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Exploring the enigmatic electronic personality that is DJ Seinfeld

An alluring figure of the Scandinavian electronic music fortress.

Despite the immediate connotations of his name, those that make it to DJ Seinfeld’s set at Melbourne Music Week will quickly realise the only thing comedic about this 27-year-old Swede is his name. With his deep music and staunch attitude, Armand Jakobsson says ahead of his third trip to Melbourne that he is coming to play music – not waste words on pointless conversations.

“I am very anti-small talk. I try and avoid that all costs," Jakobsson says. "The most common question I get is ‘what do you think about lo-fi?’”

A genre of electronic dance music, ‘lo-fi’ could be described as a fairly lazy description of a style conjured to rebel the gimmicks of main room EDM. DJ Seinfeld along with Ross From Friends, DJ Boring and local acts Mall Grab, Andras and Sleep D are widely regarded at the forefront of this emerging scene.

“I would call myself just a house producer who produces and plays house with some variations. Most people describe me as a lo-fi producer but I am not too much of fan of that,” establishes Jakobsson. “Labels rarely mean anything substantial for the people who are being tagged.”

Jakobsson’s lack of time for anything beyond the music itself potentially stems from the organic path that he took to becoming a producer and then DJ. As he explains, there was no grand plan or strategy behind his career in the music industry -- just a love for music and making people dance.

“I was playing parties for a couple of years but I was never actually DJing like using CDJs or anything like that, I just played vinyl. When I was living in Edinburgh there was this record store called Underground Solutions that was run by the same people as the Firecracker Recordings which is, in my mind, one of the most interesting labels in the world. So when I went on to the shop they always put me onto a bunch of records, maybe they were just taking advantage of me being a gullible teenager,” he laughs.

“So I was listening to a lot of house, jungle, breakbeat and techno. Then I started making tracks and when they started getting attention people would ask me to come and play their parties.”

DJ Seinfeld’s 2016 debut Season 1 EP aesthetically played up the reference to the hit US sitcom with a picture of a young Jerry Seinfeld on the 7-inch label.

“So I would go and play these parties. At first, it felt like a bit of sham because I really didn’t know what I was doing,” Jakobsson explains.

However, a multitude of DJ tutorials on YouTube later and DJ Seinfeld was DJing at a level that matched the international profile of the music he was producing. This status was acknowledged earlier this year in July when DJ Seinfeld released his DJ-Kicks mix album.

DJ-Kicks is a long-running compilation by German label !K7 Records that many consider as EDM’s barometer of cool. Now at the tail-end of this album's tour, Jakobsson is now enjoying a rare moment at home in Sweden for his birthday.

Keeping in touch with where he came from is very important, says Jakobsson.

“Knowing I can come back home keeps me grounded. People here know me and we know each other’s stories so they don’t really have to ask me ‘so what do you think about lo-fi’,” he remarks in an even tone.

Making it clear throughout this interview that he has an adversity to ego and self-celebration, Jakobsson explains the mental tussle he has with those with heightened bravados.

“Sometimes I get the impression that part of music industry is kind of like an adult kindergarten. I don’t really have time for anyone with massive ego.”

Catch DJ Seinfeld, Andy Garvey, Andras, Roza Terenzi, Fantastic Man at The Hub at ACMI on Friday November 23 for Melbourne Music Week. Head to the MMW website for tickets and information.