17 August 2011

Scuba - Adrenalin

Scuba - Adrenalin (Hot Flush, 26th September)

It's no secret that Shallowrave has a bit of a thing for Scuba - as well as keeping the truly epic Hotflush record label turning out next-big-thing after next-big-thing, Paul Rose's role in bringing together the globe's different strands of bass music is second only to that of Kode9, and frankly, Aesaunic is a better single work than anything Goodman's managed. Seriously.

His latest offering, a 3-track EP on Hot Flush, once again utterly nails it; welding the broken glamour of UK garage onto a framework of purist Detroit beats and widescreen synths, it's a rich, euphoric piece of work that channels all the best bits of dub , R'n'b, techno and hip-hop into a seething dancefloor mess. Casting aside Scuba's previous propensity for cloying bass and Berghain-inflected doominess, Adrenalin occupies a weird mid-ground between Joy O and Carl Craig, with it's crisp, floaty synths, vocal samples and garagey bassline sneaking along in the background. It's dead on the money and sets the tone for two more monsters. In contrast, Never rips wholesale from the best of Afrika Bambaata, layering up that boom-bap with some gloriously rich synth lines and building a brilliantly twisted take on London garage. Closing the record, Everywhere sets up a beautiful piano riff that ultimately ends up a bit of a let down when the drums and vocal sample comes in and it gets all Prince. It's by no means a bad track, but the B-side just cries out for a dark and mangled dub, rather than a third dose of 808-driven uber-house. Good work from Scuba, and definitely his most dancefloor-centred to date.

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