Seuil has made a name for himself as a prolific producer belonging to the Lola ED roster and having released music on various respected imprints, from young to established such as Cabanne’s Minibar, Sammy Dee’s Ultrastretch, Frankfurt-based late nineties Raum…musik, Pluie/Noir, Nervmusic, Masomenos, Half Baked, Ilian Tape and so forth. Originally from the Reunion Island, these days Seuil can often be found working in his studio in Paris, taking care of business on his Hold Youth and Eklo labels, playing as resident at Half Baked or the Hold Youth parties at Rex Club, and of course, spending time with his daughter. Here we get to know more about Seuil and why he thinks it’s important to hold on to the past while hearing some pleasant news about his music and label too!
You have released music on so many well respected labels. You must spend a lot of your time in the studio. Do you come from a musical background?
Hey, yeah that’s right, lots of music for friends’ labels. I love being in the studio – it’s probably what I like the most about being involved in music. Even though I love DJing and playing live, making music in the studio is something special. My father used to play the piano and he got me into it when I was just a little kid, so I have some classical and jazz foundations. I played the piano for 10 years. I have one at home but I never take the time to play and actually I haven’t played for years, it’s a shame…
What are the machines or instruments that you cannot live without?
Oooo, this is a tough one. There are so many things that are essential for me. I’ve been using the 909 for a long time – I would say it’s this beauty. But last year I bought a 808 and a 606, and to be honest I wouldn’t be able to choose between the three. They complement one another so well. I picked drum machines because I have a crush on drum machines, lots of them! So lots of Roland machines are essential, and the Minitaur… yes.
Do you ever come across blocks in your creative process? How do you get over them?
No blocks actually as I always do what I really want to do. I don’t try too hard to formulate a particular sound – that way I’m free to express all the different ideas I have in my head.
We met in Paris at a party six years ago where we were both playing; it was him, me and Jan Krueger. I was playing live that night – it was a really cool one, I remember it well. We became friends and started to share lots of ideas. I already had my label Eklo, which is really personal to me and I thought it was a good time to start something new with someone that I share similar ideas with.
Our DJ and producer combo started from there. I was giving a lot of love to German/French micro house and minimal, whilst on his side it was US House. Overall we both like the same things, our essence is this combination, the bridge between those two worlds.
We’ve been close friends for a while; Robin is an Eklo artist and Half Baked resident like us. After spending some time in London two years ago, we made a track which came out on Eklo as a split EP, the name PAP INC came about for that release. Then, after some time we decided to hook up in my studio in Paris and work on a full EP especially for our Half Baked family.
You’ve been a resident for Half Baked since the very beginning now, 6 years later what makes the party still so special for you?
This is “my party” in London – I really feel at home at Half Baked, they are my family. I played at the very first party and since then it’s been a pleasure to play at the others. The crowd is the kind that every DJ dreams of: people who are there to take everything that you have to offer, no one is there to show their music knowledge, all these people are there to discover what we have to offer them and then we modulate the vibe, the sound and the spirit of Half Baked, because the public is so receptive to it. The party is based around this amazing crowd and the superb team behind it, and the DJs are just the icing on the cake. That’s why it’s priceless to play there.
You have a Hold Youth residency party in Rex Club. What is the concept behind it and what makes Rex Club such a special venue?
Rex Club is a legendary club. It’s where true legends have played and it’s always staying up to date with everything that’s happening. The artistic direction is supervised by the delicious Molly, who plays all over the world. The soundsystem is the best in town, along with Concrete’s. And lots of friends like D’julz, Didier Alline have their parties there.
Thomas Melchior is an amazing producer, one of my favorites. I made this track, showed it to some friends and they told me that it was amazing but that it sounds like ‘Feel Sensual’ from Melchior, which was true. So first it was just a tool for my friends. Then other friends and people told me that I should release it on wax. It’s a great track if I say so myself… so I decided to release it as a tribute to Thomas – a tribute to this golden era, the beginning of 2000. Some people want to revolutionize music. I’m not really a part of that – I’m nostalgic, I like to carry on supporting the things that I love.
You mentioned that the beginning of 2000, with releases from Perlon, was a golden era for you. What other periods in electronic music do you consider to be “revolutionary”?
Techno in Detroit at the beginning of the nineties – the Underground Resistance. For me, what they did for electronic music is one of the biggest things in its history. I’m a massive fan of everything they did.
You recently released an EP on your EKLO by Justin Zerbst, including music that he produced in the late nineties. Why have you chosen to share previously unreleased music from this particular artist?
I had the “Subtraction” EP on Red Ember but the mastering on this record was weird, the tracks were amazing but hard to play in a club. So as I was taking Eklo in a new direction for 2015 – more nineties – I decided to contact the guys to repress some of their tracks. In the end I repressed just one of them. Thanks to Ewan Jansen, Red Ember’s boss, I was able to get in touch with Justin who sent me lots of amazing unreleased music. This is when I decided to collaborate on 2 full EPs with him. One is out now, and the second one will be released at the end of the Winter.
Is it true that you are influenced by hip hop? Who are some of your favourite hip hop artists?
Sure, I love hip hop from the US and the UK but also from France. I’m a big fan of the Wu Tang Clan, also Mos Def, Slum Village and Dilla. I think the main influence I draw from hip hop is the beat – the rhythms.
How about some of your favourite French artists?
There are lots of great French artists today in the scene. I can’t name everyone but I would say that when I started: Pepe Braddock, Ark, Cabanne, Krikor. And now, my team: Le Loup, Robin Ordell, Vadim Svoboda and also Etienne who will be on Eklo soon.
Do you have any words of advice that you would give to upcoming artists?
Buy some old Roland gear if you can, it sounds great!