Mixtape number 5: Scott Hess jams to celebrate forthcoming EP release
To herald the arrival of test-pressings of his latest productions, Scott threw us some serious heat in the shape-shifting form of one of his dynamic live mixes.
We’re big fans of Scott. His non-discriminatory approach to djing and music in general are why we love his sound - you’re just as likely to hear him drop proto-punk records as heavy electro, deep disco, or jazz-funk, and far, far beyond.
Raised in Detroit, his music has taken him on a wild ride that’s included stints in Germany and China, and now finds him a proud and enthusiastic resident of the crazy city of Bangkok. Listening to his sound, an intriguing story always unfolds, but his strong motor-city roots are never too difficult to detect.
Scott keeps up a fairly exhausting gig schedule - which leads us to another thing we dig about him - he spends way more time performing than he does self-promoting, which definitely puts him in a minority of contemporary DJs. In fact, DJing was never what he set out to do as a career, starting out as a bass player, before graduating to hip-hop producer - initially only spinning tunes as a means to showcase his productions and backing tracks for MCs to rhyme over. However, his talent on the turntables naturally evolved, and his broad and genre-defying repetoir led to ever-expanding bookings, and he continues skillfully riding the wave.
So onto his forthcoming release, ‘Red Light Bangkok 01’. The 3 track EP was forged out of the thick haze of Thai funk that permeates the vivid colours of this city. There is a distinct sleaze to the sound which fits perfectly with the concept of the label. From the low-slung freakiness of ‘The Rhythm’, to the subtly sinister, synth-heavy groove of ‘Circle Of Funk’, and all the way through to peak-time, jacking house of ‘Red Light’ - each track is fused with Michigan flavour and South-East Asian steam in almost equal measure.
Well produced, nuanced and varied, it’s a super accomplished offering. Proof, if proof were needed, that you can take the boy out of Detroit, but you can’t take Detroit out of the boy.
Each track is previewed on this heavy-hitting mix recorded live on a typically hot Friday night at one of Scott’s regular residencies, Iron Balls BK. We’ve included the tracklist to help you hunt down his cuts. The EP is due out later this year, so keep your eyes peeled.
Track list: Scott Hess - The Rhythm / Skyy - First Time Around / Scott Hess - Circle of Funk / Manfredas - Mind Machine / Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again / Cosmo Vitelli - Chiens De L’Enfer / Goddard - Redrum (Ron Basejam Remix) / The Black Madonna - Stay /Albion - Ovni / Awanto 3 - The Phone We Call It / Dave Aju - Telekuneko / Passarani - Minerals / Scott Hess - Red Light / Model 500 - No UFO’s (Luciano Remix) / Leon Vynehall - There Is You