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A chat with Seth Troxler – techno’s hottest name

On Wednesday 29th September 2010 a man named Seth Troxler, along with Guy Gerber, managed to influence every day, week and month of Marcus Barnes‘ life that has passed since that night. It was at Kehakuma’s closing party at Space in Ibiza that he witnessed the duo back to back in the club’s amazing Terrace Room. Not knowing who was on at the time, he had to do some research and the name Seth Troxler came to the fore. Once he had his name, he searched out every Troxler mix he could, desperate to hear more of his dextrous live sets.

And now he’s interviewed him… obsessed? Marcus? Never!

Notion: What’s your earliest memory of music?
Seth Troxler: I’ve always been surrounded by music. I grew up in a small town in Michigan called Kalamazoo which is kinda half way between Detroit and Chicago. My step Dad was a DJ on local radio and I used to go and sit with him in the studio when I was really young and listen to music and stay up late. I think at the time staying up late was more appealing than the music, but the music stuck with me. His DJ name was ‘Too Fine’ and he had a nightly show between 10pm and 5am called ‘Fade to Black’, after 2am it turned into the ‘Love Zone’ which was straight up fuck jamz.

Notion: Name your top 5 gigs of 2010.
Seth Troxler:
1. The Visionquest Showcase at DC10, Ibiza in August… Andrea the promoter of DC10 gave us the whole club to throw a party at, on a Wednesday night, and the four of us played all night.
2. Playing back to back with Jamie Jones at the Rebel Rave party in Miami at WMC. This was one of those magical experiences where you’ve got all your best friends, from all around the world, around you. All on a really positive vibe, dancing in the sun.
3. Visionquest at Fiesta Pravada in Italy at Halloween. This was the first time that we performed together as Visionquest. Things got super deep.
4. Visionquest at Louche in Leeds in November. This was our UK debut performing as Visionquest. Louche is one of our favourite clubs in the world to play at, it’s run by a really cool crew of guys who really know their shit.
5. My first ever set in DC10 as their new resident (and actually the first time I’d ever set foot in the club) on the Monday after Sonar. This was pretty nerve wracking as there had been so much hype about me be taken on as the new resident and the whole ‘New Era’ thing with Circo Loco so there was a lot to live up to.

Notion: You’ve said that you’d happily make credible pop music – in terms of vocals, who would be your ideal pop star to work with? And do you have any mainstream projects on the go right now?
Seth Troxler:
There’s so many people I’d like to work with but if I had to pick one I would say it’s Calvin Johnson from the group ‘The Beat Happening’. I love the band so much, the subtle look at adolescence, with a romantic look at life, as well as the depth of each of their songs have made him my favorite songwriter of all time. I did get the chance to work with Tracey Thorn last year which was so amazing. But when I think of pop, or credible pop per say, I think what we’re trying to do is make what would be in a sense Underground Pop. At the moment we are so busy with getting the Visionquest label up and running and doing production and remix work as Visionquest, in addition to all the gigging, that I’ve not got any other projects on the go. But I’m always up for doing something exciting, and new.

Notion: What are you hopes and aims for 2011?
Seth Troxler:
Life… seeing what it brings, and takes and going with the flow. Simple really. We just started Visionquest our new record label, and I hope to release some cool tunes, some cold jams to fuck to, as well as some sensitive songs for intimate times with you and your lover.

Notion: What is the best club in the world right now and for what reason?
Seth Troxler:
It would have to be a straight tie between DC10 and fabric in London. Both are run by outstanding people and there is never a moment where you don’t feel at home and you can always play the music you want and take people to a distant place without feeling the pressure to really push. DC10 is one of the only clubs in the world where you can play music for a group of people who aren’t having their first rodeo, people with experience who understand the symbiosis between the crowd and a DJ. As a DJ and rave case, this type of situation is a dream because the communication and transfer of ideas makes a special energy and shit can get real wild, real quick. The only problem with this is it leaves the rest of your week fucked as far as doing anything productive goes. Still I can’t complain! I also have to give a special mention to Judy and the staff at Fabric who are ever so kind and often don’t get the recognition they deserve for the effort they put in every week to bring such quality music to the people of London.

Notion: Thanks to your set with Guy Gerber at Kehakuma’s closing party in Ibiza I rediscovered my love for techno, so thank you. How did you celebrate your birthday that night? (Apart from the set at Space).
Seth Troxler:
It was my 25th birthday and we rented a big villa in the hills and spent the entire afternoon BBQing with friends. The villa had this amazing grill and Elliot, our agent in Italy, had specially flown in all this amazing meat from Umbria where he’s from so we had loads of our friends round and indulged our second favourite past time after music, which is grilling. I fucking love to eat.

Notion: I’ve noticed your sets will often feature both new and old tracks – how do you prepare your music selection before a set?
Seth Troxler:
Every time I go out and play I sit down for an hour or so beforehand with my laptop and record bag and put together a rough play list of the sort of tracks that I feel will work for the specific party or venue that I’m playing at. Then go from there, just knowing you music is good, I have about five thousand songs on my computer and about 30 records on me at all times so if you know what you have I guess you can make music for any situation.

Notion: Which track is guaranteed to make you lose your mind when you’re partying?
Seth Troxler:
Footprintz ‘Golden Dreams’… it’s futuristic sex music for your earginas. Also any Jamie Princple or Gwen Guthrie song. Love it!

Notion: Who or what inspires you to continue on your godly path to pleasing the world’s techno lovers?
Seth Troxler:
My friends mainly but also, Cleveland Junior from the Cleveland Show, Charlie Sheen, Silvio Burlesconi, Eric Cartman, Yeshua, and my mom.

Notion: We’re at the end of another decade – in your personal opinion what was the best track of the last 10 years?
Seth Troxler:
David Guetta ‘When Love Takes Over’… no seriously this is a hard one so I’ll have to pass.

Notion: Apart from DJing and making music, how do you spend your time?
Seth Troxler:
I like to drink ayahuasca tea and contemplate the inner workings of the outer nebulae of Andromeda. I also cook, and spend time with my lovely fiancée Sonoya.

Notion: Who are your ‘ones to watch’ in 2011?
Seth Troxler:
The three producers that I’m really excited about at the moment are firstly Footprintz, a genre-defying new band that we discovered in Montreal, who are putting out the second release on our new Visionquest label. Then there’s Benoit & Sergio, good friends of ours who live in Berlin and are making amazing house and techno with some really cool vocals. They are just about to put out the first release on Visionquest (The ‘Where The Freaks Have No Name’ EP) which is out now. Finally there is ‘Tale Of Us’ which is a new project from Italian producers Karm and Matteo (Milleri).

Notion: Which track manages to sneak its way into most of your sets at the moment?
Seth Troxler:
The Tale Of Us remix of Who Made Who ‘Every Minute Alone’. It’s a total bomb. I think it’s coming out later this year on Life And Death.

Notion: The footage of you from WMC last year is already a cult classic. How many pairs of short shorts do you have?
Seth Troxler:
I’ve got legs like Tina Turner and own about seven pairs of short shorts. No lie… my legs are naturally hairless as well. I am totally smooth from top to bottom except for my head, my tache and nether regions. With that being said, I now hate that video. Leave the bats alone, this year we intend to reveal a new character, Charlie Sheen as played by Ryan Crosson… winner!

Notion: If you weren’t currently working as a DJ, what would you be doing with your life?
Seth Troxler:
I love food so probably doing something involving food, like working as a chef or running a restaurant. This is still a pipe dream of mine – to own a restaurant one day. But maybe if I never left Detroit I would be doing design or advertising as part of my wasted degree.

Notion: The world of DJing can sometimes be competitive – do you ever worry about playing after other certain people? And if so, who fills you with the most fear?
Seth Troxler:
I warmed up for Ricardo Villabos at the DC10 closing party last year which was pretty nerve wracking as he’s always been a huge, huge influence on me. Generally over the years it’s been playing before or after your heroes (Richie Hawtin, Ricardo, Zip), though these days I’m getting used to it. Local DJs who play too hard can be a bit weird.

Notion: There was a period when house music was a little stale – what have producers and DJs done in recent times to liven up the music?
Seth Troxler:
They have finally started to take risks again and think outside the box.

Notion: “My baby takes K all day, she doesn’t wash her, doesn’t wash her clothes…” how would you deal with such a predicament?
Seth Troxler:
Thankfully my baby doesn’t do K at all so it’s not something I’d really have to deal with. I like class and ass, but if she did she’d be out on the curb in no time. I don’t want no scrubs.

Notion: Complete the sentence: “In 2020 techno will be…”
Seth Troxler:
Still as relevant as it is today…

See what captured Marcus’ heart when Visionquest tear the roof off of Bloc Weekend, 11-13 March, or check out Benoit & Sergio ‘Where The Freaks Have No Name EP’ on Visionquest – available now to buy on vinyl and MP3

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