A while back, Doc Scott was kind enough to answer some of my questions regarding his artistic choices, Future Beats: The Album, and his label 31 Recordings in general.
Ryan Origin: How did you go about choosing the tracks for Future Beats: The Album? Is there a theme?
Doc Scott: I didn’t so much choose the tracks as choose the artists, I simply asked people whose music I like and respect if they would be interested in being involved in a 31 album project. I wanted it to be people who I respect from across the dnb spectrum and beyond into other musical genres and tempos. The theme is pretty simple, music I like by people I like, that and they had complete freedom to do whatever they wanted.
RO: Your Future Beats Radio Show has become a fantastic platform to expose new music to the world. In your opinion, who are five emerging artists that you feel deserve more attention?
DS: Let’s see, if we are talking about artists who are partly unknown, then I would say – vromm, Ghost Warrior, Thing, Hidden Turn, Jaydrop. I’m sure I’ve missed people but they jump to mind.
RO: 31 has released incredibly influential and historic tracks such as Digital’s “Deadline” and Pendulum’s “The Vault”. Were you keen to how massive these tracks would become when you were first offered them? With regard to Deadline, why do you suppose that its riff has become one of the most memorable (and still played) in D&B history?
DS: You never know how big a tune is going to be, at least I never have. You sometimes have a hunch, but it can be wrong. Its always a pleasant surprise when something you like and believe in goes on to way bigger than you ever imagined. I’m a pessimist i think so Im always cautious and never fully confident in anything. I’ve had tracks that I thought would be big and weren’t, it swings and roundabouts. You can only put out what you like and that way have no regrets.
Regarding Deadline, I think it’s the simplicity of it, it so obvious, it’s like, ‘why didn’t I make that riff?’. The simple ideas are the best, you can’t fuck with something that is so right.
RO: Personally, my favourite new-to-me producer of 2014 is Hidden Turn. Can you tell us a bit about him and how you connected?
DS: He sent me some tunes in 2013, I liked what he was doing and hit him up, we struck up an online relationship and we put out an EP from him, its really that simple. I think through the radio show people have confidence that they can send me music and it will get an honest listen, I listen to everything, especially artists I’ve never heard of before, I try to give feedback as much as possible, it’s like 5 min of my time but it can mean a lot on the other side.
A lot of these guys are working by themselves overseas, a bit of feedback is all they need, point them in the right direction and they’re off. He was one of those guys, hopefully we will be doing a Hidden Turn album on 31 in 2015. He’s a genius.
RO: In the States, I’ve been running into some confusion regarding the term Drum & Bass. People in this country seem to only associate the term with massive, big-room Andy C style beats. Do you think the term functions as a blanket title for the style as a whole a-la “House Music”, or should we jettison the name entirely when talking about “Future Beats”? Do Netsky and vromm make the same kind of music, or do we need to start thinking differently?
DS: It’s just a name, Drum & Bass does cover a lot, but I try to get away from genres and sub-genres when I can. I mean future beats can mean whatever you want it to mean, it can mean something or it can mean absolutely nothing. I’ve had people say, your music isn’t very futuristic, you know I’m not claiming to be Buck Rogers here, just trying to look forward.
I have in the past had someone ask me ‘when are you going to play some dnb?’ which is funny, when that happens I don’t get pissed, I just say, ‘well what’s dnb then?’. They look all puzzled, it’s funny. Or someone might ask me, ‘what kind of dnb are going to play?’ my answer: ‘good dnb hopefully’. If people need a label to tell the difference between Netsky and vromm, then I think the problem is with them not the scene.
RO: We know you are starting to work with headphone company Audeze. Do you have any thoughts on how they fit into your musical life? [Full Disclosure: I work for Audeze]
DS: Well, I have had problems with my hearing for years now and I must say these headphone that I recently got from Audeze have given me a new lease of life in the studio. When I get back from touring in January I can’t wait to get in the studio, which I haven’t felt like saying in years.
You can order Future Beats: The Album from all good online music stores or from the 31 Recordings Shop.
You may also read my review of Future Beats: The Album here.