Back to Mine with Mickey van Seenus

Deeply inspired by the natural world, Mickey van Seenus is jazz and classically trained artist and performer who produces homemade, lo-fi dreamscapes. After moving to Los Angeles in 2013, Mickey found an increasing appreciation of dance music and the city’s industrial sounds. The rave and BDSM community became a distinct influence both personally and artistically. After collaborating with Delroy Edwards, under the guise’ Earth to Mickey’ (a homage to Chaka Khan), Mickey teamed up with L.A. based imprint in 2019 to deliver their ‘Brace and Bit’ E.P. with the project propelling Van Seenus’ entrance into the electronic music community of Los Angeles.

 

1. Arca – Nonbinary

I mean obviously having the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” anthem of trans/nonbinary futuristic art freaks (like me) is iconic in and of itself, but beyond that this track is just…special. There’s so much open space, and the pacing is strange; catchy in a way you would never expect. It kind of swings and wavers like a pendulum. It’s aggressive and soft, fun and scary, and with the brevity of classic punk. Two minutes and 15 seconds of attitude and celebration. Perhaps with a layer of irony, because nothing’s perfect after all, and certainly the trans experience is fraught with beauty (and rage), celebration (and chaos), self-love (and self-doubt). 

 

2. Britney Spears – Every Time 

This is maybe my favorite vocal performance of Britney. Knowing what a heavy hand she had in the writing and performance, makes me rally behind it even more. But honestly, it came out when I was 13, and I just needed a soundtrack for my operatic-level drama and emotional turmoil. I listened to this song over and over and over, and still do when I need a good cry in the bath. Free Britney!!!

Britney Spears - Everytime (Official Video)

 

3. Sega Bodega ft. Shygirl – CC

Everything these two touch is gold. They are both extremely high up on the list of people I hope to work with someday. I especially love the way Sega produces for pop artists; he adds just the right touch of sparkle and grit. I love the way this track bounces, the way the bass oscillates, the sparse drums. It’s just clever enough and just easy enough. Usually I find samples of bodily functions… off-putting, but Shygirl can literally cough in my mouth if she wants (I’m fully vaxxed, and apparently ready to rumble). 

Sega Bodega ft. Shygirl - CC (Official Video)

 

4. This Mortal Coil – Another Day

I have vowed to always do this for Karaoke after social distancing orders are no longer in affect. Again, I will reference a very emotional youthful Mickey with this as a soundtrack. The mysticism and ancient lilt that’s embedded in all of Elizabeth Fraser’s performances feels like something I’ve always known, and will always want to know better. It reminds me that I believed in faeries, and that maybe I still could. I listened to this song most recently on the way back from the beach as the sun was setting over Chinatown, and it was exactly right. It always is. 

This Mortal Coil - Another Day (Remastered)

 

5. Pelada – Desatado

I love this group so much. I might be including as many crushes in this list as I am general influences, but Chris Vargas is just so ferocious. Their slick growl, over those beats Tobias makes, it’s just a gift. It’s, like, perfect. Highly political and highly danceable, it pushes against all these various genres until I don’t care what it is anymore. I just know I need it. Nothing makes me miss the drafty late nights of a warehouse function like listening to Pelada. 

Pelada - ‘Desatado’ (Official Video)

 

6. Chaka Khan – Earth to Mickey

Chaka… the queen, the ambassador. This track birthed my band’s name, and henceforth my own name, so it’s extremely sentimental beyond its general fabulousness. In my humble opinion, it’s an extremely underrated Chaka track. Following ‘I Feel For You,’ it’s such a fun exploration, pushing further into high-tech funk. Being a bit of a space cadet myself, hearing a plea to come down from outer space also felt extremely appropriate. 

Chaka Khan ~ Earth To Mickey

 

7. Portishead – The Rip

Portishead is one of the most fundamental bands of my childhood, and really of my life. I could have listed every track from Dummy or the self-titled, but that’s too easy. I had a more difficult time bonding with Third. But this track, in particular, is so cinematic, it snuck through and into my vernacular immediately. The final chapter of it, when the synth climbs in and Beth holds that note so long it becomes a practice in stamina for the listener as much as for her, makes you feel like the star of your little melodrama indie film. I recently reconnected with it on a very sentimental and romantic trip to my place of birth, and I will never let it out of my reach again. 

Portishead - The Rip

 

8. Barbara Tucker – Beautiful People

I mean, truly if there’s one thing I’ve missed this year, it’s the gay club. This track always takes me there. It’s foundational to club music. Though it came out a few months after Hardrive’s legendary ‘Deep Inside,’ it was the source of the famous vocal sample. The lofty energy, “dancey” drums, and soulful keys, give it an anthemic quality that feels both very gospel and very gay. When you finally get to linger with the “Deep Inside” loop at the breakdown, it’s that much more satisfying. Miss International Queen and all-around pageant star, Jazell Barbie Royale, does a live performance to this track that’s well worth the Youtube search. It’s a lesson in joy, beauty, and regality, and it’s often what I have on while I’m doing my makeup.  

Barbara Tucker - Beautiful People (The Underground Network Mix)

 

9. Malcolm McLaren – Deep in Vogue

It’s vogue. It’s Malcolm McLaren. It’s magic. I love all of McLaren’s more operatic work too, but this is a melding of worlds that is just so special. It spotlights the legendary Willie Ninja himself. This version, featured on the album, is actually a remix done by Mark Moore and William Orbit. McLaren was so impressed with the remix that he scrapped his own recording and instead used theirs on the 12”. It features samples from the iconic documentary, ‘Paris Is Burning.’ The film wasn’t released yet, but McLaren had a VHS copy and permission from the director, so off they went. The track came out a couple years before the documentary, and so was the first initiation in bringing vogueing to the mainstream. It also predates Madonna’s “Vogue.”

Malcolm McLaren - Deep In Vogue ( With Willie Ninja )

 

10. Nitzer Ebb – Join in the Chant

A forever favorite, and especially when I need to feel alive, via angst. It’s about the past and the future, youth and fervor. The synth works like an engine, moving your body for all six minutes. Douglas is truly and angel with the voice of a wolverine. I can’t wait for them to play a show again.

Nitzer Ebb-Join in the Chant

 

Mickey van Seenus ‘Creature Comfort’

Deeply inspired by the natural world, Mickey van Seenus is jazz and classically trained artist and performer who produces homemade, lo-fi dreamscapes. After moving to Los Angeles in 2013, Mickey found an increasing appreciation of dance music and the city’s industrial sounds. The rave and BDSM community became a distinct influence both personally and artistically. After collaborating with Delroy Edwards, under the guise’ Earth to Mickey’ (a homage to Chaka Khan), Mickey teamed up with L.A. based imprint in 2019 to deliver their ‘Brace and Bit’ E.P. with the project propelling Van Seenus’ entrance into the electronic music community of Los Angeles.
‘Creature Comfort’ is a lo-fi cut with dreamy atmospheres, sultry vocals, and crunchy modulations, whilst ‘Under My Skin’ comprises watery keys, emotive moods, crunchy drums machines, and lyrics that are equally silky yet punctuating. Up next, ‘Pretty Good So Far’ lays focus on post-punk inspired stylings with echoing soundscapes and murky sonics before ‘Babylon’ gives rise to rubbery melodies and dazzling pop experimentalism. 
Smagghe & Cross is the partnership of French DJ and producer Ivan Smagghe & composer Robert Cross who add ethereal moods, transcendent ambience and introspective melancholy to their version of the astral ‘What If’ cut. Moving onto the colourful cover of the Bee Gees, ‘Emotion’ featuring elegant tones and hypnotic bells until the marvellous E.P. closes with ‘No I Don’t’ as the stirring fx balances delightfully with the soothing dreamscapes throughout.

Mickey van Seenus - Creature Comfort

 

Mickey van Seenus ‘Creature Comfort’ is out on bORDEL Records on 23rd April 2021.