At first it seemed like just another attempt at shock jockeying – another addition to his colourful portfolio of online skits that have spread like a Marmite smudge across the dance fraternity. Love or hate him, he’s undeniably branded himself into techno’s vernacular.
Seth Troxler’s promo ditty for Eastern Electrics Festival back in August stirred up a mixed reaction. Adulation of his bare all comedy bravado countered with online slights over his “Homeresque” shaped body. Some have championed his audacity in a genre so serious – some possibly finding his teasing homoerotica too much for their unhinged sexual persuasion.
But as the dust settles on the hysteria, perhaps a deeper message has been transmitted – something just as chin strokingly conceptual as a Jeff Mills Axis release or groundbreaking as an Aphex Twin analogue noodle. Shrouded under the veil of frivolity, the sight of Seth Troxler’s naked body has challenged our skewed notion of beauty. Those forbidden curves evoke the condemning school yard default – oohs and arrhs of ridicule automatically triggered – surely someone of his celebrity should have cultivated a six pack? But wade through the online disses debasing his love handles, peel back our media constructed body consciousness and you’ll find an undercurrent of titillation that harks back to a bygone era. Pedal through the timeline of attraction you’ll see that the ‘ideal’ body has morphed immensely, even in the past 500 years the goal posts have moved pitch. Today’s Barbie doll image, fed exclusively on wheatgrass, air and heroin would have been yesteryear's munter, and the manicured tandoori tanned gym chimp only admired within the confines of the circus.
Just as dance music regurgitates what has come before - minimal, deep house being recent revivals - Seth could be spearheading the come back of an ancient body ideal. Tudor Sex Guru: curvaceous, indulgent and confident. The modern day Henry VIII, a marauding playboy whose daily regime consisted of eating, rutting and dissolving the Catholic church - a lifestyle very similar to Troxler’s, possibly excluding the last bit. It was an era that revered a well fed voluptuousness, which reeked of wealth and health – quite at odds with today’s masculine quest to be muscled up like an orthopaedic shoe.
Maybe the tide is turning and Troxler has jumped on board, an early adopter of plump perfection, a look that will end our inane pursuit of washboard bodies - end the victimisation of those airbrushed magazine pictures condescendingly looking back at us – end the monotony of those eternal late night belly buster commercials that test the very limits of our patience.
Hail him and his audacious video. A bastion of change, a modern day Napoleon, but with two hands - one throwing the bird to conformity, the other rustling impatiently in the cookie tin.