Today marks a year of national lockdown, a year without raves, without parties. In reaction, the scene has adapted with many DJs moving to online streaming, filling our weekend voids. We’ve been graced with all manner of live streams but none as consistent as Doc Scott’s. Last week the 31 Records’ label manager reached his 52nd episode, seeing off a whole year of weekly live streams.
Already a staple name in the scene, the Doc has been broadcasting from his home every Saturday evening. Each set covers a vast array of sounds and spans over three hours (here’s to that being the norm when clubs reopen). Doc Scott takes us on a journey into the depths of his collection, touching on liquid, jungle, minimal, steppers, rollers, snappers, cracklers and poppers. Every sound gets a salute. The dnb pioneer even takes a monthly break off from the drums to do the occasional techno special episode.
All is not lost
With lockdown effectively killing off dubplate culture, it would be near impossible to build hype for unreleased tracks doing the circuit, let alone hear them without live streams. Doc Scott, and many others, have been flying the flag for the scene, giving a platform to new releases and introducing audiences to newcomers that would have otherwise struggled to get attention. No such worries with these 3-hour specials, almost everything you hear is an upcoming release. It’s endless fun watching the live chat lose their minds over a new bruiser that no one can name (check episode 50 for when L-Side’s remix of Girlz gets dropped).
Putting the music aside for a moment, the community deserves its own shoutout. In the chat, you’ll find the regulars, the once-in-a-whilers, the DJs and MCs all nattering away, like some virtual smoking area – except it’s not freezing. The community even has its own in-jokes (many this writer doesn’t fully understand), but still make it a wholly inclusive atmosphere, sharing memories of pre-Covid club nights where punters would dance side-by-side in things called ‘crowds’.
A fresh take
It feels like live streams have been done to death in lockdown, yet this Saturday show has stayed fresh week on week. Accompanied by a Pikachu toy (pictured) in every live stream, the Doc has been on the front-line of keeping the scene alive on every show. The anniversary episode was a showcase of some of the finest upcoming production, and he didn’t spare on the dubplates. Sadly there’s no tracklisting, but chin scratchers come out in full force, and sometimes even the artist themselves can weigh in to answer questions.
This is of course a wider effort by different individuals to bring life to those longing for live music to return (John B also deserves an honorary mention), but Doc Scott’s Saturday shows have been a light in the dark this past year. His anniversary episode is a must-watch for those missing the excitement and community of nightlife.
Watch the live stream
These live streams seriously can’t be missed, you can catch up on the past 10 weeks via Doc Scott’s Youtube channel or find highlights on his Twitch.