DJ Seinfeld
Future Music|October 2021
Known for spearheading the lo-fihouse scene, DJ Seinfeld’s new album Mirrors offers an entirely new sonic fidelity. Danny Turner talks to Armand Jakobsson about his reinvention
Danny Turner

Born in Malmö, Sweden, Armand Jakobsson comically birthed DJ Seinfeld in 2016 having binge-watched the iconic ’90s TV sitcom following a relationship breakup. Although his main project at the time was titled Rimbaudian, the public picked up on DJ Seinfeld’s raw and ready sound thanks to seminal tracks like U, created in the spirit of the early house pioneers.

Much to Jakobsson’s surprise, what began as a tongue-in-cheek witticism blossomed to become his signature project; however, the producer/DJ has been working hard to reinvent his sound. Although regarded as a lo-fi visionary, his new album Mirrors blends the raw emotion of his early DJ Seinfeld records with a more vivid, vocal-led production approach that takes him to a whole new level.

Do you find it fortunate that DJ Seinfeld was initially a jokey pseudonym that turned into your main project?

“There always a little bit of luck involved in anyone’s musical success. When I started treating production as a job I worked hard to not only become a better producer but a better DJ. I’m humble enough to admit that I do have some type of imposter syndrome when I see other talented producers that are maybe not as fortunate as me in terms of industry success, but I do try to elevate others.”

How do you feel about the name now that you’ve become established under it?

“I feel kind of apathetic about that to be honest – it was worse before when it had a novelty factor and sounded quite sensationalist. It was literally just a joke that went too far, but now I just see it as a DJ name like any other. I could be wrong but I have the impression that most of the people who come to my shows don’t have any knowledge of what Seinfeld was, as that generation probably missed the effect that it had on popular culture. The only people who seem to be bothered are those who treat the TV show as some religious holy grail of comedy or purists who think everything should be superserious or fall under an umbrella of coolness. There’s nothing to be gained from worrying about what those kinds of people think.”

So your production career started by using Ableton as your primary production tool?

“All my productions were and still are done in the box. At the start I didn’t know how long I had in this industry so didn’t want to invest too much in gear. I bought a Korg Electribe synth once but was too lazy to figure out how it would work and after a certain point felt I could do exactly what I wanted if I learned Ableton well enough as it’s more about what I want to make rather than figuring out how to make something. Ableton’s been a convenient choice because there’s a million tutorials for every single aspect of music production available for free out there, but I’m planning on moving out of the box because I don’t want to miss out on the fun of messing around with hardware.”

Did something in particular instigate that change of tone?

“I have a few friends who I look up to when it comes to music-making and we always chat about what kind of effects they’re using, which has always interested me. I feel there’s a whole other world available with certain types of hardware but I’m also planning on doing a live show performance towards the end of the year and I’ve never been interested in watching people go on stage playing music through a laptop. To bring the show to life, I feel I need to do the audience some justice and actually perform, which then includes learning more equipment and bringing a visual component.”

You’re quite open about the fact that you’re still developing as an artist. Does the album title, Mirrors, tell its own story on that front?

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