DJ Mixes by Dave Seaman
Interview by: Jimmy Coultas
Dave Seaman has had quite the career. As editor of Mixmag he helped nudge the magazine away from the industry focused mag for jobbing DJs into the world conquering dance music focus it has become today, before setting off on his own path of global domination. As Brothers in rhythm he gate crashed the UK top 20, produced Kylie Minogue’s ‘Confide in Me’ and then set about djing across every continent on the planet as one of the figureheads of the scene.
But he’s by no means finished yet, with a new compilation slanted in for Mark Knight’s Toolroom records, plenty of studio activity and an international touring schedule that would make anyone envious. On top of that he’s also part of the huge Renaissance twentieth anniversary celebrations over Easter weekend, playing in the brand new Gibb St Warehosue in Birmingham and also a classics set in his hometown of Leeds at Vox. There’s also another classics set for Cream, which is one of the things Dave talks to Jimmy Coultas about amongst all the other factors in his upcoming future.
Firstly you’re playing both events for the first instalment of the Renaissance Twenty anniversary shows in Leeds and Birmingham, UK. You excited to be part of the show? What can we expect from each set?
I am very much looking forward to them yes. First of all, it’s the first time I’ve played in Leeds & Birmingham in several years and so to be coming back to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Renaissance with such a strong line up of talented DJs is really exciting. I’m starting off in Birmingham and playing the warm up set in the main room 10-12pm, so it will be very housey and pallet cleansing. Something to wet your whistle as it were.
Then I’ll be hitting the M42 & M1 to get to Leeds for around 2-2.30 and there I’ll be doing a special Renaissance Classics set which will focus on their early years at Venue 44 in Mansfield. With Leeds also being my hometown, I’m gonna have a lot of friends & family there, so I think it’s going to be something extra special.
You’ve been involved with Renaissance from near enough the beginning. Did you expect it to become what it is and last this long?
I really don’t think anyone really thought that far ahead back in ’92. We were living in the moment which is part of the reason that made it so thrilling. But the fact that we’re all still here is testament to the impact it’s had on our lives. This is a club brand that helped shape a generation of clubbers and that’s given so much pleasure to so many people over the years all around the world that’s it’s hard to quantify. Here’s to the next 20 I say!
There are a slew of UK tours coming up as well. You excited to playing on ‘home turf’ again so consistently after spending a lot of time abroad?
Yeah, I kept getting grief from people on Facebook and Twitter and whatnot about how little I have played in the UK so decided to do something about it and booked in several shows throughout March & April. I’m also doing Cream & Ministry of Sound and the final ever Rhumba Club in Scotland which has been consistently one of my favourite nights over the last 20 years so very much looking forward to that as well.
You mention the Cream date, which is a Cream classics night. Do you enjoy playing sets which encompass music from the past occasionally as well as your gigs dominated by more upfront sounds?
I don’t really do retro sets but there just seems to be a glut of landmark anniversaries for some of the most important clubs in the UK all happening at the same time and so it just felt right to pay tribute as they’ve played such a big part in my life. Electronic dance music is such a constantly evolving thing and moves at such a fast pace, that it’s very rare you get chance to take stock and look back. So it’s been an enjoyable little trip down memory lane. It’s not something I’m going to make a habit of though. They’re a once only deal so miss them at your peril!
Miami is just around the corner. Is it still relevant?
Yes, definitely. It’s probably not as relevant as it has been in the past but it’s still an important date on the dance music calendar. Times have changed, so it’s not as easy to focus on an event like Miami as a launch pad for the year ahead. It used to be that labels unveiled their hottest new music at the conference and then built the buzz right through to some of those tunes becoming the anthems of the summer.
The digital age has put an end to that though. Music is so transient now and so readily available. You’re lucky if you can keep a buzz going on something for a few weeks let alone months. Plus, there are several other conferences that are making their mark now like the Ibiza Summit & Amsterdam Dance Event, so the competition is hotting up.
We’ve heard your next compilation involves getting to grips with the Toolroom back catalogue. Can you tell us about how this came about, what the comp involves and your thoughts on the label as a whole?
They’ve become such a powerhouse of a label over the last few years, it’s incredible. I think they occupied 75% of the Beatport Top 100 at one point last year. Just bonkers! But I think when people think of Toolroom they think of all the big club bangers and they’ve actually got such a wide array of music in their catalogue. Much more than people realise.
I’m hopefully going to do something that uses some of the more subtle and less obvious stuff. I’ve only ever done label compilations for my own labels before, Stress & Audio Therapy, so this is something new but I’m pretty confident the outcome will be really cool.
What lies ahead for your productions; any exciting collaborations or hook-ups you want to tell us about?
I’ve just completed a collaboration with Guy Mantzur, who’s the resident DJ at Tel Aviv’s brilliant Cat & Dog Club. It’s called ‘K9′ and will be coming out on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat label. And there’s also new tracks been started with Funkagenda, Stelios Vassiloudis & One Million Toys. So I’m spinning a few plates at the minute
And finally; what else lies in the immediate future for you?
I’m off to go get my glad rags on ready to go see the Maccabees tonight. Booyakasha!