Dave Seaman Interview: There's always so much great music around

We catch up with the legendary DJ to talk changing the mix compilation game once again.

Jimmy Coultas

Last updated: 30th Sep 2013

It’s a tough one being at the forefront of electronic music for five years let alone five times that length, but Dave Seaman is a man who has managed to do just that. He made compilation history back in the early nineties when he and Carl Cox mixed the first ever commercially available mix cd for Mixmag (who Dave edited at the time), spearheading a movement that he would become a domineering force in over the upcoming years.

Creating timeless mixes for the powerhouses of the genre Renaissance and Global Underground, Dave became a hugely heralded international DJ and proved earlier in the year he still had the nous to remain one step ahead of the DJ world. In April he became the first ever DJ to successfully use crowd funding to put a mix compilation, once again innovating in an area many had written off.

With him due to play a series of gigs we’re looking forward to over the next few months, the first being Shine’s Second Birthday on Saturday 28th September at Leeds venue The Warehouse, we decided to give him a call. That compilation was at the forefront of the conversation, alongside his new record label, the occasional pleasure of classics sets and random DJ lessons at Leeds Festival.

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 an out of my comfort zone choice, 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 seen 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 upper 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 any more 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 go 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.

Bit further down the line I’m doing a Selador party in Liverpool as well with Steve Parry, who I run the label with. Liverpool's always been a favourite city of mine to play in and it’ll be great to really show what the label is about there, and the venue is in a cave!

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 and a future classic for sure. I'm also loving what Dixon, 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.


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