Dave Seaman on His Ten Most Essential Dance Floor Weapons of All Time
To say that Dave Seaman knows a thing or two about programming a DJ set would be a considerable understatement.
The pioneering British DJ-producer's had over two decades to hone his craft at countless arenas around the globe. He's also behind a hefty catalog of mix compilation albums, including several installments for the prestigious Global Underground and Renaissance series.
So what what makes a master class selector like Seaman tick? "Obviously I'm looking for well-produced music -- it must be of a certain quality," he tells Crossfade. "But apart from that, there are no hard and fast rules."
"I'm just looking for something that makes a dance floor move or that gets a reaction. It may be a particular synth melody, or a vocal, or the way the bass kicks in. Anything really as long as it catches my ear. I always think if it catches my ear then it's likely it will do the same on the dance floor."
Of course, these days, DJs have to dig harder and deeper than ever for the gold in an oversaturated digital music market.
"There's new music arriving literally by the thousands on a weekly basis, which is a double-edged sword," says Seaman. "It only takes a handful of exciting new tracks to get me pumped for the weekend -- but then on the opposite side of the coin, if I go through hundreds of new tracks and don't find anything inspiring, it can leave you feeling negative. I just try to keep going until I find the really good stuff."
Now there's the good stuff and then there's the good stuff -- the timeless classic gems which the best DJs keep in their arsenal of dance floor weapons. So when we asked a veteran like Mr. Seaman to name his top ten all-time essential weapons ahead of Saturday's headlining performance at Vagabond, it's no surprise we got a rundown of some major milestones in electronic dance music history.
10. M/A/R/R/S's "Pump Up The Volume"
"When this was released in 1987, it felt like the world changed. A record from outer space. The birth of the DJ revolution in the UK. From here on in, DJs were never looked at in the same way again."
9. Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker"
"Mind-bending music sent from the future to addle our minds and corrupt our children. And an amazing video to boot from Christopher Cunningham. What more could you want? Richard James is a genius."