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For some it might be quite difficult to understand that there was a time where you could create a massive hype around yourself by releasing mixtapes. What is published in a large amount today was an art back in the nineties and Dave Seaman was one who practised this art to perfection. As a blessed DJ, who already decided to become one in his childhood, he did not only traveled the world but was one to shape the scene like just a few before him. After making a name with his old label Audio Therapy, Seaman is now focused on his new project Selador. The name of his new label is inspired by the movie Donnie Darko. Since the start three years ago, the label counts already 50 releases. The anniversary release “Nightfalls” comes from no one else than label head Dave Seaman himself. On this occasion and after being in business more than 26 years, it is time to recall the past.
50 releases in three years, congratulations. But that’s enormous amount of releases. Why and how do you practice such a pace?
We started off with the intention of doing one release every month but were inundated with so much great music that we quickly fell into a three weekly schedule and before we knew it, we were fortnightly. We’ve had to really limit ourselves to not get tempted into doing anymore. There’s more than enough great music to go weekly but the workload would probably get too intense and more importantly, we’d probably end up diluting our impact by flooding the market. It’s always good to leave people wanting more. Fortnightly is working well for us right now.
How did you select your remixers for „Nightfalls“?
Lee Van Dowski & Chymera were two remixers we’d been pursuing for a while and we were just waiting space in their schedule and the right project. Luckily, they both jumped at the chance of doing Nightfalls and have done such amazing jobs that’s made the release an extra special one. And OC & Verde were a last minute addition that we were glad to have on board. They’ve really come from nowhere this summer with big support from Pete Tong, Steve Lawler, Hot Since 82, etc and it gave a different dimension to the overall package. Hopefully, there’s something for everyone on there.
Is it true that you never have released an album?
It is true, yes.
I’ve just never gotten around to it. It’s such a huge commitment of time to make an artist album that I’ve never managed to find a big enough gap in my schedule. I have enough trouble finding the time to make singles let alone an album! But it is definitely something I’d like to do one day. So watch this space.
No albums, but many many mixes and mix compilations? Something you do with pleasure, right?
Of course, it’s in my blood. I enjoy being in the studio and love the production process but being a DJ first and foremost, mix compilations are a passion and have played a massive part in my career over the years. I’ve done over 30 since my first in 1991 which was the first ever commercially released mix compilation. Mixmag Live Volume 1 together with Carl Cox. I find it a shame that with DJ mixes now ten-a-penny on the likes of Soundcloud and Mixcloud, the mix compilation has been marginalised almost to the point of extinction. When I make a physical mix album, I’ll spend weeks crafting the mix to make something really special whereas people don’t tend to spend that much time on a digital mix as it’s seen as being much more disposable.
You decided to become a DJ really, really early. I guess you where 8 when you did it? Did you never have a feeling like “what if it goes wrong”?
Not really. At that age, you’re fearless. Or at least I was. And DJing then wasn’t anything like it is today. My biggest DJing ambition as a teenager was to get a regular gig at my local nightclub. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I’d be able to travel the world doing this and make a career out of it that would span 3 decades. It was very much my hobby that snowballed into something else. The opportunities just kept on opening up and I went with the flow. There was no grand plan so there was nothing to go wrong.
Let’s imagine it would have gone totally wrong, what would have been your plan B?
I’ve never really considered that to be honest. I would have always ended up in the DJ/music business one way or another. But before I DJed professionally full time, I worked in an advertising agency so I would probably be still doing that in some shape or form.
Did you remember your first gig back then?
I do yes. It was birthday party in Leeds where I grew up. I was only 13 at the time myself and had one cassette deck and one belt driven turntable. I hired a set of disco lights that was basically four coloured bulbs that flashed in sequence and spoke through headphones to create a makeshift microphone. I felt like a king!
Your actual career started at the end of the 80’s. What are your most important or memorable memories of this era?
To be there and live through the last great counter-cultural shift in music was such a privilege. And I was very lucky to be working at Mixmag at the time so I was very much in the eye of the storm. As we were making the rules up as we went along, there was a real feeling of freedom and a sense that we were trailblazing uncharted territory. The summers of 88 and 89 were life changing for a whole generation. So many cultural and social barriers were broken down, they were glorious times. There’s a great book for anyone that wasn’t there. And for anyone who was there for that matter! ‘Altered State’ by Matthew Collin really captures what went on at the time. I highly recommend it.
Do you have some secret weapons or some classics which you play again and again?
There’s always new versions of old classics being made so I generally tend to play those those rather than the original versions of classics. Although the likes of Chemical Brothers’ ‘Star Guitar’ and Ame’s ‘Rej’ always get an airing from time to time. My secret weapon over the summer has been a remix I’ve done of Underworld’s ‘Low Burn’ from their latest album. Really proud of that one!
Your plans for the rest of the year? Releases, remixes?
I’m very much looking forward to Burning Man Festival. It will be my second time there and was blown away by my first visit. It really is like partying on a different planet! As far as music goes, after ‘Nightfalls’, I’ve got a remix coming on Selador of Han Haak, who is releasing an EP together with Robert Babicz. And of course there is a lot more comming.