SETH Troxler’s career started in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. A part-time job in Detroit’s famous Melodies and Memories record store run by Terrance Parker and Theo Parish was the best opportunity to become a DJ. Still working at M & M - while still only 16, he made his first club appearance in legendary Detroit techno club ‘The Works’.
What followed was a stellar rise to the top, DJing in largest venues on the international circuit - notably Fabric (London), Panorama Bar and Watergate (Berlin - where he now lives and works), Womb (Tokyo), Tenax (Florence), Robert Johnson (Frankfurt), The Rex (Paris), Fuse (Brussels), Avalon (LA) and The End Up (San Francisco), including The Detroit Electronic Music Festival and Mutek.
On the back of his incredible DJ sets, requests flooded in to record an official DJ compilation. Ellen Allien’s BPitch imprint snapped him up and Boogie bytes Volume 5 hit the shelves. It told a story - the kind of kind of house and techno which inspired his sound. On release, I remember I eyed the cover art (a picture of Seth being sucker punched by an imaginary force) and thought - that’s about right.
The thing about genius is that there is usually more than one level of thought running at one time - you can listen to his sets in the car, or lounging around your pad. However, turn off the lights and play it in a club and it comes into its own.
His DJ sets evolve, taking you on a journey until suddenly you stop, look around, and ask “What the hell has just happened?” - Cue, sucker punch from the bass control.
Like the music he creates, Troxler is unconventional - he looks more like a psychedelic rock star than a DJ. You could easily mistake him for Jimi Hendrix’s lovechild, complete with funky Fro and 70s porn star beard. He has a sense of style, that much is apparent.
He’s one of electronic music’s larger-than-life personalities, Troxler is outspoken and, at times, controversial. Why not? After all, he’s now one of the Top Ten DJs in the world and co-founder of the most influential record label in recent years, the Visionquest Collective.
Controversial enough is, without shame, he states Visionquest was born out of a communal acid trip, shared by label co-founders, Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves and Lee Curtis. Their sole purpose is to make music do to the listener what acid did for them - open their minds and unlock the subconscious. I’m sure Timothy Leary would have been proud.
However, rather than glamorising their actions they took a proactive approach; replicate the effect of the drug through their own productions and DJ sets. Using repetitive beats and complex rhythmic patterns, their music induces a hypnotic effect on the listener who slips into a trance-like state. Officially, a new sub-genre was born.
Some call it house, others techno... perhaps even minimal. After all, it shares the same vintage and uses similar sounds. Yet, it’s constructed and delivered in a completely different way. Troxler once called it “Underground pop” - tongue firmly in cheek, I like to believe.
But the growing success of the label, club support and the praise of music pundits made Troxler’s synopsis ring true. The Visionquest collective have topped the electronic music charts, their sound has spread through the underground and become pandemic.
This all sounds pretty deep, but not as deep as the music. The bass thumps, reverberates and echoes like a solid punch to the belly. All concept of time is lost amidst long stretches of 4/4 beat kicks. Percussive elements rattle the senses while sweet melodies unfold, melting into the mix with a visceral intensity.
Troxler will play his hypnotic blend of electronica on Saturday night with a special three-hour set. Expect a magic carpet ride from the DJ who has started a revolution in sound.
Saturday, 6th October, Musika, Liquid Rooms, Victoria St, £15
Other nights to check out kick off Friday with house legend - DJ Sneak’s with 3 hour set @ Hippy Hippy Shake in The Castle Club, Queensferry St Lane, 11pm - 3am. There’s electro house @ Cabaret Voltaire with XY club night, who have headliner ADO (Blood Music and Turbo Recordings) - Friday 5th October, 10.30pm - 3am, £5/7.
For techno heads then head to Unseen featuring DJ CASUAL VIOLENCE. Expect dark throbbing techno with Neil Templar and Patrick Walker, Studio 24, 10.30pm - 3am. If you are in the mood to party then Substance celebrate their 6th Birthday with the brilliant JACKMASTER, including DJs Blawan and Gavin Richardson @ The Bongo Club, kicking off 11pm till 3am.
Finally, fast forward for mid-week gem - BOYS NOIZE DJ set @ The Third Door, Tuesday 9th October, 10pm - 3am, £8.