Scott Augat is a transplant from New England who has been behind the decks for over two decades. He has a firm background playing variations of hip-hop, techno and house. Along with Aleah Axiom, he holds down the techno and house weekly residency at the recently opened Drugstore Cowboy in Deep Ellum. For this week's mixtape, Augat mixes up a deep-funk late-night vibe over the course of an hour.
Dallas Observer: How did you get started DJing? How long have you been at it?
Scott Augat: I grew up in Boston and took an interest in DJing around ’92. The very first thing to inspire me was the movie Juice. Watching the character Q cut up some records in his bedroom gave me immediate goosebumps. Around this time hip-hop in the Northeast was at its finest and on a very innovative and fresh rise. I couldn’t afford turntables at the time, but had a dope dual cassette boombox which I put to use. I used to record and pause on one cassette deck and play and pause on the other, creating stab-like intros and some juggling-like sounds. It wasn’t exactly DJing, but my mixtapes gained some popularity amongst my hip-hop friends.
How did you transition into proper DJing?
By 1995 I had built a pretty decent record collection, acquired two Technic 1200 turntables and a crappy Gemini mixer. I also landed my first record store gig at an online store called Big Bang Records. This is where I discovered electronic music. I wasn’t of age yet, so going out to hear this music consisted of us going to underground raves in Boston, Providence, New York and Hartford. Some huge influences at the time were Frankie Bones, Keoki, Juan Atkins and Frankie Knuckles.
Around the beginning of ’97 I had been around the scene long enough to have befriended some solid local crews. Crews like Columns of Knowledge, The Muck Crew, Grow Room Records and DJ Venom's Volume Productions. The two owners of Grow Room Records, John (DJ Hush) and Andrew (Bons) became huge mentors to me and shortly after this time we began a weekly on Saturday nights at a spot in Boston called Stereo. We had weekly guests who ranged from names like Steve Porter, Joeski, Onionz and Irie to one of my favorites, Pal Joey.
How was this mix made?
This mix was made with two Pioneer Nexus 2000 CDJs, a Pioneer DJM2000 Nexus mixer, and recorded into Ableton. My homies in Miami are going to disown me when they read this [laughs]. Been on turntables only up until about six months ago.
Is there a particular theme for the track selection?
My track selection was based mainly off of some of my favorite tracks or labels I’ve been playing out lately. It varies from deep house to techno and everything in between. I’m a huge advocate of DJs creating and playing that “third track” as often as possible and not just playing whole songs by themselves like a jukebox. So if I had to think of a theme so to speak, that would be it. Remixing live is my jam, so is percussion and that thick, heavy bass line.
How did you start getting involved with Dallas DJ culture?
I moved to the Dallas area from Miami in 2011 and actually struggled for the first two years because I wasn’t sure where the good music venues were. I was living and working out in Fort Worth and rarely made it to Dallas. I moved to the city a year later and quickly began a weekly at The Dram on Henderson Avenue playing old-school hip-hop. I loved the sound system, staff and atmosphere, but really struggled to attract the real hip-hop lovers. In the meantime I had finally found all the dope spots where I could hear old school hip-hop, drum 'n' bass and, most important, house and techno. By the end of the year I had a weekly upstairs at Crown & Harp called Sunday School with Chris Clayborn, aka Phooka, where we often played on four turntables and no genre was off limits. Since then I have become closer with several of the local DJ crews.
What was Dallas like after your time playing in other cities?
Dallas was actually a pleasant surprise. I had no idea Dallas had so much music history when it came to the electronic music scene. I feel blessed to have grown up in New England and having New York City only a few hours away, but I’m envious of those who grew up here as well. Dallas has some serious underground swag.
How did you get involved with Music Is Our Weapon?
Music Is Our Weapon came to me through music. I met the co-founders Ashley Brightwell and JP Maloney and chairman Jeff Miler literally on the dance floor at my favorite spot, It’ll Do, during a Mark Farina show. Go figure. My homegirl had been telling me I needed to meet these guys and was quick to introduce us. Initially I was brought on to the crew to write about music for their music blog side of the website. Once I learned about the nonprofit side of things I was completely sold: connecting with Alzheimer’s and cognitive brain injury patients on a personal level through music. I like to think I was a force in growing the MIOW brand here in Dallas, on the street marketing and social media side of things, as well as helping out with a lot of our events. It’s challenging trying to keep up with Ashley and JP. I swear those guys don’t sleep!
How did your Resonance residency come about?
My girlfriend and DJ partner, Axiom, and I had been talking and playing music together for a few months. Up until this past September I had been managing the bar at FT33 which didn’t allot any real time to DJ, at least not on a weekly basis. I was itching to get back out in the scene.
We put some feelers out and began doing Resonance in South Dallas on Sundays. With all the big name DJs playing on Saturdays and the after-parties going for hours after, we realized a weekly at the end of the weekend was a poor decision.
Literally, a week after talking to each other about our concerns I went in to our friend’s new coffee shop and craft cocktail bar, Drugstore Cowboy in Deep Ellum, and in casual conversation found a remedy and new home to our weekly Resonance. Every Thursday we play the darker side of deep house, minimal and techno. They offer great craft cocktails, food and coffee. The space is very warehouse-esque so it’s a perfect fit for our music and we have some pretty rad projected videos to help curate a cool vibe.
Where do you like to dig for new tracks?
I have accounts with Juno and Traxsource where I have all my favorite labels and artists saved. That’s usually my first stop. Then I move on to Soundcloud and a whole list of saved music blogs, like my favorite, RoboticPeacock.com. I also frequent my boy JT Donaldson’s record shop Josey Records for my old-school hip-hop addiction. That place always surprises me on how many gems I find. I am also patiently awaiting my homie Josh Kynd’s new record shop, Retroplex Records and More.
What DJ set have you seen in the past year that has stuck with you most?
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This year was hands down the Broken party at It’ll Do for Halloween. I got to hear my good friend and mentor Left/Right play some of his new tracks and then he was followed by my favorite set: Chris Lorenzo (Toolroom/Black Butter/Nightbass/Dirtybird). Nothing speaks to my soul more than UK garage and he went so hard in the paint that night.
What gigs do you have in the near future?
I actually have another weekly I’ve been talking about. I’m trying to focus more right now on production though. Y’all will get a listen hopefully by early summer. We are also planning a few trips this spring to Boston, NYC and hopefully Miami. As for locally, I’ll be at Oak Cliff Social Club tonight, Beauty Bar for Turnstile Tuesdays once in March, and then at a few Our House parties that we have collaborations with over the next few months. They have some special treats in store for Dallas.
1. Phil Kieran - Missp (Tom Demac Remix)
2. Phil Asher, James Massiah- Trampoline (Original Mix)
3. Him Self Her Featuring Calder- Don’t Fail Me Now (Dubspeeka Remix)
4. BRIAN CID- Blue Dawn (Original Mix)
5. Simone Vitullo- Dope Your Mind (Original Mix)
6. Garry Todd- Motives and Thoughts
7. Alexander Funkmachine - Misunderstood (Original Mix)
8. Ben Grunnell- Push It (Synth Version)
9. Hot Since 82 featuring Alex Mills- Shadows (Original Mix)
10. Kaiserdisco, Cari Golden, Dubspeeka- Electric (Dubspeeka Remix)
11. Sante Tech- Freak That (Original Mix)
12. Henning Baer- Gemini
13. Steffi- Löweborschtel
14. Harvey McKay- The Mad Drummer (Original Mix)
15. Phon.o- Bodycheck (featuring Born In Flamez)
16. Popof- Alcoholic (Spencer Parker's Belvedere Remix)