The old adage, “What do you get the man who has everything?” comes to mind when thinking of Seth Troxler, but with a twist. “What do you say about the DJ who has done everything?” He’s taken on enough ventures to make Mark Cuban blush: started a record label, opened a more-than-necessary BBQ joint in London, and donned more wigs than even the most flamboyant baes at Burning Man.
He does all this while being a voice and leader in the dance music community, working to spread the culture of rave beyond the confines of a nightclub. Troxler is constantly in the public eye, calling out EDM DJs or drug culture, and he has the chops to back up the rabble rousing. There are many shining Seth moments from which to choose, but here are five times Seth Troxler embodied rave better than anyone.
In this missive to the masses, Seth reminds us that the music born out of clubs has a rich and unique history that's inclusive and experimental. The experience of a club DJ should not be compared to whatever is currently parading on Ultra’s main stage, with antics befitting a Van’s Warped Tour. While few people I know would liken a David August set with a Steve Aoki caking, the main concern here is reclaiming raving for the ravers.
This letter is a prime example of Seth's down-to-earth values and commitment to calling out people who don't align with them.
2. His nudity
An almost-naked body is one of the first things that come to mind when many people think of Seth — which makes at least one thing he has in common with Kim Kardashian. From nude promo videos to allegedly DJing in the buff, this guy literally bares all for his art, which is a way of putting his booty where his mouth is.
Why be an advocate for the authenticity of club culture when you can’t be comfortable in your own skin and have a laugh at yourself? After all, we are all metaphorically naked when we make it up to the door at Berghain, anyway.
3. Fighting the good fight on Twitter
A lot of DJs share their political views on Twitter. It's why the Black Madonna Twitter Bot has plenty of source material to work with.
Seth retweets a lot of the same news everyone else is sharing — a complete departure from his musical choices. But, peppered in the same-old commentary is something very Troxleresque:
The man does not stop calling it like he sees it! When he calls Avicii twat, it somehow makes it into the headlines, but if we were to mine Seth's past tweets, there are probably a few bigots who've been called worse. Besides, if calling Avicii a twat is newsworthy, then everybody on the planet has earned their 15 minutes by now.
4. His consistent charity work
Nobody is gullible enough to believe those in the public eye hold no ulterior motives for performing good deeds, but this isn’t the time for a Kantian debate. Whether or not Troxler and team purposely time charity work around an upcoming release, at least they're not producing a Netflix "documentary" about the teppanyaki empire from whence he hails.
Seth will climb Kilimanjaro, cook for the homeless at ADE, and even auction off one of his infamous dresses for charity. Once again, he's putting his money (or in this case, other people's money) where his mouth is. Troxler's credibility crescendoes when, after calling out EDM culture for not giving back, he immediately finds new and creative ways to start conversations about the world dance music inhabits.
5. Acting as ambassador for the dance music community
With more heat on London nightclubs than ever, Seth has joined the #savenightlife cause and continues to spread the word of PLUR. While his usual letters about EDM festivals or the rise in ketamine use are read within the community, Troxler has been broadcasting his values externally. This may be the common thread in Seth's woke actions.
Yes, he may be goofy at times but you don't have to take yourself seriously to take your work and your community extremely seriously. This viewpoint is not represented in dance music often enough — where not smiling and having a flawless image has become an indicator of good taste. It's become exclusive, rather than inclusive.
We need a Seth Troxler now more than ever. From a sea of black-clad audiophiles rises a man wearing a neon wig and nothing else. Could being zany, colorful and opinionated be what saves club culture? If this makes him sound too Christlike, let's remember that Seth was born in Michigan and moved to London, which makes him the human embodiment of techno's historical journey.