we all know about the revivalist cycles of electronic music… fashions come and go and then, about 20 years later, they come and go again. as such, having spent time out in the management and business wilderness for a while, scott kinchen aka scottie deep is back in focus once again at the start of 2012. in the 90s he and his brother (mark kinchen, aka ‘dub mix’ pioneer mk) were big in the 90s new york house game having grown up in detroit. the pair promoted a number of their own parties, and released a strong slew of eps on labels like strictly rhythm, henry street music and so many more.
as fashions changed and evolved, their roles in the game changed and the pair rather disappeared behind the scenes to remix, manage and other such things. now though, they are back, and together have started a new vinyl label. “say ahh! will be bringing an unadulterated, classic yet timeless sound that stays true to the values that makes house the amazing genre that it is” said scottie at the time it was announced. releases will come from names old and new, with manchester talents si’ke djs and angus jefford taking the first two respectively.
anyway, i put in the request for a mix from scottie – who also hosts the increasingly popular say ahh! radio show – and got back a warm, bouncing, neon lit mix (hence the nyc themed cover) that joins the dots between yesterday and today with a genuine dj skill and comes with an interview which includes more than few insightful and honest views on modern dj culture amongst other things.
“i’m a house guy 100%” says scottie at one point: i like that, it’s something few people have the balls to say today, and boy does it show…
how are you doing? how you enjoying being back in the scene as it were?
i’m doing well, thanks for asking. can i tell you what a pleasure it is to be doing this interview with you, [ed: a less egotistical person would have removed these next few words, but...] i really respect your site and you are an excellent writer. so far i’m really enjoying being back in business, i’ve been running into old friends and meeting tons of new ones.
what is it about this deep, 90s style of house which you feel in love with initially?
i can’t put it into words… you had to be there, lol
do you feel more a product of new york than detroit? (certainly sounds it!)
new york defiantly… i never fully embraced the “detroit sound” i thought some of it was dope but on a whole, it wasn’t for me. though detroit did prepare my foundation as a dj, some of the best dj’s are from detroit in my opinion, just my over all music muscle really got defined in ny.
is the club scene as vibrant as it was when you first got involved? do you think new people are still coming through in the way you and your brother did?
the club scene is way more vibrant now. you have to think, i was in high school in the late 80’s so the club scene was very underground to the point where there may have been 3 clubs in detroit to hear house music and 2 of the 3 were gay clubs. where now, in most major city’s around the world you can experience many different genres of house often with really good dj’s.
i do know that there are a lot of connoisseurs and lovers of house music and they study the way we did, they practice and they develop their craft to the point that they can program a really nice project and play an amazing set but there are a lot of frauds that aren’t good at all, but that’s been the story since the beginning of music so i just accept it.
have you kept an ear in with the edm scene whilst off doing management or…? dubstep, minimal etc have all been and gone!
yes, i love music and i like to think i have a fairly high music iq. lol.. the thing about it, is that i am and always will be a dj first so i’m able to appreciate most genres of edm with an understanding of why someone may really like a particular record but i’m a house guy 100%.
i wonder if there is a line for you between pure revivalism and actually adding something to that old school deep house aesthetic? can you hear a difference in the stuff from years ago and the stuff made now?
there is defiantly a line and a very thin line at that. it’s pretty easy for the new producer to emulate what was happening in the 90’s and i can defiantly hear the difference. the problem is that most producers can’t get that feeling in the track and they can’t get the bounce right, not to mention the swing but we signed some records that pick up right where we left off so our goal is to add to the aesthetic of deep house. the beautiful thing is that there are some labels that are releasing excellent music that will become future classics and will sit next to some of the magic that was released in the 90’s and there are those labels that are capitalizing on the resurgence of that era by releasing crap and rereleasing classic records and their garbage remixes. i have a huge problem with remixing classic’s, huge! i didn’t like when it was done in the 90’s and i absolutely hate it now. 95% of the time the remix kills the the whole feel of what the original had and is never as good as the original. reedit, remaster, yes absolutely.
and what about in the clubs, djing – has anything changed as far as you can tell?
in the late 80‘s we would often take trips to chicago just to go to the clubs, record stores, record bmx and hot mix 5 tapes. we would also go to the box to hear ron hardy play, still to this day one of the sickest sound systems i’ve ever heard. ron was able to play anything and it would sound incredible so i learned to program crazy sets early. derrick may and jeff mills had mix shows in detroit so that was a big influence for me as well and i had a friend that was a few years older but he would always go to ny and come back with tapes from larry levan so i received a proper education. i use to open up for derrick at the music institute in detroit so between him, alton miller, richie hawtin and ken collier (still one of my favorite djs ever, look him up), i received a masters in djing…
the one thing that absolutely burns me is how everyone is a dj. it’s not so much the technology which i don’t have real a problem with, it’s the lack of effort, creativity and just not knowing how to play a freakin’ record.
so, say ahhh… will you be keen to build a family with the new label or is it more about the music?
if it was up to me, i would sign the absolute best producers to the label exclusively but thats not realistic in today’s industry. plus, there is so much talent i would be insane not to just to attempt to sign the very best projects i came across so it is about the music. in the 90’s even though a lot of us had our own imprint and you may try to lock a “sound” to your label by signing a few producers i.e. strictly rhythm, after a while your sound runs it’s course and the label becomes boring and predictable after a few season’s…
can you see there being artist albums in the future at all?
we are releasing an artist album straight out of the gate actually. we signed a project from lem springsteen (mood ii swing) called “the beautiful unknown” and i can tell you, that i’m in love with his project. the first single is entitled “european boy” which features female guest writer & vocalist jamelle bundy jones. jamelle has not only been a destiny’s child writer but an on-demand vocalist for many years providing producers with that familiar sound. we got incredible remixes from, frankie knuckles which gives the record that big classic sound, a remix from our own oli furness and a remix from dj e-clyps. there are a few artist that we are working with that i would sign entire albums from, there are some really talented producers in our camp.
how important is fun in the music you make and play? or are you someone who takes it very seriously?
i take djing very seriously. it’s important to me that the crowd has an experience and some what of an education when i play or its not fun for me at all, in fact in makes my stomach hurt if the crowd and i aren’t connecting(lol) but that rarely happens. i hate producing which i use to love but i do have two scottie deep projects that i’ll be releasing sometime this year that are insane.
you and mk seem to be with lee foss and jamie jones quite often – did they approach you or… how did you hook up? do you like their operations – maybe even see parallels with your own?
marc and i played a hot natured party last year at wmc11 and that’s what started the relationship. we ran into lee in october in manchester where he joined marc and i during our set at sankey’s and from there, lee invited us to his studio in london. a day of two later we were back in london and i’m not sure what the heck i was doing but marc went to the studio with lee, jamie and ali to bang out some tracks and the rest is history. they are more with marc as they are teaching him the ropes as he earns his dj stripes. great, talented guys and very smart… they carved out a pretty nice segment of the industry for themselves but they have a “sound” which is something i absolutely don’t want any of the say labels to have. i don’t want say ahh! to be predictable in any way. (i’m not saying that the hot natured guys are predictable)
it’s two very different levels of enjoyment. i lust after the music and i’m in love with the business. i don’t think it’s a necessary component, not everyone has a passion for both nor are they good at both but one would have a slight advantage if agile on both fronts.
what else you looking forward to/got coming up?
a few things; first, our podcast is doing really well! we just tagged over 3000 subscribers which is available via itunes, just search say ahh! records to subscribe. we set up another imprint called say deep! which is exactly what it looks/sounds like. that label will focus on the really deep house records that we have been signing which will allow for say ahh! to breath a bit. we signed 12 or 13 projects in four months, that realistically can’t all be released on say ahh! so we had to open up another lane. we are in the process of locking down a 15-20 city say ahh / henry street dj tour which should be crazy! we are trying to secure some of the henry street “all-stars” to jump in and out of the tour which johnny d and myself will be the anchor for most of the tour. the last big thing is we started an dj agency… say artist
and what do you like to do outside of music?
i’m an advertising / marketing guy by trade so i really enjoy doing that. i’m love to cook to the point where opening a restaurant isn’t to far fetched of an idea.
listen below or download teshcast r ~ scottie deep
1. joseph terruel – it’s only love doing it’s thing
2. david glass – i wanna be (original mix)
3. fabio tosti – d essential (original mix)
4. rescue & uriah west – gotta do right (original mix)
5. blawan – getting me down
6. dirtytwo – moody original mix
7. j paul getto – represent (original mix)
8. lisa shaw – honey (dave hernandez dub)
10. craze – gimme some more
11. raffa fl – hot for you (hot since 82 dub)
12. franck roger, terence terry – this is now (original mix)
13. freeman & farrelly – when 95 was hot – say ahh! promo
14. washerman – basement chord
15. david glass – jee days – say ahh! promo
16. lem springsteen – european boy (director’s cut mix) – say ahh! promo
17. phonic funk – one (original mix)
18. angus jefford – the culture (original mix) – say ahh! promo
19. gavin herlihy & alex arnout – sureshot
20. kerri chandler – bar a thym
21. nat self – madam bazooka (original mix)
22. rick garcia -you got me love dancin
23. eric kupper – emeralds (original mix)