Ireland’s premiere dubstep outlet follows up their releases from TRG, Jus Wan and Instra:mental and Breakage here with two tracks from Paul Rose that present all the hallmarks of the Hotflush Recordings boss’ work under the Scuba moniker.
It’s clear that Rose has progressed since A Mutual Antipathy. His flair for stark synthesis and apocalyptic atmosphere seep into his newer productions, and “Speak” ultimately personifies that. Rose uses the delayed cold synthesizer stabs of dub techno under his punchy drum work, layering on echo and reverb to the point of immersion. His synth work feels brittle at the top end—as if the vinyl crackles could splinter into shards at any moment—while the delayed lower frequencies create a black hole-like atmosphere that sucks you in to a meditative state.
“Negative”‘s synthesis gets paired with coursing 2-step drums and the kind of emphatic snatched female vocals that will undoubtedly win Rose new fans, but it’s when the beat stutters itself up a touch and the chiming bells come careering in at the second drop that the track really swells into a Scuba production. Rose uses the bells so sparingly that it drives you deeply in the rolling basslines, apprehensive that they may not reappear again to flesh out the drum crunch.(RA)
Label: Naked Lunch
Cat: NL 004
Format: 10″ promo
Released: 5 October, 2009