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As one of dubstep’s patriarchs, super-smart producer Paul Rose is not unlike the distanced icon that Good Lookin’ Records’ figurehead LTJ Bukem cut during the drum ’n’ bass boom of the mid to late 90s. And like Bukem in his heyday, Rose has not only helped to shape a genre’s sound in its formative years with his own productions, but he’s also provided a platform that’s allowed a raft of young producers to set the agenda.
Two years back, Berlin-based Brit Scuba blurred the line between UK dubstep and German techno with his second album, but recently he’s pursued a more euphoric club sound. In a similar vein to the bass-driven Balearica of last year’s singles ‘Adrenaline’ and ‘Loss’, ‘Personality’ comprises 11 powerhouse anthems that take a further step out from the underground.
Likely to polarise opinion, ‘NE1BUTU’, ‘The Hope’ and ‘If You Want’ sit somewhere between ‘Xpander’-era Sasha and the heavier end of the early-noughties nu-breaks scene. Despite comparison to two defunct movements, it’s these hedonistic tracks that shine, in contrast to more reserved cuts such as ‘Gekko’, ‘Underbelly’ and ‘Cognitive Dissonance’. Percussively similar to a purpose-made track created for his DJ Kicks mix last year, ‘Action’ resoundingly marks the album’s high point, opener ‘Ignition Key’ also being of note.
And while the bold brush strokes of ‘Personality’ may alienate some hardened purists, it may just turn out to be the defining release of Scuba’s career. ‘Personality’ is clearly aimed at a more mainstream audience. Does this mean Scuba is this year’s Magnetic Man? Perhaps, but what remains undeniable is the slick aplomb with which it is executed.
File Under Scuba diving
Download ‘Action’, ‘The Hope’, ‘Ignition Key’
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