Dave Seaman

One of the all time greats gets set for Selador at Watergate as ‘Strobelight Symphony’ explodes

Interview by Dan Prince

Dave welcome back to DMCWORLD, where in the world are you right now?

I’m in Mexico City. I played last night at Rioma which was fantastic. A proper underground dark room of a club. Low ceiling. Great sound system. Perfect.

The first piece of music you heard this morning…?

I started my day with an album by Romare called ‘Projections’. A lovely warm chilled downtempo thang that my mate Austin recommended. Perfect Sunday morning material. 

Well young man, where do we start with this amazing EP on Noir Records? A very cool two tracker marking your debut on this brilliant label – The Buzz Chart is all over ‘Strobelight Symphony’…please talk us through the history, the sound and the label hook up…

Noir’s been one of my favourite labels for some time so very happy to be releasing tracks through them. It was actually a different track altogether called ‘Gumball’ that initiated things and caught the label’s interest but when they asked if I had any other music to make up and EP, I sent them Dance In Tongues and Strobelight Symphony and they decided they preferred those two instead which worked out really well as another of my favourite labels, Hive Audio really liked Gumball so they’re now going to release that at the end of May. 

The label described it as a release that would appeal to “tech house and techno heads alike”, Guy Garrett at Buzz Chart HQ said “it’s deep, dramatic and pumping at every level and layer” whilst Hot Since 82, Catz n Dogz and Eats Everything are just three of the artists all over the release. You must be happy at the reception it’s received…?

Very much so. It’s always good to hear that DJs that you admire and respect are liking and playing your music. It gives you a sense of validation and approval that I think all artists crave. But I think the best thing for me with this release is that it’s helped people realise that I make and play lots of different kinds of electronic house music from deep to tech to techno and all shades in between and not just progressive house which was a brush I was tarred with for a long time. 

I have known you for over 25 years and have celebrated your birthday in so many amazing places. New York, Ibiza, Sao Paulo, Paris…dude I was mightily dismayed when I saw your Facebook post saying… “today I am celebrating my birthday by cleaning the house.” What gives there sunshine…?

Haha. Yes, wasn’t the most glamorous of birthdays this year. I did fly to the US the following day though so had time to catch up on celebrations in San Fran, Chicago and LA at the weekend. Is that any better?

Okay, we’ll let that one go then. The 5 big tunes in your box this weekend…

Lee Van Dowski ‘Ulysses Is Back’ EP [Mobilee]

Absolutely huge 3 tracker out of Berlin with every track 11+ minutes long. Prog house is back! 

Justin Massei ‘Nothing Can Hide’ (Dave Seaman remix) [Selador]

My latest remix on my own label. Peak time Techno business.

Adam Beyer EP [Drumcode]

A superb 4 track EP from Adam with every track a winner in it’s own right. I’d played them all over the last few weeks. 

Dee Montero ‘Full Body’ [Saved]

A House/ Techno hybrid from Mambo resident Dee with a familiar vocal sample twisted to new dimensions. 

Sasha ‘Ether’ [Last Night On Earth]

Like so many of his productions, you really don’t appreciate how large it is until you drop it at the right time on a big system and it takes the roof off. 

Some recent gigs I wanna touch on. Loads of clubs come and go, every year some old promoter who cannot let go re-starts their old night from the 90s…we’ve seen it all before. The Rhumba Club is one of those nights that no one gives a f**k how long it’s been around, what the future is…it’s simply one of the best club nights still around. Why is Zammo’s night still so much fun?

As anyone who’s ever been to the Rhumba will tell you, its one of the most up-for-it crowd’s that’s ever partied in the name of Acid House and also, I think they’ve been very good at keeping their original crowd whilst still moving forward musically and not falling into the retro nostalgia game. Their recent Festival Of House events have been massive booking everyone from Foals, Friendly Fires and Hot Chip DJing through James Zabiela, Derrick Carter, Slam, Marshall Jefferson and Leftfield. But it’s really testament to Zammo, Keith and Wayne and all the Rhumbateers that they’ve never lost sight of the original spirit of Acid House. 

The first time you took me clubbing in your home town of Leeds back in the days of Acid House was to The Warehouse. What a history that gaff has had, you returned there last month for a gig. How was it and what are some of the memories this venue brings back for you?

Yes, its always a pleasure to be back at The Warehouse. Like you say, it’s got one helluva history and was really the first proper nightclub where I first went in my teens to hear underground dance music. I was instantly hooked of course and have never looked back since. Actually, there’s very few venues anywhere in the World that have survived as long as this place and continue to host fantastic nights. I don’t think they fully get the recognition they deserve. 

A tune you will always associate with The Warehouse?

Maceo & The Macks ‘Across The Tracks’. From my very earliest days going there before House Music had really even arrived. At the height of Rare Groove this was the ultimate anthem and I remember distinctly dancing to it till I dropped on the old stage at the Warehouse (where the DJ booth is now) one Saturday around 1986. Magical memories.

Your Radio Therapy show is now syndicated to over 80 stations worldwide. Where is the most far flung place someone has contacted you to tell you they are tuning in?

The Maldives was quite exotic. Not sure how good their internet connection was though. I think there might have been some buffering going on! Everywhere I go I get lovely feedback on the show though. I’m really pleased at how it’s taken off and how many people tell me it’s the highlight of their musical month. It’s become a real flagship for me and I’m enjoying doing it more than ever. 

Pikes in Ibiza was loads of fun last year with your label throwing some great parties. You returning to the white isle this summer?

I’ll be there for IMS and the opening weekends in a couple of weeks although I’m going to have the family in tow with me so I suspect there’ll be more beaches and swimming pools that late nights out clubbing. I hoping to make it to the Dalt Villa event though up in the old town and I’m sure I’ll make an appearance or two at Mambos. It’s usually my first point of call to catch up on all the latest Island gossip. 

3 bucket list adventures you wanna do in your lifetime?

Well I’d like to see Leeds United back in the Premier League. That’d be an adventure and something that’s definitely on my bucket list but unfortunately, it’s kinda out of my hands that one. But two other ambitions I’ve got left are to do my own artist album and eventually write a book. A memoir of such. I will get round to both  eventually but they’re such big projects, that fitting them into a non stop touring schedule and family life is easier said than done. I’m sure I’ll know when the time is right. 

A festival you are looking forward to this summer…

Oh, without doubt, Glastonbury. I missed it last year having been to the previous 6 on the trot and was having withdrawal symptoms while it was on. It truly is the mother of all Festivals for me. I’ll be playing after hours on at The Glade Lounge on the Friday and then staying for the whole weekend to soak it all up. I think I’m also going to be popping my Bestival cherry this year too though, so very much looking forward to that as well. 

The last GREAT new album you heard…

To be honest. I’m a little bit behind with my album listening at the moment. I’ve only been able to flick through my recent purchases but I’d say Blur, Django Django & Alabama Shakes have been the ones that caught my ear. 

It’s just been the General Election in the UK…woooh you got some flack on Facebook with the whole Banksy/UKIP photo. All part and parcel of being in the public eye yup?

Yeah, it seems that I’m not allowed to express any other views on social media apart from stuff that’s musically related. Stick to your field and STFU about everything else. One dimensional little me. Funny, because everybody else seems to be able to express their views but no, not if you’re an artist. One guy was threatening to boycott my page if I posted anything political again. I wouldn’t mind if i was doing it all the time and getting on people’s nerves but I don’t. I won’t listen of course. If they can’t accept a different opinion from their own from time to time that’s their problem. I’ll post what I want when I want on my own page and they’re free to unlike me whenever they want. Am I bovvered?!!

The last AMAZING film you saw?

Whiplash. Hard to believe that the relationship between a music teacher and student could be so thrilling. Birman was amazing too. Another film that was just brimming with energy. There’s been some other good films since the Oscars, Ex Machina and Kingsman spring to mind, but none that fall into the category of ‘AMAZING’. I’m really looking forward to Tomorrowland with George Clooney though. Got high hopes for that one. And Ted 2 of course…

A really important date in the Selador label diary is May 20th at the mighty Watergate in Berlin. What have you got planned for us all? You must be so excited…

Yes, of course, it’s a big one. The club is so legendary and with Berlin being the epicentre of the clubbing world right now, it’s something of a coup for us to get a Showcase night so early in the label’s development. Myself and my label partner Steve Parry will both be DJing plus two of our German based artists, Piemont & Justin Massei. It’s undoubtedly gonna be one of the highlights of my year. 

And finally dude, what is coming next from the Dave Seaman studio…

I’ve got a remix for Justin Massei coming on Selador on May 18th called ‘Nothing Can Hide’ which is big room Techno (check video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-BjFLMVIsY) and that’s followeby the aforementioned ‘Gumball’ the week after on Hive Audio with a Dario D’Attis remix which is more Techy. I’ve also licensed a track to Suara called ‘Private Education’ which is more along the same lines as Dance In Tongues, Deep Tech House, which is due in July I think. Plus I’m doing remixes for Habischman & Thomas Gandey, Marc Marzenit and Climbers in the next couple of months so yes, pretty busy…