Seth Troxler has stormed 2015.
The extrovert selector has combined expert taste with a penchant for the flamboyant, hosting his epic one day festival Seth Troxler's Acid Future at London's Tobacco Dock this summer.
Releasing a string of vital cuts, Seth Troxler is now set to oversee a mix for the lauded DJ-Kicks series. Out on Friday (October 16th) it's a terrific selection, one that allows fans to peer behind the DJ's public persona to reveal a music fan of some quite considerable depth.
Clash invited Seth to put some thoughts down on paper - here's what we got back.
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On his DJ-Kicks mix...
With the mix I wanted to do something that was honest and not, you know, trendy. I think that was my biggest motivation doing the mix. Especially with all these people trying to play deep house all the time that is not at all reflective of real deep house, I thought it would be cool to make a real house mix, not records out of my current box or a bunch of tracks from Beatport.
A lot of it is from my record collection and I did the whole thing on two turntables, CD-Js in my living room in my night shirt. I went out in the morning, micro-dosed myself and did all these errands around town. Then I came home at night and did the mix one take. You can hear it when I’m mixing, it’s not computer perfect because its done by an actual person.
It's a lot of stuff that I collect and I listen to. People don’t realise I have such eclectic taste. I think sometimes people get caught up in the image of stuff I do and the jokes that I make and they forget that actually listening to me play or the music that I collect is actually pretty far out there. It might seem obvious but to be a successful DJ, you have to be really into music. Collecting music is my life, I like to think of myself as a curator of music. That’s the job ethic of a DJ.
For this mix I wanted to curate something for people to easily listen to, that was nice and funny and got you in the mood to do your homework or drive that hour long trip when you need to go somewhere. That’s the point of a proper mix CD. It’s not just me DJing at some club. I see this mix as a gay man named Rodney. Or a big black woman named Birtha.
Niki Nakazawa is an old friend of mine. She lives in Mexico city and owns this restaurant. It’s a track that we’ve been trying to put out for ages. I’ve had this track for about five or six years or even longer and it didn’t really work out for my Visionquest label at the time and now I finally found the perfect place for it on this mix.
The exclusive track 'De Natte Cel', which I wrote with Tom Trago, was made on the Monday after the closing of Trouw in Amsterdam, a place that we both loved dearly. 'De Natte Cel' (translated into English 'The Wet Cell') was this amazing third floor that they specially opened in Trouw for the last month that the club was open. Club Trouw used to be the printing press for Amsterdam's main daily newspaper (also called Trouw) and De Natte Cel was the shower and locker room down in the basement where the employees would go and wash the ink off their bodies at the end of the working day. Tom and I both played in De Natte Cel during the closing party and were so inspired by the space we left Trouw after around 48 hours solid in the venue, partied all night at the hotel and then went straight into the studio.
I think this mix is more of a nod to my history. All this stuff influenced me so much. I got into Kompakt when I was 14 years old and all these records have become part of my collection through my life as a DJ. I didn’t want to overthink the mix. So many people do DJ Kicks who are really cool and really on trend musically. I thought how could I do the best mix possible but also the least trendy. This is a proper DJ mix. A house mix. I hope it's received as good music that works to listen to at any time.
I’m sick of everyone trying to put meaning into things that have none. The things that mean the most are given the smallest consideration. People try to make dance music really serious. There are parts of dance music that are serious but not executed in a clever way. There’s so many records that come out every day with no concepts behind them. Those things don’t have a message or a statement. They’re just putting out music. I’m just putting out a mix that’s comfortable and cool to listen to and I’m really happy with it.
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On life and inspirations...
I see myself as a normal person with an opinion. That’s it. I’m a guy who’s had the opportunity to live a very privileged life via music. I’ve seen and experienced quite a bit during this pretty full-on trip out over the last 14/15 years. People ask me questions and I’m starting to be known to be outspoken and I just tell it like it is. I’m keeping it real. I don’t really see myself as a role model unless a role model is somehow who is keeping it real! Barack Obama is a role model for me. He keeps it real. There’s a lot of cool people out there. The Pope. The Pope is keeping it real right now. He’s keeping it hella real that Pope! Craig Richards... etc
There’s a lot of art and stuff that inspires me. I’m also inspired by politics and also right now race relations in America. That’s really something thats I’ve taken a lot from. My whole life I’ve tried to not identify myself as someone of colour but just identify myself as Seth. Now I guess the older I’m getting, the more I’m realising that there is also an ethnic identity that we have as people and our lives as people of colour is a bit different to everyone else’s as well as the obstacles that you overcome and the cultural experiences that you have. I think that race and culture and those differences are being pushed in the media to become so prevalent but we’re really all the same people but culturally we just have a few small differences. That’s been intriguing me lately. I’m slowly realising how big of a thing this really is.
My whole life I’ve tried not to fall into a stereotype, I’ve tried to push that idea aside and say there was no differences but now that I’m getting more self-aware as well as politically aware I’m seeing what it actually is. That it counts. People really are different. I’m trying to close that gap by showing that people of ethnic backgrounds have actually made great contributions and have the same worth as everyone else. The only way we can do that is by showing the creative strengths of ethnicity. Cos you know you get into England or anywhere else and it’s all "immigrants this and immigrants that". But how about the good things of immigration and the good things of a multicultural society and what each of those groups brings to the table for the better. This is something that I’m starting to play with in my mind recently and maybe something I want to get more involved with in the future. It’s something that I’m really reading and thinking about at the moment and wanting to look at and understand.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research on Saturn. I’ve just read this Buddhist book about love True Love by Thich Nanhat Hanh and I’m about to start the book by KLF Chaos Magic about the band who burned a million pounds. Zoe Lazarus’s instagram has been greatly inspirational lately. Her dream sequence is off the hook. Art and Politics. Wow.
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Seth Troxler's DJ-Kicks mix will be released this Friday (October 16th) - order it HERE.