I did an interview with those lovely people at Faze Magazine in Germany discussing Selador, memories of the early acid house scene and my first ever gig. Read it all here >>
50 releases in three years for Selador, congratulations. But that’s enormous amount of releases. Why 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 3 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.
Could you explain the meaning of the name “Selador”?
It’s adapted from a line in the cult film ‘Donnie Darko’ where it’s said that the syllables that make up the words ‘Cellar Door’ are the most beautiful sounding combination in the English language.
Is it right, that you never have released an album? Why?
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 had the feeling “what about 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.
Your 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.
Did you remember your first dj gig?
I do yes. It was a 12 year old’s birthday party in a village hall where I grew up in Leeds. 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! haha
Let’s talk a bit about the club scene and festivals. As far as I know, you are quite a big fan of underground clubs but especially in the summer season, festivals taking over all over the world. Is that a worrying situation for you?
No not really. Festivals of are amazing experiences of course but people can’t got to festivals every week. Variety is the spice of life and the music you can get away with playing in a small dark club is very different from what you can generally play at a Festival. It is true that clubs find it tough doing the summer season but that’s not a new development. There’s always been lots of other distractions during the summer that has a negative affect on club attendances.
How do you predict the future for the scene regarding to that?
Ha! Almost every interviewer asks the “predicting the future” question and I wish I had a crystal ball to answer them but one of the great things about this scene is it keeps twisting and turning and constantly evolving so it never gets boring and we always have to be on our toes for the next development. Besides, if I did have the answer, i probably wouldn’t tell anyway.
Did you have some secret weapons or some classics in your dj set, 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! Like Salvador Dali curating a rave on the set of Mad Max. Crazy! As far as music goes, after ‘Nightfalls’, I’ve got a remix coming on Selador of Han Haak, an EP on Yousef’s Carioca label and remixes of Affkt and Marc Marzenit scheduled too.
The next releases on Selador?
We have an EP by Third Son out now with D-Nox & Beckers and Kris Davis remixes. Then it will be my release with the aforementioned Lee Van Dowski, Chymera and OC & Verde mixes. Next will be an EP from Dee Montero with Alex Neri and BOg mixes and after that will be the Han Haak track ‘Insipid Town’ with Robert Babicz, Ki Creighton & Makanan and myself doing remixes. We’ll also do another Reloads EP soon too which is a compilation of remixes of tracks from our back catalogue. The next one features Christian Nielsen and Soul Button amongst others.
Anything else you want to say?
Ha! No thank you, I think I’ve said enough already!