The label is just the most recent step in the two brothers' reintroduction to house music. They were born in Detroit and got their start in music with help from Terrence Parker, Kevin Saunderson and other local figures. Eventually they moved to New York and got heavily involved with the club culture there; Scott DJed, produced and ran his Aztonk label (founded at age 19) while Marc became an innovator of the dub remix under the name MK.
Sometime around the end of the decade they moved onto other things—Scott got into artist management and branding, and Marc started producing for pop and R&B acts like Snoop Dogg and Jay Z—but in the past two years they've been easing back into house music. First they appeared together at Movement 2009 (with four turntables and a sampler), and soon they started popping up on more club lineups. With Say Ahh! they make it official. Chatting over email this week, Scott filled us in on what the brothers Kinchen are up to these days:
You and Marc were both releasing like crazy in the '90s, then took a step back from dance music. What have you been up to in the meantime, and what made you come back to it over the past couple of years?
Yes, we both were quite busy in the '90s! Marc has always remained producing just not house music, the focus was more on R&B and pop music, where I stopped all together. I started an artist management company (Ambition Management Group) and I got into the big brand advertising world.
There were really three primary reasons why we both jumped back in. The first reason is the passion for house music has never left and we simply love it, the second reason is that it appears the '90s sound of house has made a serious resurgence and that is totally our lane which has made it fun again. The third reason is the request for us to DJ has been insane! Marc did a deal with Defected where you will and have been seeing a lot of his classic records being remixed and rereleased and I rereleased digitally my catalogue on my imprint AZTONK Records.
What's the working dynamic like between you and Marc?
That’s my brother, who is one of my favorite people in the world! Marc is truly an artist and master producer, where I’d like to think I’m a master DJ and sick with the business. Our dynamic is one that I can describe as very efficient. We both know each other's strengths and weaknesses which allows us to focus on what we do best. That being said, Marc will use the label for a creative outlet and release music without any limitations. My focus is the day-to-day business, signing records, dealing with artists, licensing, distributors, etc...
Tell us a bit about Say Ahh! What kind of sound can we expect from the label? What artists will you be releasing?
The name/meaning of Say Ahh!, can be defined as “We are getting ready to feed you so open up and Say Ahh!” and the logo is just sexy, who wouldn't want to feed those lips! We have releases from a lot of new, extremely talented producers as well from us of course, for example: Si’ke Dj’s, Angus Jefford, Plastic Co., Oli Furness, Jamie Trench, Scottie Deep, MK and 4th Measure Men will seed the first 10 releases to start us off. We have a zillion friends in the industry and you may see projects from Kenny Dope & Louie Vega, Lee Foss, Jamie Jones and Dennis Ferrer just to name a few as well as loads of new unheard of producers. The sound we are focusing on is purely house and deep house. Send demos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It goes without saying that things aren't easy for record labels these days. Why start one now?
Great question! With both of us running labels in the '90s, working with the majors and indies for the past 20 some-odd years and witnessing the transition of the industry, we have a clear understanding as to the state of the business. When you can start a business for the love of what you do and purely for the passion and not to just get rich; 1) You will (should) have less stress 2) You will (should) put your best work forward and 3) The money will come eventually. Sure, we are a business and some of our goals is to make a little money, pay artist royalties and to become a real force in the industry but the number one reason for us to have a label is to release some really nice tunes!
We will be doing things a lot of labels can't do for example, every release will be available on vinyl with at least two vinyl exclusive mixes, with super limited edition colored vinyl on certain releases as well, for the collectors. Which are all the reasons why I think a lot of producers want to release projects on Say Ahh!
The first record on Say Ahh! comes from Si'Ke DJs. It's called Safe House, and it will be available digitally and on vinyl at the beginning of December.
A1 Safe House (Original Mix)
A2 Safe House (Deep Dub)
B1 Say What! (Original Mix)
B2 Say What! (Deeper Dub)
Say Ahh! will release Safe House on December 6th, 2011.