, the release came with no remixes. Well, we thought it was about time we put that right. And so, in all it’s remixed glory, here is the Forgone Conclusion EP – Part Two.

First up a producer that has been making plenty of noise recently with his releases on the likes of Suara & Noir, the one and only, Kiko. The Frenchman tackles the lead track in his own inimitable signature style, overflowing with zest and prime time intensity. The sound of a man at the top of his game.

Next our very own Dave Seaman returns a favour after Cristoph remixed Dave’s ’Naughty Forest’ release a little over a year ago and our head honcho does us proud on ‘Digging In’. Main room melodics with just a touch of wonk, it’s a belter and no mistake.

Then, it’s the turn of Kevin Over on ‘Moments’ who throws off the shackles of his trademark basement house sound and dons his alternative cap to embark on a journey of dark acidic retro flavoured electronica. Heads down for some proper left of centre gear.

And finally, fashionably late to the party, we welcome Lonya. The resident DJ of the the legendary Cat & Dog club in Tel Aviv gives his deep atmospheric Techno take on ‘Time For Change’. A brooding slab of darkness for those late night floors.

So there you have it, Cristoph and friends, prepared in 4 very different flavours to suit every palate. Tasty business, whichever way you slice it.

Selador Recordings – yum-yum!

http://classic.beatport.com/release/foregone-conclusion-ep-2/1675571

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My recent Interview with Decoded Magazine

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..
1. Australia
2. Japan
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 😉

http://www.decodedmagazine.com/dave-seaman-a-computer-file-carries-no-emotional-bond-like-vinyl-did/

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Kickstarter Compilation launched

I’m very pleased to announce that for my next mix compilation I’ve decided to try to do something a little bit different. Instead of following the usual well trodden path I’ve been down many times before I’d like to ask for your help to try to make the first ever crowd funded DJ Mix compilation through kickstarter.com

Kickstarter, for those of you don’t know, is a website where artists, designers, inventors, film directors, etc, etc launch campaigns to get funding for all sorts of projects. There have been many success stories ranging from the Pebble ePaper watch which raised over $10 million to the short film, Innocente which went on to win an Oscar.

Click here to watch the video and get more details on how we could make this game changing album together. Thank you for your support as always.
We believe that one day all albums could be made this way :-)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1756868313/dave-seaman-kickstarter-dj-mix-compilation

 

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