Relaxing in that post-clubbing Sunday glow? Still riding the wave of bliss? The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight is back with another of our Sunday Services, this time from the Patron Saint of MPCs; Pittsburgh uber-talent, C Scott. Bless you all.
Here at The Waveform Transmitter, you know we like to offer something a little bit different. Which is why we started this Sunday Service mix series; to give those of you who want to add that little soupçon of soul to your sabbath day. This week, we have one of Pittsburgh’s most exciting artists – C Scott – on the ones and twos, holding mass with a diverse mix of sublime music for your listening pleasure.
C Scott‘s Sunday Service mix comes on the back of his latest release, Distance Fog, which he dropped via the Pittsburgh Tracks imprint on March 23rd. The seven track EP is billed as house and techno, although Scott‘s hip-hop roots are ever present throughout the record, maintaining a cohesion throughout.
Distance Fog, which features six of Charlie‘s original productions, coupled with a remix of Daily from the Teflon Dons’ Aaron Paar, is an exercise in sonic manipulation. Scott takes his raft of myriad influences – influences that are wholly apparent throughout his Sunday Service mix – and puts them to work across the EP, dipping into hip-hop and broken beat just as much as he makes use of some supremely jazz-orientated keys and funky drum programming.
The tracks tell the narrative of their titles well, with the skittering hats that open Departure conjuring synaesthetic images of train tracks, as the listener moves along at a rumbling pace. The keys throughout the compositions are vaguely reminiscent, for me, of the stabs in Innerzone Orchestra‘s Bug in the Bassbin, which furthers C Scott‘s house credentials. We certainly look forward to more from the Steel City producer in the future.
We discussed the latest release, and more, with Charlie. Check out what he has to say for himself, and get a load of the incredible Sunday Service mix he provided us with, down at the bottom of the page.
Waveform: Hi Charlie! Thanks for taking the time out to talk to us. For those who aren’t familiar with your sound, could you give us a little bit of lowdown on C. Scott?
C. Scott: Hey all! My name is Charlie. I’m a producer, DJ, and bassist from Pittsburgh and have been active for the past few years making hip-hop and house music for myself and others.
Waveform: It has been two years since you released The Pittsburgh Diaries on Lumberjacks in Hell. Aside from your latest release, what have you been working on in the interim?
C. Scott: I’ve been keeping busy with my usual regimen of digging, chopping, and mixing while trying (keyword: TRYING) to keep my head above water as a university student. I’ve been getting a little more focused on my DJing lately and have been putting time into nights around Pittsburgh, including my monthly party, For the Record, with my friend Anthony Susan.
Waveform: Your latest release, Distance Fog, explores a number of different styles, from the lo-fi hip-hop of City Steps, to the Winx Hypnotizin’-esque organ melody of Departure. Do you find that flitting between styles in this way is a simple task, or do you feel it is challenging for a producer?
C. Scott: For me, this was a very organic process, but it certainly took time to assemble all of the pieces and put them together in a cohesive manner. Some of the hip-hop tracks on the release were made before I had any serious interest in house music production, so it was nice to be able to release them in this context. I’ve done other projects that fuse hip-hop and house tracks like 2016’s Warm Cut EP (La Squadra), but I feel that this is the most mature and realized of those attempts so far.
Waveform: Your roots lie in golden-era hip-hop, and we’re led to believe you’re pretty handy with an MPC. How does an MPC fit into your current production process? Or have you eschewed the hardware for a more software-centric approach?
C. Scott: The MPC 2000XL is still at the centre of my creative process for most of my productions, though I do use other samplers and sequencers (notably Native Instruments Maschine and Roland’s SP404SX) from time to time. Typically, I use the MPC as essentially a drafting board then arrange and mix down my tracks in Ableton Live.
Vinyl and the MPC are still very much at the core of my sound though. Lately I’ve been making more of an effort, particularly in my collaborative work, to incorporate more live instrumentation, synthesis, and my own bass playing. The fruits of this experimentation will be available for y’all to hear soon.
Waveform: Given your roots, can you allow us some insight into specific artists from whom you drew your inspiration since you started producing back in 2009?
C. Scott: My decision to transition into producing, from playing bass, was definitely triggered by the influence of the greats of sample-based New York hip-hop (Pete Rock, Prince Paul, DJ Premier, Q-Tip, and the Large Professor to name only a few).
Gradually, I became influenced by their more lo-fidelity and abstract descendants (Madlib, J Dilla, Kankick, Dabrye). Eventually, my interest in sample-based hip-hop lead me to more seriously exploring house music by way of artists like Masters at Work, Armand Van Helden, Todd Terry, and Pepe Bradock.
Those early forays into house music soon lead me to the Detroit/ Chicago school of Theo Parrish, Moodymann, Ron Trent, and others and I’ve kept pushing since. Producers like DJ Spinna, who are equally brilliant in all of the aforementioned contexts proved to be a huge influence on my development, as well as the guidance of highly versatile local heroes like Buscrates and Nice Rec.
Waveform: You have kindly given us a brilliant contribution to our Sunday Service mix series. The track selection is really diverse! Can you talk us through your mix a little?
C. Scott: This mix was essentially an attempt to bring together a lot of my favourite music that isn’t necessarily club ready. I spend a lot of time digging for samples and music to play out and accordingly spend a lot of time listening through records that might not be suitable for either purpose but that I appreciate as pure music.
The mix touches heavily on progressive rock and jazz fusion, two somewhat-maligned genres that form the basis of my musical identity. Before I was a crate-digging hip-hop producer, I was a 13-year-old kid obsessed with King Crimson and spending hours in my bedroom trying to learn Jaco Pastorius licks on the bass. I wanted this mix to really reflect that part of my identity.
Waveform: What have you got lined up for the next few months? Anything exciting we should know about?
C. Scott: I’m really looking forward to the break in classes as an opportunity to ply my trade some more. Expect more DJ mixes, gigs, beat tapes, collaborations with fellow producers, and whatever else strikes my fancy in the coming months.
I have a remix for New York artists Will Buck & PRTMNTO, that I completed with my production partner and friend Nice Rec, coming to the Lovedancing label soon. That remix will mark the debut of our group, Parallax. Keep on the lookout for that!
Waveform: Thanks again for chatting with us Charlie, best of luck with all your future projects!
C. Scott: Thanks all!
10cc — I’m Not in Love
Gene Harris — Theme for Relana
Kraan — Degado
Camel — Song Within a Song
Opa — Pieces
Frank Cunimondo Trio — Agua De Beber
Hugo Smooth — Mysteries Eyes
George Duke — Feel
Soft Machine — Penny Hitch
Roy Ayers Ubiquity — Sensitize
John Blair — Golden Slumbers/ Ooh Child (Medley)
Syreeta — I Too am Wanting
Heatwave — Star of the Story
Zulema — Wanna Be Where You Are
Lenny White — Sweet Dreamer