Dave welcome back to DMCWORLD, where in the world are you today?
On my way to the studio in East London on a very wet, grey and miserable Wednesday morning.
You have just returned from a cool 8 date tour of Mexico, Canada and North America. You were one of the first DJs to spin across the pond back in the early 90s and are perfect person to comment on the state of play over there. We hear the EDM kids are discovering new sounds every day, we had Oaky on here last week saying the trance scene is growing rapidly. How have you seen that the American scene has changed over the past 12 months?
It’s constantly evolving as always. Obviously EDM has been a powerhouse over there in recent years and continues to dominate but there seems to be a little turn in the tide of late. The underground is definitely starting to gather momentum again. You’ve only got to look at some of the big cities like New York and Miami who’ve suddenly got an abundance of strong underground venues. A few years ago both those cities were severely lacking in that department. And if you needed any further proof, look no further than the likes of Guetta, Tiesto & Aoki all starting to talk up about how they’re starting to play more deep house now, which all smells a little bit of “abandon ship” to me. Makes you wonder how long before the EDM bandwagon runs out of steam.
Loved your post on Facebook last week showing a photo of a poster from The Sound Bar in Orlando who had a sign telling people ‘No Texting On The Dancefloor’. From a DJs point of view, has the mobile on the dancefloor just gone a little too far? Everyone is either pointing them at you recording or texting their mates. I know you have to be careful here but…
It’s a very different age we live in now and dance floors today are representative of that. 20 years ago you used to have a captive audience as a DJ which is where the idea of taking people on a journey stemmed from. People used to find their spot and be there for the night except from the odd trip to the bar or toilet but now dance floors are so transient. The smoking ban started the change. All of a sudden people were in and out of the club constantly. There’s been times where I’ve felt it would be better to set the decks up in the smoking area! And then came the smart phone which is another big distraction. Dance floors always used to be a place where you forget your problems for a while, feel free and live for the moment but for a lot of people these days they seem to be more interested in documenting where they are than actually being there. It’s a strange business.
I suppose a trip to Los Angeles isn’t complete without a visit to the world’s largest record store – Amoeba on Sunset. In your own words…”heaven for music addicts”. You could spend a friggin’ day in their pal!!!!
Oh mate, talk about feeling like a kid in a sweetshop. That place is amazing. It’s like the size of a football field, wall to wall with CDs, vinyl, DVDs, etc. I spent 4 hours in there and only covered a tiny corner. I don’t know about a day in there, it would take you a week to get round the lot! And because a lot of people are getting rid of their collections, (something they’ll live to regret in my opinion) the turnover of second hand stock is incredible.
When you were Editor of Mixmag I’d always remember you struggling into the office at midday with bags full of the latest magazines. What are some of the sites you love these days that we’d find you on whiling away the hours traveling the world?
Well, DMC World of course. Haha. To be honest, I don’t devour magazines like I once used to. There used to be a time when you couldn’t get enough information but that’s certainly not the case anymore is it?!. My Twitter and Facebook feeds give me more than enough links to stuff I’m interested in and once I throw in The Independent every day and The Observer on a Sunday, that’s about all I can realistically manage.
Massive news for you right now with the release of Selador’s biggest release to date…the wonderfully titled ‘Justified Replacement Of Lulu’ which after appearing on your label’s Showcase compilation, now gets a fully fledged release with a BUMPER package of remixes. Please talk us through the reworks and why you chose the producers responsible…
I’m really excited by all the mixes and feel honoured to have gathered such a talented group of producers together for this release. Cristoph was the first on board as he’d been such a big supporter of my original and accordingly he’s kept a lot of what the original was all about but toughened it up in his own inimitable way. Joeski was next on the team sheet. I’ve known Joe for years and he’s had quite a renaissance this year. I love his slamming house beats, play a lot of his stuff and wanted a mix along those lines so it was a no brainer. Raxon was somebody we’d been asking to do a remix for the label for a while but it was him who approached me when he heard this track and said “that’s the one I want to do”. So I was only too happy to take him up on the offer. And finally Marc Marzenit, a big favourite of the label. I knew he was really busy finishing his album and not taking any more remixes but I thought “what the hell?” and asked anyway and he moved heaven and earth in his schedule to make it happen. Top man. It really is a big package of which I’m really proud. And the title came about because the track actually started life as remix of Lulu James but as we never heard back from her management, we took her vocals off it and made it into an original instead. So they did is a favour actually. Works much better as an original track. A justified replacement if ever there was one
Were you surprised at all by any of the superstars supporting the track?
A little yes. Daley (Hot Since 82) really got behind it which was nice. We even spoke about him maybe releasing it on his Knee Deep label at one point he loved it so much but I’m happy to be releasing it on my own label. I don’t think my label partner Steve would’ve forgiven me if I’d have let it go somewhere else.
What are the next plans for the label?
We’ve got a load of producers lined up to do EPs for us early next year starting with Climbers, Him Self Her and Joal. Plus there’ll be another single from me, hopefully one from my my aforementioned label partner Steve Parry (if he pulls his finger out), a Robert Babicz remixes EP and another Selador Showcase compilation. That pretty much takes care of the first half of the year already!
What are the big 5 tunes in your box this weekend…please give us a sentence on each track?
Affkt ‘Moix’ Latest release on Selador from the Spanish producer that’s been huge for me all summer. Laurent Garnier ‘Enchanted’ Amazing piano tune from the legend Laurent that manages to be both old school and nu school at the same time. Massive! Sante ‘Awake’ Big deep house vocal track with crossover potential. That nagging ‘I’ve been awake for too long’ hook is going to resonate with a lot of dance floors. Dave Seaman ‘Lily Of The Valley’ My latest thing that will probably come out on Selador in the Spring. New school acid house vibes in the area. Marc Romboy ‘Hypernova’ Huge slice of melodic goodness from Marc. The sound of real, true progressive house circa 2014. We loved your remix of Dale Middleton’s ‘Tord’ on Paul Sawyer’s excellent EJ Underground Records label. A great label heading towards their 100th release…it’s great to see the underground alive out there in the UK huh?Absolutely, Paul’s a great guy and it’s a hell of an achievement to reach 100 releases. I was only too pleased to do the remix for him. And yes, there’s plenty of people like him just beavering away doing their thing, sticking to what they believe in and keeping the scene alive with their passion. I think the underground scene in the UK right now is stronger than its been for some time. Viva Acid House!
Tune of the summer?
The Ame mix of Sailor & I’s ‘Turn Around’ takes some beating for me although Patrick Topping’s ‘Forget’ was the one that just wouldn’t go away.
A producer to watch out for in 2015?
Oh God, there’s always loads of people I could mention but off the top of my head, the aforementioned Joal will have a big year I think. And Cristoph too. And Waff hasn’t yet blown up as much as he will next year I think. Plus Fur Coat & Mind Against will go from strength to strength I’m sure.
You took the label out to Ibiza for some label parties at one of the most iconic venues on the island…Pikes. You used to own a house in Ibiza and know the island well. Afrojack and Steve Angello were interviewed on Radio 1 in July and reckoned the white isle had lost it’s mystique and was now too VIP. What are your thoughts on Ibiza in 2014?
I wasn’t really there for long enough periods their year to be an authority and how the season was as a whole but it does seem quite strange to me that the likes of Steve & Afrojack should be complaining about that. If they’re not happy they should go against the grain rather than continue to feed it. They’re certainly in a position to do so. But look, I’ve always said there’s room for everyone to do what they do and people will vote with their feet at the end of the day. I don’t think Ibiza is short of cool underground nights and if you’re spending time on the island and not coming away feeling inspired then you’re going to the wrong places. The magic is still there if you’re willing to find it.
Did you end up on the infamous Pikes karaoke?
Ha, I did yes. Guilty as charged. I vaguely remember singing along to some Bon Jovi at 6am in the morning! I just love that place. Pikes is such an institution. It was a real honour to be able to do our Selador parties there. It’s like having a big villa party with so many crazy little nooks and crannies that you’re never really sure what you’re going to find around the next corner.
Where will you be on New Years Eve and what record do you think you’ll be spinning?
I’m going to be in Bali at Jenja playing alongside Sander Kleinenberg. Not sure which one of us will be playing at midnight though so will cross that bridge when I come to it.
And finally as you look back at a great 2014, what has been your biggest achievement of the year?
It’s got to be Selador really. What we’ve managed to achieve in our relatively short existence is far and beyond what we hoped for when we started 18 months ago. And next year only looks set to be even bigger and better. Roll on 2015 I say