Deadbeat is the pseudonym of Scott Monteith, a multifaceted DJ/producer from Canada.
Now residing in Berlin, Monteith has put his stamp on records from some of the scene’s most focal labels, while his own imprint, the always excellent BLKRTZ, has also become renowned as a vehicle for more-than-solid Deadbeat fare.
His latest release sees him switch his attention to Detroit’s Visionquest collective thanks to the brilliant The Jacks EP, which is a solid collection of club tackle if ever there was one. We put a few choice questions his way recently, and during our conversation Scott managed to touch on everything from U.S. foreign policy to his Drum n’ Bass past to his infatuation with his Berlin…
“I think everyone has to find their own path and if someone is happy playing pure bangers for 8 hours then all the power to them…I’d much rather pull a nice selection of diverse stuff even if it’s at different tempos and from different eras.”
Tell us about the beginning of your career, what were the sounds/parties that got you started?
I spent my teens and early twenties in Toronto and then Montreal. Toronto of the mid nighties was a very thriving scene which had a fairly equal split of influences, Detroit and Chicago on the one hand, and Jungle and Drum n Bass on the other due to a fair number of British Expats who moved over and started throwing parties on a large scale. I gravitated more toward the jungle side of things to begin with and as the first Basic Channel and Plastikman records came out I ended up pulled more in that direction. When I started Djing I played a mix of those things and a lot of ambient stuff. I started making music when I moved up to Montreal at the end of ‘97 and I think all of those influences played a part in shaping the early sounds I ended up making.
What were you into before house? Are you a pretty diverse guy musically? Do you think that’s important as a DJ?
In my early teens I was into a lot of skate punk and industrial music like skinny puppy and the whole Psychic TV/Coil/Throbbing Gristle axis which eventually lead me to the harder strains of techno and early UK electronic stuff, Warp, etc. I still listen to a lot of different music. I have a huge reggae and dub collection, lot’s of ambient and drone stuff from classics things like Terry Riley all the way up to super heavy more modern stuff like Earth and Sunn(((O. I still make trips to Hard Wax and Space Hall here in Berlin every couple of weeks. All these diverse inputs play their own crucial part in my artistic development and general happiness I’d think.
So what do you make of DJs who only play house and techno? Are they limiting themselves in a way?
I think everyone has to find their own path and if someone is happy playing pure bangers for 8 hours then all the power to them. As I myself do tend to like a pretty wide range of things I get a lot of enjoyment out of sharing music with people they might not have otherwise had a chance to hear. I’d much rather pull a nice selection of diverse stuff even if it’s at different tempos and from different eras.
And how did you get started with making tunes? Through computers or analogue gear or what?
I’m very much a computer guy as that’s where I started though different pieces of hardware have floated in and out of the studio at different times. What ever it takes to get the job done really, I’m very comfortable with both working methods at this point.