Release Date: Mar 23, 2015
Record label: Hotflush
Scuba, a.k.a. Paul Rose, got his start making dubstep in the now-classic sense—heads-down, skunked-out, half-time steppers—but as UK dubstep evolved into "bass music," Scuba seemed the likeliest candidate to graduate to festival main stages. After a string of singles whose titles spoke to his newfound ambitions—"Adrenalin", "Flash Addict", "Hardbody"—he capped off his transformation with 2012's Personality, which married his sumptuous sound design to ecstatic piano house riffs, thundering four-to-the-floor bangers, and echoes of the Chemical Brothers' stadium-filling big beat.
The influence that Scuba – aka Paul Rose – has exerted on the UK electronic music scene over the past ten years as producer, DJ and label head is so significant it’s hard to believe there’s only a single man behind the moniker. During the early noughties he was a key figure in the rise of dubstep, producing one of the scene’s best LPs in Triangulation. He’s subsequently released a consistent supply of original material, played a five-year residency at the Berghain, and worked out with Recondite, whilst his handiwork as founder and label-head of Hotflush, though not so explicitly his own, is even more impressive.
Paul Rose is one of the last remaining purists in a genre was once known as dubstep. As many of his contemporaries (SBTRKT, Rustie) have moved on to poppier territories, adding big name vocalists to the mix, Rose (a. k.
Paul Rose spent the last few years going as big as he possibly could. It worked: Scuba became one of techno's biggest names, and a regular in Ibiza. But amidst the game of chicken he seemed to be playing with his audience at one point—with shamelessly big-room tracks like "Hardbody" and "The Hope"—his music plateaued into generically crowd-pleasing club music.
The balance between artistic integrity and commercial success has always been a fine one to tread in the pressurised world of underground music, now more so than ever as the economic stakes have become more polarised. Social media-based hype further exacerbates an already existing problem: minute changes in direction are micro-scrutinised and commented on, often to the point of exaggeration, and leave artists little room to maneuver. It's difficult to think of a producer whose career has been more spent between these forces than Paul Rose.