Album Review | Scuba | Personality + mp3


Scuba 
PERSONALITY 
Hot Flush Recordings

bass \ bãs \ adj + tech•no \tek-nõ\ n + house \haus \ n 

Outspoken Hot Flush owner Paul Rose, a.k.a. Scuba, has never played nice with bass music's median sound. That hasn't changed with Personality—in spirit anyway. Apropos his status as a leader of the pack, Rose has always rebelled against the run of the mill of the genre he's most often erroneously tethered to; in this case, dubstep. 

That’s a mistake that can be forgiven though. Right now, the bass music scene is in such a state of flux that no one is sure where to file artists, like Scuba, who may have gotten their start dabbling with the sound but have since moved on. Preferring to mine Detroit and Chicago’s roots, the better aspects of chill-out’s musicality and even straight-ahead drum ‘n’ bass to set his productions apart, Rose has certainly moved on. 

With its steady house thump, retro hand claps and sunny disposition, last year's "Adrenaline" gave us a telling glimpse of where Scuba was heading. Where 2010's Triangulation had a sparse, moody and somewhat minimally techy feel, Scuba's sound has evolved to reveal more meat on its bones—and a lot more 4/4 beats. Syncopated rhythms still rule Personality, but the force of the Windy and Motor cities is strong in songs like "Daisy Chain" and "If U Want 2." 

Elsewhere, a classic rave feel surfaces. The rolling drums of “Action,” the electro-punk of “Gekko” and the metallic drive of lead single “Hope” reinvigorate the type of breaks-y intensity that has long propelled the Chemical Brothers or even the Prodigy. “Tulips” and the liquid “Cognitive Dissonance” are similarly nostalgic, but for Logical Progressions. With his latest, Scuba may be looking back, but he’s also moving his sound forward, and the result is as welcomingly familiar as it is unlike anything else out there. 

—Joshua P. Ferguson  

DOWNLOAD: Scuba "Flash Addict" | 320 mp3

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