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.