Deadbeat, Scott Montieth to the civil authorities, hails from Kitchener Ontario, a part of the world perhaps less associated with the Jamaican diaspora than Berlin. However, sometime after singing in a youth choir as part of his protestant minister father’s church, and then finding punk rock as a teenage bassist, Montieth got the reggae bug.
Having decamped to Montreal, a hot-bed for all sorts of electronic music at the turn of the millennium, particularly glitch and micro-house, he began producing a form of dub infused with the type of electronica being produced in the city by electronic artists like his friend Akufen.
Whilst working as a software developer, Montieth released the album ‘Wild Life Documentaries’ in 2002 under the name Deadbeat – a collection of lush, ambient soundscapes and dubby electronica. This was followed up by ‘Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ in 2004, a slightly more techno inspired take on dub, which further explored the Brechtian notion of bringing the outside in, a concept at the heart of glitch techno allied to music concrete.
With bass lines that swam in a soup of digital crackle and drum patterns that were often on the two, Deadbeat’s early work foreshadowed tracks by artists like Burial a decade before their first releases.
– Jack Carolan