PHOTO CREDIT: Edmahoo_Artist
In the 90s, Scott released a series of EPs that went by relatively unnoticed until recently. These records are now highly sought after, having been rediscovered by new school and up and coming DJs worldwide, with veterans such as Desyn Masiello (Seekers) and Alex Picone (Small Black Dots) helping in this rediscovery too.
Tracks on Scott’s DAC (Deeper Audio Cuts) label are sought after gems in this era of vinyl records making a return to the underground scene. With digital releases being, in general the same ole, same ole, DAC is perhaps the sound of yesternow…modern, yet classic in style.
Established in 1997 by Scott (Smith) Featherstone, DAC (Deeper Audio Cuts) was originally distributed by PHD. Largely thanks to Desyn Masiello, who has helped bring back these records to a new breed of vinyl DJs, Small Black Dots are picking up where PHD dropped off as the distributor and re-launching the DAC label. The DAC sound was influenced from a mix of Acid House, Chicago House and Detroit Techno, with a pinch of Electro.
Scott continues to record, produce and DJ underground House music, working closely with vocalist Kym Sims, along with many other DJs and House artists around the world, as well as working on remix projects for general release.
An accomplished DJ himself, Scott plays regularly at events, clubs and bars.
GO BANG! Magazine: When did you first show an interest in music?
Scott Featherstone: I spent the first few years of my life in Lagos, Nigeria and got to hear some amazing music there. I don’t remember this, but my Mum told me that I would always dance to live music as soon as I could walk. In 1977, Lagos aired a music festival on the TV and I was hooked on the music and African rhythms I got to listen to. Back in the UK in the early 80s, I liked music with drums and Hip Hop eventually led me to House music
GO BANG! Magazine: How did you get introduced to DJing?
Scott Featherstone: I wanted to be like Grand Master Flash in the film “Wild Style” or Chris “The Glove” Taylor in “Breakin’” – so I worked on a building site all summer to get a pair of Technics 1200s. I didn’t even know what the pitch control was for, I just wanted to scratch records and make my own tracks, like I heard the Hip Hop pioneers do.
My introduction to House music was via Acid House and Trax Records – a friend told me the pitch was used to match BPMs. So I bought some House records to learn to mix properly and fell in love with it all. I wanted to make records too, so I began to collect drum machines and keyboards as I’d read about how the Chicago DJs were doing this.
I got a job DJing in a club. It was more due to the fact that my Dad had invested money into the club at the time. The main DJ hated me, as I was young and could scratch and DJ pretty good too, so I took his thunder away I guess.
GO BANG! Magazine: Please describe your reaction when you first heard Chicago House music, where you were, and what song it was?
Scott Featherstone: (Steve Hurley) Silk’s “Jack Your Body, on the dance floor and I just danced of course. It was more the raw stuff that I really got into, like Armando’s “151”, Mike Dunn’s “Magic Feet” and DJ Pierre’s “Boxed Energy” etc. I just wanted to be a part of it all. Just make records and party with nice people who wanted to dance all night long. Just like I wanted to (I still do to this day!)
GO BANG! Magazine: Many DJs evolve in producing. Please explain when and why you became a producer.
Scott Featherstone: I actually wanted to make records more than play them, but enjoyed doing both, DJing and Writing/Production. I think there is a misuse of the word producer. I’d like to think I’m more of a House music artist, who can produce music too. Production is more than the technical side of making music. The initial ideas come from the heart, and inspiration from life in general, other records and music.
GO BANG! Magazine: In addition to being a producer, you are a record label owner. Tell our readers how you decided to launch your own record label.
Scott Featherstone: Quite by accident really. I always wanted to make a record since I started discovering music and buying records in the 70s, 80s and 90s. I went ahead and pressed a record in ‘91 (although I’d already been on a compilation EP the year before). I drove around not knowing really how to market and sell a record, I still don’t know to be honest, but luckily I have SBDs (Small Black Dots) who are in Spain doing all that for me now with a good global following who buy my records.
I released a few EPs in the ‘90s which went by unnoticed until a couple of years back when I received a text message on an old phone from Desyn asking if some old records he played out were mine, which the answer was yes. He told me they were now very sought after by a new generation of vinyl only DJs who sort out rare records, much like the Northern Soul DJs did in the UK before the dawn of House music. SBDs helped me re-launch the DAC (Deeper Audio Cuts) label. Meanwhile, I’d set up a label myself called Jupiter Label (name inspired from Lil Louis track “Jupiter”) to mostly help push local artists that were killing it
GO BANG! Magazine: How would you describe the Scott Featherstone sound and what do you have coming up that you can tell our readers about?
Scott Featherstone: Like Bruce Lee’s JKD, the style of no style – I try to record in a different way each time I get an idea or urge to make a track. I like the early House sound, but with a modern punch added to it. I’m a big fan of the Detroit Techno sound too, so that’s also an influence. I work a lot with the lovely Kym Sims, alongside Steve Teasdale and Dez Ford (Rocket Fuel Audio) and we have a track called “Loves Gotta Hold” coming out on our own CT Label (Offshoot of a night in Leeds UK that I’m part of along with Nath, Scott S and Mark).
I have another couple of vinyl projects coming out soon like “Vinaloop” on Faciendo (Desyn’s label) which is highly sought after thanks to a viral clip and Desyn’s general backing of my more edgy and underground music I create. Klasse Wrecks are putting out a re-issue of “Lemmon Grass 121 and Barly” up/road with a couple of alternative tracks to “One O Them”, which featured on the original release, due out in late August/early September. A remake of “Too Blind To See It” is looking likely with Kym taking more of a lead and wanting to put her true soul into the project. Kym is fantastic live and I’m so lucky to work with her, we did a great live band appearance last summer at the legendary Hoochie Coochie bar in Newcastle
GO BANG! Magazine: Have you ever DJ’d in the US? If so when? If not, do you want to or plan to?
Scott Featherstone: I’ve never played in the US but I would really like to, At the moment, I play a lot in the North East of UK and have started venturing across Europe having played in Berlin last summer. This year I was to play in Paris, then Barcelona, etc., but due to what’s happening in the world it has been impossible to do so for now.
GO BANG! Magazine: Who are some people in the House music industry that inspire you or motivate you, and why?
Scott Featherstone: Pretty much all the early Chicago House pioneers. I don’t really need to name them all but I guess Armando Gallop stands out and was a huge influence with his very raw Acid House sound. I like a lot of local DJs and artists over big name DJs, as they play from the heart and have more to prove in their digging and being creative. I love DJs that introduce me to new and exciting music which also gives me inspiration to make new music. Funny enough, music I don’t care for inspires me too because I think music should sound raw and deep, so I feel the urge to make music how I like to hear it. I just love the whole process.
GO BANG! Magazine: The COVID-19 pandemic has caught the world off guard. How are you dealing with it?
Scott Featherstone: I always try and turn any negative problems that come my way into some kind of positive. I spent my time in the lockdown keeping fit, building bike trails then jumping them. I’m lucky enough to own some land and lost weight doing so. I looked after my family as best as I could, doing the shopping and the basic stuff.
Of course I recorded music and did a few live streams to help pass the time. On the flip, we had to deal with the loss of all the nights we planned to do this year and bookings for Kym Sims (as SOULed OUT Events, we manage Kym Sims in the UK), festivals, travelling and such. But we are planning for when we can operate again. I don’t want to dwell on the things we’ve all missed out on this year. I just want to keep positive for the future for all of us, in whatever we do.
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Pierre A. Evans is a freelance writer of Entertainment, Music, Art, Culture, Fashion and Current Events, and previously for SoulTrain.com, NDigo.com, ChicagoDefender.com, EmpireRadioMagazine.com, and UrbanMuseMag.com, an author, singer/songwriter, actor, model, poet, dancer, and DJ. He is also the owner of Pinnacle Entertainment Productions. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram