Centrific talks techno, raves, and his Record Room birthday party
Photo by Dave Eckblad
When it comes to the local dance music scene, you'd be hard pressed to find a guy who's been around longer than Steve "Centrific" Seuling. When he's not warping minds with his renowned marathon sets of deep techno at Midwest clubs and campouts or throwing his own off-the-grid parties with his Intellephunk tribe of bad-ass producer/DJs, he's usually found supporting local music and dancing up a storm in front of the DJ booth.
This Saturday night, just a few weeks after what was an exceptional set at Too Much Love, Centrific returns to First Avenue to play a four-hour birthday set in the Record Room to an inevitably packed house of longtime friends, new fans and party people looking to sonically hitchhike to another dimension. Before we take the trip ourselves, we caught up with him for a quick Q&A about his expectations for the night, family life, and of course, old-school memories.
I know a lady never tells her age, but what about a super old-school local techno god? Do you think you're ever too old to go out dancing?
I'm 37 and I've been going to electronic dance music events frequently since I was 20 years old. It's a huge part of my life. I notice a lot of people seem to come and go as their lives allow. I think it's pretty normal that people in their 30s become involved in their careers and their familes and disappear from the circle. I think as long as it seems relevant and exciting to me I will always be around. I enjoy being one of the elders of the Minneapolis techno community.
Photo by Jade Patrick
What do you expect from this Saturday night in the Record Room? Any out-of-the-ordinary shenanigans?
For one, I will be playing a 4 hour set. Most of the best sets I've ever played have been four-plus hours but it's something I rarely get to do in Minneapolis. I usually only get to play long sets at campout events, so needless to say I'm very excited to play a full night here at the Record Room!
What keeps you energized about electronic music?
I'd say the main thing that keeps me excited about electronic music is the way it continues to bring people of all walks of life together, along with the freedom a person can find on a good dance floor. No matter how bad life gets, no matter how stressed out you are, as long as you are on the dance floor you can truly be free.
You had a son, Miles, several years back. Does he show any signs of following in his dad's footsteps?
Miles is almost 2 now, I guess it's a little soon to really tell, but I would have to say he loves to dance. It's pretty damn cute when he hears a good beat and starts to cut a rug. He has been around a ton of music since before he was born (he went to 3 Phish concerts in Jasmine's belly). We recently took him to see "Yo Gabba Gabba Live" and he loved it! Not sure that he will be following in my footsteps but it's safe to say that music will be a big part of his life.
Tell me about one of your favorite recent nights out as an electronic music patron or promoter, and tell me about a night out more than 10 years ago that you won't forget.
As a patron, I have been very enthused about Mike Gervais's "System" events this last year. He has always been one of my favorite DJs and I have found my self just losing my shit at those parties. I think Mike is gonna do big things.
As a promoter, hosting Chris Liebing on the Epic rooftop back in September for our "Rust Never Sleeps" series was a serious highlight for me. Chris is one of the sickest DJs on the planet and people were very excited to see him. We had a huge pile of speakers hand built by our friend Darren Burton (I was told you could hear it on the other side of town), and lights designed and programmed by Mathstatic and Matt One Up. It was a tight production and a magical night.
A memorable night more than 10 years ago was definitely Memorial Day weekend 2001 for an event called "Jak the System Returns" at the City Club in Detroit during the second Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Richie Hawtin threw this event and it was one of the first times the Final Scratch software was used in front of people. Hawtin played some of the most classic electronic music that night and used all very old school lighting effects and a 4 corner Cerwin Vega sound system. I felt like I was in a time machine set for 1988, and at the same time, the guy was using the newest technology available. Personally, I think that's what it's all about.
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