Cratery Interview

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Vancouver, 2013. I’m enjoying a brief stint out west as a copywriter for ad agency TAXI’s western outpost. Most of my downtime is spent digging with the hommie Sipreano, smoking on Van City’s finest and hitting up the hometown hangouts, including The Stuntman’s 45 Throwdown at Save-On Meats. It was the sort of low key weekly where the music was open format and the sparse but knowledgeable clientele consisted of local music folk who would just come to kick back on a Monday evening. I was guesting one week when Flipout walked in with a dude I didn’t recognize. I crossed the fader and lifted my finger off a copy of “Cumbia de sal” from Cumbias en Moog, a Latin synth monster from Colombia. Within seconds, this dude was at the DJ booth. It’s funny how like-minded music nerds can bond instantly from something as small as a 45 selection. He introduced himself as Scott. And we hit it off from there.

It would later be brought to my attention that Scott wasn’t just another Vancouver DJ. But a west coast OG named Vinyl Ritchie with an extensive collection and a reputation for killing it on the 45s. I’d frequent his weekly at the Bottleneck with Flipout (appropriately titled Flip Vinyl), a two-minute walk from apartment at Seymour and Nelson. I’d head over almost every Wednesday night to satisfy my craving for some real shit. And these dudes would just be in there killing it.

Sadly, it served as a reminder for how narrow-minded us Toronto folk can be about Canadian hip-hop history from time to time. Here was this guy who had been doing his thing for close to 30 years and I had no idea who he was until I lived in Vancouver. He played big festivals and toured nationally regularly. He was well respected by his peers. And he had a genuine love for his craft. I truly felt guilty for overlooking what was happening in other parts of the country. And I made it a point to break the cycle. So when the chance to connect and record a Cratery episode back in Toronto happened a few years later, I jumped at the opportunity.

And he didn’t disappoint. Scott blesses us with lesser-known selections from the likes of Sapodilla Punch, Morena Y Clara, Los Pasos, Sesso Matto and my personal favourite, Gary Atkinson’s “Wandering soul”. He was also kind enough to sit down and chop it up with us about everything from his love for 45’s to his lack of love for social media.

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