You can tell Chuk Scott is a consummate cratedigger when you listen to the samples on Kemet, the 32-track experimental hip-hop opus he released on Bandcamp. Scott, who produces under the alias Arkatype, has a lot in common with other trailblazing producers such as Madlib, samiyam or Flying Lotus.
On this week's mixtape we get a taste of his original compositions. The mixtape demonstrates Scott's knack for brief but effective arrangements and his method of sampling, which is reminiscent of musique concrète, the art of creating music from found sounds.
Scott's work as Arkatype manages to be soulful, old school and forward-thinking all at the same time. And that's not an easy trick to pull off.
Dallas Observer: How long have you been a producer? What got you started down that path?
Arkatype: I've been making music my entire life but my music became more concrete about 7 years ago. What got me started was artists like Al Green and Funkadelic. I can recall my mom blaring it from her old record player with the old, tall alpine speakers. I would spend hours in front of those speakers soaking everything in. More specifically, "Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)" always sounded good. It had this weird calming/party effect and I would just let it wash over me.
How was this mix made and was there a theme behind it?
I used a Stanton T. 92 and a Yamaha cassette deck to pick up the samples, then I linked them together using Deckadance. It's mostly a compilation of a lot of different sounds I've been sifting through. There's not really a theme I just let my ADD take the wheel.
Where did the name Arkatype come from?
Arkatype came from Carl Gustav Jung's archetype, which are characters that are symbolic to the mind and have a crucial part to play on the collective unconscious as a whole. When I started that was my goal: to be a new archetype for the hive mind.
Where does the name Kemet come from?
Mostly because of the kemet in Egypt. I started with a little recorder and dubbing over cassettes in the '90s and I was finally returning to cassettes. So it was like returning to something old, much like kemet itself. So in a way it was a metaphor of me starting all over from the beginning. Also, there's a debate right now within the black conscious community over whether or not the kemetic walls have been fully translated.
Do you have plans to do live sets? What is your approach to live electronic performance?
I plan on having some later in the year, once I can manage to stop digging constantly, but nothing is set in stone. My approach as of right now consists of a lot of MIDI, MIDI keyboards pads etc. I recently acquired a cassette alarm clock and I will probably incorporate that sometime soon.
What inspires you when you sit down to start working on a tune?
Random nonfiction and alternative history is one muse for sure. A lot of things. Mostly hearing other artists really opening up and being vulnerable, no matter the genre, gets me going. Inspiration comes and goes, I just wait for it to come naturally because it's not something you can't force.
Where do you like to dig for tracks? Online or in stores?
I prefer in stores, but online has the rare stuff so it depends on what I'm looking for. As far as where do I dig, I've been hitting local thrift stores and Goodwill because weird international albums can be found there. [Plus] Lucky Dog Books, Voodoo Chile and Half Price, to name a few more great stops.
Which new producers have been getting you excited?
I'm usually so busy researching old music that I miss a lot of the new. With that being said, Freddie Gibbs has a nice new album and Thundercat has been pretty consistent as well.
What has been your most significant music experience of the past year?
I recently went to New Orleans, which is my birthplace, for the first time in 17 years. While it looks completely different, the music was the same and it gave me chills. The good kind. In addition to that, getting my most recent release Kemet made into a tape, which I released earlier this year. It was a lot of songs and a pretty large body of work. Thankfully I had a lot of help from my buddy Mark Sorrentino getting it all together and it felt so good once it was completed.
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