Published Jun 20, 2011Scott Monteith (aka Deadbeat) launches new label BLKRTZ with this major change in direction. Drawn and Quartered extends the meditative side of his output much deeper into the cosmos than ever. Perennially saddled with Rhythm and Sound comparisons, the Berlin-residing Monteith simply embraces them with a quartet of long-form tech dub spread out over a double vinyl package (a quintet in its digital format). Monteith recombines what could be overly familiar elements into thrillingly deep listening. By now, it's no surprise to hear vintage analogia spewing out steampunk-ish takes on dub, but Deadbeat ensures that each song maintains a reason to venture far beyond ten minutes. Minimalism is a given, but each track has the feel of a live performance. The rhythm of "First Quarter" may be the most traditionally dubwise, with a riddim that would've sounded great in his Scape days. "Second Quarter" makes an argument for the dance floor. "Third Quarter (the Vampire of Mumbai)" is scratchy and sumptuous ambience. "Fourth Quarter" is a near-steppers groove with an undulating bass line that speaks to Detroit. And stick around for the horn break in "Plateau Quarter," released only on the album's digital version; it's one of the all time highlights of Deadbeat's extensive catalog, sounding impossibly deep.
Tell me about the new label.
It's something I've had in mind for a while now. It just so happened that when I completed work on this record I was talking with the Kompakt guys, whom I'd talked to previously about starting a label, and they were asking when it was going to happen. The economic environment right now doesn't make a lot of sense, but to have an outlet and not worry about anyone else's release schedule just makes sense.
This is kind of a concept album divided into quarters. How did it come about?
It's a celebration of the vinyl medium and with that, the restriction you have of 13 minutes per side without compromising sound quality. And I've always really liked sidelong tracks where the music has space to evolve. Having the label now gives me the chance to explore that idea. I had a daughter and that changed my working method pretty severely: limited studio time, for one, and as you'd expect, I had other things on my mind. I ended up with a lot of recordings of quite lengthy, modular stuff. There were a lot of live percussion recordings and DSP [digital signal processing] stuff in the computer. I appreciate that they start in one place and finish in another. (BLKRTZ)