Jade Seatle Talks Babies, Birthdays and Beavers
There's a pleasing sense of symmetry to the final date of Jane Fitz's 2017 residency at The Pickle Factory. This Friday, along with a rare live performance from Bleep43 artist Jo Johnson, Jane invites an extended set from Jade Seatle, who Jane played b2b with for her Pickle debut last October - and, of course, with whom Jane runs the sporadic and much-loved party Night Moves, which turns six years old next March.
Ahead of Friday, we caught up with Jade to hear about her gigs at Nachtdigital and Field Manuevres, discuss how being a mum has impacted her record-buying habit, and garner some tantalising details of Night Moves' 6th Birthday plans...
Hi Jade. First of all - congrats for the lovely addition to your family. How is motherhood treating you? Have the late nights and early mornings of being a raver prepared you for the 24hr duties of being a mum?
Thank you. Yeah, what a ride! I have to say I feel pretty ravaged most days, and we're only 11 months in. She's on the move now, crawling around and is in everything so I'm constantly in risk assessment mode and pulling bits of carpet fluff and plant from out of her mouth. It's also undoubtedly the best and most beautiful thing I've ever done. I stupidly thought the years of raving and staying up for days would have stood me in good stead, I went around saying it to people, that I'd had some practice and half joking about it and thinking I'd be alright. Nothing prepares you for this type of sleep deprivation. Getting woken up suddenly by crying every hour, and just when you've managed to drift back into sleep or might be in the midst of a really good dream, people have likened it to torture.
Being so tired can make things seem insurmountable and there have been days where I've been on the edge. But she more than makes up for all that with the joy she emits, she is such a chilled and jolly little being with the cheekiest smile. She has started bouncing and nodding her head to music now which is so cute. I feel incredibly blessed to be her mum.
I stupidly thought the years of raving and staying up for days would have stood me in good stead [for a baby]. I went around saying it to people, that I'd had some practice and half joking about it and thinking I'd be alright. But nothing prepares you for this type of sleep deprivation.
Your partner Michael, better known round these parts as Truly Madly, is also a DJ and lover of dance music culture. How have you balanced those parts of your life between yourselves? Are you both coming next Friday, or is he being Truly Dadly at home?
He's being Truly-Dadly, sadly. It's near on impossible to go out together at the moment, our families are not close by so there are no baby-sitters on hand and she's a bit too young to be left with anyone other than one of us. We make a good tag team, so when either of us has had a gig, he or I will take care of the baby routine, make the dinner or whatever so the other can get their head down and have a sift and a mix and get gig ready. We have 2 bedrooms at home, the second bedroom is where all the records, decks and equipment are, it's pretty tight in there and at the moment there is no space for a cot, so we need to have a little shift around so we can get Maisie in there before I go back to work in January.
It's a tricky balance, and one I haven't mastered yet. I don't get the luxury of that time these days, to immerse in digging for new music, or having a mix at home or recording anything. I thought I wouldn't play out at all through 2017 so I could fully focus on her in her first year, but I ended up feeling it was ok to do some gigs towards the latter part of the year as she was a bit older and less dependent on me, and it was good for me to have that space for myself.
Michael is one of our favourites, alongside yourself. Have you played out together much before? Can we expect a b2b at Pickle next year?
Yes, he's one of mine too! I found one of his mixes on-line about 6 years ago and was really impressed with the selection and arrangement, and that led me into finding his website which was so simple and understated. Just a white background with the mix links in grey. No contact info, no blurb, no nothing. I really liked that. There was about 50 mixes uploaded on this page and I tried to get through them all but have still only got through roughly half, they were all brilliant, every one I listened to I was feeling.
We've played together a handful of times, when we first started seeing each other he invited me to play on the monthly radio show he was doing for Estimulo. We played at a party called Dialogue run by some good friends of ours a few years ago, and we also did a set at a friends birthday on a farm in Bedfordshire.
Indeed, if we receive an invite, you can expect a b2b at Pickle next year, we'd love that!
Yours and Jane's only Night Moves set this year was at Nachtdigital… how was it? Was there an element of rustiness playing together, or was it same as it ever was?
I think I was the rusty element.. At least that's how I'd felt after 8 months away from things, but it just slotted in and flowed as it always does with Jane, being good friends really helps as we are so familiar with each others styles. We'll always have a discussion beforehand about what way we want to go and what vibes to bring, taking into consideration the time of the set, do we do slots each or a proper one on one...
We usually play one on one as it's the most fun and keeps us on our toes. Nachtdigital was a fly-by for me, because I am nursing and I couldn't be away from my babe for too long. I arrived in Olganitz around 11pm Saturday night and left about 3pm on the Sunday. We caught some of Jeff Mills before our set and that was quite epic especially with the backdrop of the lake and all the lights and lasers. Our set was 3am-6am and when I put the first record on, I looked up and felt slightly crushed as I saw swathes of people leaving! When we'd arrived in the tent, the guys on before us were playing 'Music' by Madonna so I knew we were going to completely change the vibe in that tent. And that was cool because we built it back up and were rewarded with a super appreciative crowd, with a flying otter and neon light umbrellas twirling in front of us, and we received some really nice compliments 'set of the festival' and things like that.
Nachtdigital is often held up as the German Freerotation. How do the two compare in your mind?
I can see why people would make that comparison, although Nachtdigital has been going for longer at 20 years. Possibly the comparison is that the organisers, even though they could, have no desire to capitalise on their popularity and expand and make the events bigger, which in turn would change the essence. I think they both put a lot of consciousness into their line ups, visuals and environments. I didn't get enough time there to get a rounded feel of the place, and I only saw it in the night, although I would have loved to have stayed for the whole weekend and had a swim in that lake.
Your other set this year was solo at Field Maneuvers, another lovingly put together small festival. How long have you and Jane been involved with the FM crew? I still haven’t been… should it be in the diary next year?
Yeah you should definitely go next year if you can, it really is a special weekend and only a hop, skip and a jump if you're coming from London. We've been involved pretty much from the start 5 years ago, initially we were invited to play a set at the first one they did, and the following year we got invited to curate the Field Moves tent and have done for the last 4 years. The first year we did Field Moves, there was no cut-off time, we ran from Friday through to Sunday non-stop so it was quite intense, the plus side to that meant we could invite more DJ's to play. But since that first time, due to licensing regulations, we have to cut it off at 3am now which means less DJ's, but we like to keep it fresh and invite new DJ's every year along with a few returning favourites.
I love playing at Field Maneuvers because I feel I have a bit more freedom to go in other directions and have indulged a little by playing UK garage and drum & bass sets. It's what I was buying when I first got into buying records and mixing so it's kind of where my roots are. The festival has really evolved in that 5 years, in every way from the acts booked, to the decorations and visual components, to the attention that is paid to the sound set-up and quality.
You’re embarking on another solo set next Friday for Jane’s last resident date. Have you begun to pick out records for it? Will it be a chance to air some newer finds, some Jade Seatle classics, or a bit of both?
I have begun to pull some records out and have been having a dig right back into the recesses as I'll not be playing what people might normally expect me to play. Most of my spare dosh goes on my baby now and as I'm still on maternity leave I haven't really bought any new records in a year, maybe like 5 or 6 records. So I'll be playing a few favourites along with some older ones I've never played out before.
Let’s talk Night Moves. What makes the party so special in your mind? And when can we expect its long hiatus to finish?
I still feel amazed by how successful Night Moves had got, we really just started off by trying to make a party that we would want to go to and as we've also both seen a fair few parties/raves in our lifetime and felt we knew what it took to give people a good experience. The people who come are what make it, sound, open-minded, interesting and appreciative heads. We get a really good age-range too which I think is quite important, and we try and get quirky and off the radar venues where you don't get all these club rules and restrictions. Also sound quality is a prime consideration, it makes all the difference to be able to feel the music.
The hiatus will end in a few more months, it's kind of handy that as I had a baby, Jane had started to get really busy with gigs abroad and most weekends so we were both occupied with other things, but I can tell you that talks are in place to have a NM in March to celebrate the 6th birthday, and hopefully also a couple of NM jaunts abroad.
I love playing at Field Maneuvers because I feel I have a bit more freedom to go in other directions and have indulged a little by playing UK garage and drum & bass sets.
From our chats with Jane, it sounds you attract a weird and wonderful crowd of Londoners to Night Moves, from all corners of the city. Who’s your favourite regular Night Mover?
You know I couldn't single anyone out. We're so fortunate with our crowd, it's what keeps us going, and it's beautiful to see all the friendships and connections that have been made at NM. Extra special big ups to all the ones outside London who travel some miles to get to us, getting trains back up North at 8am, that is dedication.
Last but by no means least. We’ve heard you and Jane share the nickname ‘Beaver’. What’s the origins of that one?
We were in Chicago in a cab on our way to the airport to come home, we pulled up at some red lights and Jane spotted a store called 'Crafty Beaver' - having slightly juvenile humour, we found the name hilarious and were cracking up in the back of the cab, I think one of us got a picture of it, the shop is the US equivalent of B&Q or something. Anyway, weirdly enough after that, beavers just kept cropping up everywhere, on the news, in magazines, I've even got a piece of paper from a fortune cookie that Jane gave me a while ago, it says 'beaver is your lucky number'. So yeah, we just started calling each other beaver as a sort of term of endearment!
Top Beavers Jade and Jane play extended solo sets at The Pickle Factory this Friday. Listen to an exclusive mix from here over on our Soundcloud