When you talk about deep house, you can’t not mention Patrice Scott‘s name. Since his teens, Scott has been honing his craft, at first as a DJ and later as a producer, playing with a warm, textural palette of sounds reflective of his Detroit roots.
As a platform for his own productions and those upholding a similar sonic ethos, he launched Sistrum Recordings in 2006, which has since become a home for artists like Specter, Leonid, Alton Miller and Aleqs Notal.
Undoubtedly Scott’s influence has spread far and wide, and in this instance all the way across the other side of the world to Melbourne. 30/70 founding member and composer Horatio Luna became besotted with Scott’s output a couple of years ago and began diving deep into his discography. After coming across a firm favourite ‘Be Free’, taken off Scott’s 2018 release Moments and Concepts, Horatio decided to put his own flip on the track, which went on to be released by his friends at The Jazz Diaries.
Below he talks to Scott about his beginnings in Detroit, his moves into production and his top tips for Detroit, which sits alongside a tribute mix of original tracks and remixes that paint a picture of Scott’s output over the years.
Boom Boom is out now – grab your copy.
Horatio Luna: So I’m doing a tribute to you, a Patrice Scott tribute mix. And there’s a couple of questions that I put together about your music. You started DJing because there were people DJing on your block?
Patrice Scott: Well, let me correct something. I don’t know if it’s the bio or you know wherever you read that. I’ve told a story a million times, but I was actually DJing just as a hobby. But then there was this crew in Detroit called Direct Drive. That’s right. Yes. I saw FM DJ. And that’s when I discovered you know, dance music.
Horatio Luna: So when you started discovering dance music and DJing, when did you start writing the music, composing as opposed to playing, for the dance floor?
Patrice Scott: Well, that was many, many years later. When I was a kid I took some piano lessons as well as guitar lessons, but I didn’t actually start trying to make beats until it was like 1998, so that had to be like when I discovered dance music. I’m telling my age, it had to be at least 12 – 14 years later. Wait, I’m trying to calculate. It was about 14 years later when I actually started, you know, trying to produce music, investing
in some gear and just playing around.
Horatio Luna: Was there anyone that you met at that time, that kind of helped you go down that path. Or was it like a solo thing?
Patrice Scott: Well, you know, being from Detroit and the history of Detroit, because I was DJing a little bit around the city, I knew mostly all the cats back then that were putting out records in Detroit at that time. No one really sat me down and said “here’s this, here’s that” but when I did get some equipment, I had no idea what I was doing as far as trying to set it up or anything like that, so Mike Grant from Moods and Grooves and Alton Miller they came over to my house and like basically connected everything. These samplers and this mixing board I had; it was all analog gear of course. Yeah as far as that goes, they helped me out with that.
But the production part of it, I did work with someone but he was not a person who was, you know, making house or electronic music. He was just a musician that could play a million instruments and he showed me some techniques because although I took lessons when I was young I still needed to brush up you know. He taught me a lot of things, you know some shortcuts, teaching me cores and things like that.
Horatio Luna: Now, that sounds so amazing to me that Alton Miller came and hung out at your house and that those guys would just say “yeah that stuff’s really cool Scott. Yeah that’s really cool.”
Patrice Scott: Yeah just you know from the DJ and around the city and in the record store. Everybody knew each other from Buy Rite music and from Record Time you know, Mike Huckaby Meyer in the dance room. Rest in peace. So yeah, you know, everybody just knew each other man. And that’s how it was.
Horatio Luna: And what about the Andy Vaz hook up? When did you guys hook up? You guys did the collaborative EP.
Patrice Scott: Oh, yeah, I forgot all about that. Man that was so long ago. I’m sitting here like, hook up with Andy fast. But yeah that was in the beginning when I first started releasing music and I didn’t even really know him. You know, I know him now well though I don’t talk to him very often. I can’t say that we’re friends. He just hit me up and asked me would I be willing to do a split EP with him. And I was just like, sure. I forgot all about that but now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m sitting here and I can hear it. Hear it in my head.
A lot of people didn’t like it because it was like a change from the very beginning. You know, it was more like a techy year. That’s just what I was feeling then you know what I mean? And that’s just it man, I’m still feeling stuff like that even though most of my stuff I’m releasing now
doesn’t have that techy kind of sound. I still call it deep house, but
there were more techy elements. I still love that stuff. And I still got
some stuff like that, that I’m gonna put out. But I’m just more into my deep, soulful type of sound right now.
Horatio Luna: The next question I wanted to ask you is how relevant is
Motown and the Supremes to your music in terms of being a modern house producer?
Patrice Scott: I can’t say it’s really relevant because I mean, although, I respect them and that whole era, I can’t say that that really is my music and what I do. Other than just the history of people in Detroit being creative and trying to make good music. Hmm, I can’t say that what they were doing plays any significant role or influence on what I do. But the Moments in Concepts record and the Soul Food record, they both have that root soul element, that deep, deep house with the sort of soul vibe in there.
Horatio Luna: What was going on in the Detroit back in the day? I’ve got to come over and check it out because I have no idea about Detroit. I just love all the music. There’s a lot of artists that we could be talking about, but it’s all on you today man so thanks so much for chatting with me today.
Patrice Scott: Yeah, no problem, man. When you make it over, you got to come check out the Motown museum as a must when you visit Detroit for the first time.
Horatio Luna: And what should I eat when I get there? I like burgers.
Patrice Scott: Let me think. Ah, yeah, there’s a place in Corktown. It’s only one location. I can’t think of the name of it off the top of my head right now but they have like the best sandwiches and burgers in there. I’ll compile a list for you and if I’m in town, I’ll show you around.
Horatio Luna: Awesome, man. I just got one more question before we go. I wanted to ask you because the Moments and Concepts EP really spoke to me, obviously. What was going on for you at that time? Wanting to make more grooves with piano sound?
Patrice Scott: Yeah, love, love pianos. That track was started probably a year or a couple of years before it even came out. So the process with me, I’m weird like this, I never finished tracks. I sit there and come up with
the idea (unless I’m working on a project that I need to finish) then it just
sits there and I come back to it, or I forget about it. I’ll just be scrolling through the hard drive and I’m like “oh forgot all about this man, this could be a good one”.
Horatio Luna: Before we wrap this up I gotta say I appreciate you and much love from Melbourne man. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat and helping me with my new record. I got to explain what happened when I chopped up your track ‘Be Free’. I wanted to do this flip and I was gonna send it over to you and then I went to hook up with The Jazz Diaries. I was just hanging out with them and we were playing different ideas and I played the flip and they were like, what is that? I said “Oh, that’s my interpretation, that’s me trying to flip Patrice Scott.” He was like, well, we should put this out.
Horatio Luna shares his thoughts on Patrice Scott below.
Why does Patrice Scott mean so much to you?
It’s the feeling I get from Patrice’s style of Detroit house, the deep house swing.
What makes a Patrice Scott record so unique?
You can play all of Patrice’s EPs and albums back to back and it just works! I know when I’m DJing Patrice’s music I’m going to get a good response from the club and from me 🙂
When did you first hear Patrice Scott music and what impact did it have on you?
I was familiar with Patrice’s music for a while but it was two years ago when he released ‘Moments & Concepts’ that I really started digging in to his discography and became enveloped in the sound. It was a really cool time, I was on tour supporting Henry Wu and my good friend/mentor/selector Guy Rosenby (Wax Museum Records) was putting on shows for the tour. We were all hanging out, chatting music, I’m not sure where I first heard ‘Be Free’ but it was on repeat!
What’s your most sacred Patrice Scott record and why?
SOUL FOOD. It’s just beautifully produced and timeless house music. It has a tonal colour that speaks to me.
Any standout memories from dropping a Patrice Scott track in a set?
Too many, I’m really excited to re-contextualise some of his tunes for the live band and drop them in. I’m a bandleader/player before I’m a DJ, I’m just hugely influenced by DJ culture. It’s opened up so many creative possibilities as a bassist and composer.
How has Patrice Scott impacted you as a producer?
It was another great reminder of how much potential we have on the sonic spectrum. I use less layers and pay more attention to the mix now that I have spent time with Scott’s music. As a bassist it’s got me searching for analogue effects over the digital. I usually play my bass through an SP404 for all the sounds which is cool but I’m searching, it’s the best!
How did you approach this mix? What did you want it to say about Patrice Scott and their music?
I wanted to showcase the accessibility of his music through a variety of tracks that span over many years. You can play his music back to back! Process-wise I just wanted to beat match my favourite tunes, if I overthink it, it looses the appeal so I just vibe and vibe hard!
What would you say is Patrice Scott’s biggest legacy on music?
The love, respect and admiration we all feel toward him as one of the greatest deep house producers in the world!
Isle of Taste
Mark Hand – Cobwebs (Patrice Scott Remix)
Feels So Good
The Detroit Upright
Schaefer Street (Patrice Scott Remix)
Horatio Luna – Patrice
Moments & Concepts
Back of My Heart (Patrice Scott Remix)
Welcome To Dub (Patrice Scott Mix)
Hydergine – Deeper (Patrics Scott Remix)
Boom Boom is out now – grab your copy.