In 1994 Scott Ferguson was introduced to the House & Techno scene in Detroit, Michigan. By the next year Ferguson began Deejaying and consuming a wide range of vinyl records which included, Detroit & Chicago House, Detroit Techno, Disco, & Funk. On the recommendation of UR founder ‘Mad’ Mike Banks, Ferguson purchased the Ensoniq ASR-10 in 1998. The ASR workstation would become the most intregal part of his sample heavy, filtered down sound. Ferguson released his first 12″ record on his own imprint in 2001 and since has released records on Kenny Dixon Jr.’s ‘Mahogani Music’, as well as Reggie Doke’s ‘Psychostatia Recordings’. In 2012 Ferguson started two new projects, the ‘Black Boxx’ project using only 3 black hardware boxes to compose simple, yet effective, loop based machine music and JBSF with fellow DJ/Producer Jitterbug. Scott’s productions have been played and charted by legendary Deejays including Derrick May, Larry Heard, Theo Parrish, Moodymann, Marcellus Pittman, Rick Wade, and Mike Huckaby. Currently Ferrispark Records is still manufacturing and selling 12″ vinyl records and Ferguson is still travelling the world playing them.
Scott Ferguson we met many years ago through Lakuti who runs the Uzuri booking management and label in East London. Scott is an underground head who lives and breathes his art form. He keeps on keeping on with regards to running his label Ferris Park releasing pieces from artists including Scott Ferguson himself, Keith Kemp, Marvin Belton, Silvio Manuel, Dubbyman, Joy of Sound, Juju & Jordash, JBSF & Black Boxx. Scott is a very open, honest and true cat that is extremely well versed in all facets of the game as he Djs, runs a label, works for a record shop and now has a new exciting live project called Black Boxx with his debut show at Panorama Bar lined up for the 24th October. Lots of notes and loads of highlights have past and will continue to come as this American born artists that now lives in Europe keeps creating and contributing using his environment as his canvas. Check the mix as it is a strong representation of Scott Ferguson and also a welcomed excursion into crate diggers, vinyl, collectors and somone who lays his soul bare, mad love Scott, Keep It Deep brother.
1. We go way back, i remember it was my birthday and you got married and we had a joint bbq at Lerato’ place all those moons ago, how has it been since then?
Oh yes, lot’s of wonderful things were happening at that time. Obviously since then you and I have had a few more birthdays and I’m still happily married to my favorite person on Earth. Lerato is still my booking agent, and of course, you and I are still in communication. I’m still gigging, running the label, and accumulating more vinyl records but probably the biggest change since the wedding has been the addition of my two sons to the family. All in all, everything is great.
2. How have you found London personally and also for work?
London is great, multicultural, beautiful, safe, etc… Its only drawback is that is expensive as hell.
3. Detroit is your original home have you been back in a while?
I was born just outside of Detroit in Clawson and then moved to the city when I was 20. I have not returned to Detroit or the United States for that matter, since I moved to London. I will be going back to Detroit next year for a long overdue visit and then onto L.A. to celebrate my older brother’s 40th Birthday.
4. Whats your take on the current music scene in Europe and the USA?
I remain underground so the music scene that I’m involved in really doesn’t change much. I’ve noticed that Europe has been going full force into festivals recently and the US is going wild over EDM or whatever you want to call it. This has happened before in the US and across Europe there has been a mainstream in dance culture for sometime. As I stated before, this really does not effect me at all. I have very little interest in the mainstream of dance music. As far as the underground goes, represses of classic or rare Chicago & Detroit records seems to be a huge part of the game these days. It seems to me as well that for the past few years a younger generation has been taking a real interest in underground dance music. I’m hoping many of these younger people will become lifers, the underground always needs new blood to keep moving forward.
4. Ferris Park is the label you run, how has it been going for you, are record sales up for FP as press report?
Record sales have never really changed for me. They are no better or worse, just steady. The ‘vinyl resurgence’ that everyone is talking about doesn’t make much of a difference for an underground label that does little promotion and does not follow trends. What I’m happy to do is break even so that I can press more records. My goal has never been to sell as many copies as possible of a single release, my goal has been to produce releases. The vinyl resurgence is nice and all but it really pertains more to Indie rock, and major label stuff like classic rock & pop then it does to underground dance music.
4. since your last release there has been some time, what have you been up to?
I have been doing less under my own name and more under the Black Boxx moniker. This week will mark the release of the 5th, and second to last Black Boxx 12″ EP. This year, I also released a second 12″ with Uzuri artist Jitterbug as JBSF. The major setback for my label and I feel other small labels, has been the ‘vinyl resurgence’. Now that major labels are back on the bandwagon, the pressing plants are backed up. Its taking months longer then usual to go from mastering to pressing and therefor I have only been able to manufacture two Ferrispark 12″ releases this year. I guess on a positive note, the so called ‘vinyl resurgence’ is slowing down the output of underground dance music releases and I believe that this might actually create more longevity for the scene. It is almost becoming self regulated, preventing the flooding of the tiny, tiny vinyl market that is the underground. Even though I see the positive side to underground record production slowing down I also would love to get back to 4 releases a year and I would like to see record stores still getting enough stock to sell.
5. Black Boxx Live is your new live concept, can you explain how it came around, what gear you will be using live and also how is the prep going for the October show at Panorama Bar?
I can tell you how the entire Black Boxx project came about by saying the name of possibly the greatest Techno producer of our time, Jeff Mills. I thought about how Mills keeps pushing himself by constantly creating new concepts for his projects. I then decided I was ready for a concept. The Black Boxx concept was to use hardware boxes together in a simple and effective way, aimed more at dance-floors, driven by simple loops. Hopefully that makes sense. My ASR-X, MPC1000, and XoXboX are all black in color, hence ‘Black Boxx’ for a name. I wanted to complete 6 EPs, 1 LP, and a live show and I’m almost there.
The live show is comprised of the hardware boxes I just mentioned, a small effects unit, and a 16 channel Mackie mixer. The live show is more or less based on Rap records I love combined with the influence of Detroit Booty Bass and Chicago Ghetto House that was a huge part of my life all through my late teens and twenties. In other words its energetic and sample heavy with funk, soul, and disco loops sprinkled with infectious vocal snippets. My preparation for Panorama Bar has been live shows already in Paris & Offenbach plus my experience of being involved in this type of music for the last 20 years.
6. How is the studio work going, besides creating Black Boxx, have you bought any new gear, learned new things?
I think in total over the last 2 and a half years I have created over 90 tracks for the Black Boxx project using up a significant amount of my studio time. Within the last 2 years or so I have purchased an Akai MPC1000 to be used as my main sequencer. I found it more appealing then an older MPC because it is smaller, weighs less, saves better, and runs JJOS. It is also more appealing because I don’t use if for audio, only sequencing. On top of that I purchased a Ladyada XoXboX from Specter, I am super happy with the sound. I have been concentrating on learning the latest version of the JJ operating system for the 1000 and learning how to program the sort of bass lines I want from the Xox. The next thing I really need to do is figure out what happens when the Black Boxx project ends.
7. Any plans as we near the winter months and NYE comes close?
I will visit Italy during the Christmas holiday and I mainly just want to spend an easy and peaceful time with my wife and children and my in-laws in Italy eating, drinking, resting, and laughing. It’s looking like there is the possibility I’ll be doing my live set in London for the Secret Sundays NYE party, fingers crossed.
Show message history
This mix was recorded at home, in one take on the 2 Technic 1210s I purchased in 1996 and my Vestax PMC-25 mixer I purchased in 1999. I brought all three with me from the US when I moved to London. The thing I like most about this mix is that its not just a bunch of rare records thrown together. I often try and do mixes that are simply music that I deem good. I also like to mix newer releases with older stuff. To me deejaying has always been about technically putting records together as best as possible and also not getting trapped in one style of music during a session. To me, a real part of the art of deejaying is selecting records that get me from one style to the next without it being too abrupt. I feel like this mix demonstrates my feelings about mixing records, rather well. I hope anyone who takes a listen will get an understanding of the vibe and enjoy it. Below I have listed the records I played in the order they were played. Big thanks to you, Mohson for your continued support of the underground. SOLID.
8. THE MIX YOU PROVIDED CAN YOU BREAK IT DOWN AND SHARE THE TRACK SELECTION AND VYBE?
01. MOODYMANN – SHATTERED DREAMS – PEACEFROG – [DETROIT]
02. CALLISTO – CAN’T WAIT – GUIDANCE – [CHICAGO]
03. MCDE – RAW CUTS (RECLOOSE REMIX) – MCDE – DETROIT
04. THE OLIVERWHO FACTORY – NIGHT LIGHTS – PLANET E – [DETROIT]
05. BLACK RASCALS – SO IN LOVE – POLAR – [NEW JERSEY]
06. BLACK BOXX – A1 BLACK BOXX EP-2 (MINUS 2) – FERRISPARK – [DETROIT]
07. BAM-BAM – GIVE IT TO ME (INSTRU) – WESTBROOK – [CHICAGO]
08. WILLIAM S – I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO (INSTRU) – TRAX – [CHICAGO]
09. STRAFE – SET IT OFF – STRUT – [NEW YORK]
10. NANCY MARTIN – CAN’T BELIEVE (INSTRU) – ATLANTIC – [CANADA]
11. MEL SHEPPARD – CAN I TAKE YOU HOME – TSOB – [NEW YORK]
12. T.C. CURTIS – BODY SHAKE (INSTRU) – QUALITY – [NEW YORK]