Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Scuba - Speak/Negative [Naked Lunch]

The resurgence of garage beats in dubstep recently seems to have permeated far beyond the immediate confines of the ‘what you call it?’ London lot – even as far as Berlin, as Scuba’s new EP on Naked Lunch is drenched in London dance atmospherics.

The past twelve months have been good to Paul Rose. Not only has his recent music has been scattered all over with scant regard for genre boundaries, from the driving techno pulse of ‘Klinik’ to the diffuse atmospheres of his A Mutual Antipathy full length, but his label Hotflush has been going from strength to strength, given a handy profile boost by the man-of-the-moment Joy Orbison’s anthem ‘Hyph Mngo’. Still, even by Rose’s own lofty standards he’s really outdone himself with his latest 12” of new material.

‘Speak’ continues the trend for warped, washing Berlin grayscale over muted but skipping beat patterns – yet in typical Scuba style it really doesn’t sound like anyone else, prioritising tangible and eerie urban landscaping above the forceful drive of his closest contemporaries. Yet it’s ‘Negative’ that sucks the breath abruptly from your body when its gorgeous, phantom two-step beat and looped, cyclic female vocal hits in full force. At 2562’s album launch party at Corsica Studios last Friday it made an appearance early in the evening and literally immersed the small crowd in aquatic vibes – physically drowning in sound. Combined with the lights drawing slow-moving blue trails across the walls ceiling and floor it was an experience akin to total sensory deprivation, for a blissful few seconds spent somewhere between outer and inner space. It’s by far the most compulsive track Rose has ever produced and will take some beating - by himself or by anyone else - for my favourite of the year.

Still, it might just happen. His new Aesaunic EP is due to drop on October 19th and it sounds set to be pretty incredible. Hotflush have issued a four-minute preview of the entire EP on Youtube – the vibe seems to fit his recent chameleon like productivity, ranging from ‘Negative’ style garage explorations to slow and considered 4/4.

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