Dj Seinfeld is one of these producers who’s been given the “lofi house” label, a style of house recognizable for its dreamy pads, acid melodies, saturated kicks and 90’s drum machine sounds.
Lobster Theremin, the british label run by Jimmy Asquith, has been the reference for this particular types of sounds over the past few year, with releases by Route 8, Palms Trax or Nthng for examples, which were very well received by the audience. In early December 2016, it was Dj Seinfeld’s turn to make his debuts on the label with “Season 1”. 2 months later, the EP is out of stock on every online shop and already on his way for a repress.
As the phenomenon is in Paris this weekend to play at Le Nouveau Casino, we took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about his music, his projects, and how he perceives the current scene.
Hi Armand, thank you for according us this interview! It’s hard to find articles about the “lofi movement”, like we often read, without seeing your name. When did you start producing that kind of music and what were your inspirations?
I’ve listened to this music for probably 10 years or so, but I never thought of calling it “lo fi”. In my mind, it was just house and techno music that took on different shapes and re-cycled itself every now and then. I started producing roughly five years ago, and it’s a bit hard to point to any one artist or track that inspired me. It was more scenes, and sounds often attributed to particular cities like Chicago, Detroit, the Hague, Birmingham, etc.
You’re from a family of musicians, your father and your sister are opera singer and your mother is a cellist, what were their reactions when you made them listen distorted and saturated house?
The first time I showed them my stuff, my brother jokingly referred to the loopy nature of it as: “I think the CD is stuck”. Now they say they like it, I suppose partly because I use quite a lot of melodic elements to it nowadays. Or maybe its just another example of “things parents say to their kids” haha, I don’t know, but they are very supportive at least.
Lo-fi house and techno have been here for a long time, the American label L.I.E.S. or artists like Greg Beato and Legowelt are a few examples of it, how would you explain the recent enthusiasm for this kind of music?
Not sure, in my mind the music itself shares a lot of similarities to what has been done before, with a few noteworthy and admirable examples doing it in their own particular way. I’ve talked to a few people about this and I think part of it can be explained by the very nature of the internet nowadays; even though I (and I assume most other artists) have nothing to do with youtube channels, they obviously do play a big role in how artists emerge. Everything happens so much faster now than before, and you can have a hit over night.
Another contributing factor to the surge in amount of young people trying to produce this kind of music now is, I think, at least partly to do with how close they are to the people that are supposedly “leading the way”. They see people their own age doing what they want to do with little or barely more resources than themselves, and of course that can work as a trigger often times. I never felt close to any of the role models that I grew up listening to; its not like I ever felt I could write to Omar S on facebook and ask “yo, you mind hitting me up with that DL?”. Now that distance doesn’t really exist in the same way.
You recently released your first vinyl EP called “Season 1” on Lobster Fury, a collaboration between Lobster Theremin and Meda Fury, a label where you released your first EP ever, “Illuminations”, under your Rimbaudian alias. Can you tell us the story about this collaboration?
It’s basically two good mates that wanted to do something together. Nick from Meda Fury wrote to me “hey do u know who DJ Seinfeld is?” after I posted the first couple of tracks, and then that him and Jimmy wanted to do this collab label. After that it just all came together really nicely. Super nice guys both of them.
When you released “Season 1”, you also released a note where you explain that you made this EP in one day, just after you broke up with your first love. When we hear “U” or “Time spent away from U”, which are very melancholic tracks, we may think that this event influenced your music, is it right?
Yes, a lot. It’s the cause of my “mememotional” house.
You just released your 2nd EP “Sunrise” on Endotherm, which include one of your soundcloud hits “Flyin through sunrise”, can we hope to see other tracks from your soundcloud page released this year?
Yes, there are a lot of releases coming (soon!)
What are your favorite labels and artists at the moment? Any producers you would like to collaborate with?
Apart from the ones Im working with, labels I really love are UNTO Recordings, Workshop, Salt Mines, Hyperdub, Werkdiscs, Clone. I’m working with Baltra for something that we are getting closer to finishing, and maybe a few things with a couple of mates soon, but apart from that I would love to work with Abra, i’ve been obsessed with her work lately.
This weekend you’re playing in Paris for the second time, alongside Umfang and Miley Serious. For your first time here, you were already sharing the stage with Miley Serious, the Paris based Dj. Was do you think about the city?
Yeah Miley is the best, such a lovely person and talented DJ. She always has these crazy tracks that I never heard, and I trust her taste a lot. The city itself is beautiful, though I don’t know that much about it to say any more. As a kid I always I thought I would end up in paris. Maybe one day!
You’re from Sweden, you studied in Scotland and you’re now living in Barcelona, what’s your next destination?
No idea. I’ve been thinking about Eastern Europe, but I prefer to live a bit more nomadically at the moment, see where life takes me.
Last question, and an important one, I’ve read somewhere that you’re an “amazing twerker” (cf I-D magazine), what’s your favorite track to twerk on?
True. On “DJ Rashad – In Da Club Before Eleven O’Clock”.
Interview lead by Simon.