Steve Parry is one of the unsung heroes of the UK’s electronic music scene. With over two decades of experience under his belt, he is without doubt one of the industry’s most respected figures. A working DJ since the age of 15, Steve has amassed a wealth of musical knowledge and honed some serious DJ skills over his time working as manager of the world famous 3 Beat records, a 3 year residency at Cream in Liverpool and a host of headlining gigs across the globe. He launched Selador Recordings in 2013 with Dave Seaman; now a well-known house and techno imprint, its success so far is mainly down to their passion and utter devotion to quality over quantity. We had a chance to interview him around his new Seladoria event series (launched last Friday), and a special remix EP on Selador which is out now – 3 new remixes of 3 of Steve’s tracks, from 3 of Steve’s favourite producers. Enjoy the interview!
Hey Steve, hope you’re well. Where are you in the world right now as you answer these; how is your day ahead looking?
Hey Hey! I’m back home in Liverpool after a big weekend! Friday was the launch of our Sela-doria party In London with Just Her and Danny Howells as guests in E1 Club, alongside my-self and Dave Seaman playing back to back – it was great!
Saturday I was playing my home town alongside James Zabiela in The Williamson Tunnels – my first gig in Liverpool after the pandemic – so lots of fun was had haha!
Today I’m working in my home office, a lot of e-mails and work to catch up on for SMP3 promo (my promo mail-out company that I run, working with 40+ Record Labels), plus some Selador bits too – I’ve been chatting to my agent too about possible international gigs for next year. It’s been keeping me busy!
You’ve just released a remix EP on your own Selador Recordings imprint, where you’ve asked 3 of your favourite producers to remix 3 of your favourite tracks.
How did you match these producers to the tracks? And what is it about each of these artists that you love so much?
Yes, I pick remixes that I love, and I selected these guys as I love playing their tracks.
Doc Martin is a bonafide DJ legend. I was a bit nervous speaking to him – but he is so cool, I love chatting and whatsapping him now (I’m mildly stalking him to be honest!).
He started the remix of my track ‘303 V’ a while ago – and it never quite got finished off, so it was good to start chatting to him again, and seeing if he could add some more tweaks. He really took it to town, and made the track his own, and delivered such a hot remix! It’s a mu-sical genre straddler – it’s groovy, it’s pumpin’ and it’s melodic and it sounds great in a club!
Next up Renato Cohen reworked ‘What You make It’. I always play a Renato track in my sets – and I mean pretty much every set for the last 4 years – maybe longer! He previously re-mixed mine and Luke Brancaccio’s track for Selador ‘Control Machine’, and I was eager to get him back on remix duties again. His remix is phenomenal. Every time I play – a DJ or club-ber will be asking ‘what is this!???!’ – Patrice Baumel was in the club I played on Saturday and he asked me what it was, as it really stands out from the crowd.
Thirdly Bebetta. A brilliant producer. I realised I played so many tracks of hers, that I needed her to be part of this release. Her remix of ‘Fenner’ is so cool – utilising so many parts from my original, but adding some cool vibes, as the talented German always does. A wonderful addition to the release. I love it!
Your Selador Recordings imprint has been running for 8 years now, co-founded by you and Dave Seaman.
How did it start, and how come you and Dave decided to launch this together?
We’ve known each other since 1991. I used to watch Dave DJ at Shelly’s and before I knew it I was playing alongside him at my first residency Bliss (at Fallows, Liverpool). Then years of clubbing, and later me selling him records when I was in 3 Beat – so we’ve just always been in contact through our love of music.
One day while chatting on MSN messenger (showing our age here!), I mentioned that I wanted to start a label, and within 5 seconds Dave rang me and said let’s start a label together… and here we are still!
You have a new event series starting soon – can you tell us about Seladoria? What is your intention with these parties? Are they going to be nationwide?
Seladoria seems to be a natural progression for us. As well as delivering good and fresh new music, Dave and I (sometimes alongside guest DJs) have our amazing visuals that have been created especially for these events, bringing a wonderful additional wow factor, plus we have our Selador bunny masks that clubbers love to wear, so all adding up to trying to bring something extra to the dance floor, rather than just DJs playing music. Adding that extra sparkle, and bringing the fun back, as sometimes clubbing can be very serious.
As for your studio, what is your setup currently made of?
Ableton and Push 2 are the basics I use. I fiddle around a lot at home, and create ideas, but I like to work with Jay (our engineer), as he makes my workflow so much faster, and pushes my boundaries – he’s a technical wizard, and really keeps me on my toes, and I love that!
For those who may be new to you as an artist, how would you define your sound in a few sentences? Both as a producer and a DJ (feel free to do two separate answers or com-bine!)
I deliver a musical smorgasbord as a DJ. I like many different genres, and I try and represent this in my DJ sets. I start deep, and gently build, shifting through my musical gears, adding melodics and getting tougher as the night develops. I suppose it’s a ‘progressive’ style of DJ-ing, but I don’t really play any progressive house! As Selador’s tag line says ‘from house to techno and all in between’
As a producer – I like to make tracks that I would want to play – sometimes deeper, some-times full on craziness, I really do make tracks to fit my sets. If anybody else likes them, well that’s a bonus! I am partial to an acid line, so they often feature! Vocals or snippets are of-ten used, and usually a bit of melody. All aimed firmly at the dancefloor.
Finally, just a fun one – what was the last record store you visited and what did you get there?
I have avoided record stores for over 10 years, as I virtually lived in them for decades, from being the ultimate trainspotter punter, to working behind the counter of 3 Beat for 10 years. I had so many records that I had filled our house and still had 1000’s in my mum’s and my nan’s house. I really was a vinyl addict. Nowadays I still have my vinyl, but I don’t feel the need to purchase any more (I actually don’t have the room at all for any more!).