Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review: Scuba - Triangulation...

Triangulation (definition): The location of an unknown point.

What initially strikes me upon listening to Scuba’s sophomore effort however is that the Hot Flush Records boss knows exactly where he’s at. Despite running his own label (home to recent critical faves Mount Kimbie), holding a residency at Berlin’s legendary Berghain and releasing music under two different monikers (SCB is his more techno orientated sound), Paul Rose has managed to produce an album that stands out as one of the best of the year.

While Rose may move between the boundaries of electronic music, there is still a unifying theme to his productions. Pressure, depth and melody are often present, and whether the track in particular leans towards dubstep, techno, or (more recently) drum n bass, it’s always very ‘Scuba-ish’. These three genres do provide the backbone to the album, but they’re blended so well that it would be unfair to categorise it as anything other than ‘post-dubstep’ and leave it at that.

After opener Descent informs us that we’re in for some deep listening, second track Latch explodes into action after a relaxed start with a half-step drum pattern and mounting synth line. Minerals employs the sound of dripping water as a percussion tool, while You Got Me takes the heaviest stab at drum n bass of any track on the album.

Album highlight Before comes thumping out of the speakers with a beat that would snap your neck if it weren’t so, well, ambient. A chopped-up vocal sample provides the hook, and the synths provide an aural signpost that is completely recognisable after only one listen. So You Think You’re Special provides an uplifting counterpoint to the darker tracks on the record, containing as it does the lines ‘Here you’ll find the one/Here in the sun’.

All told, Triangulation is a beguiling, cohesive album that more than justifies being listened to as a whole, and only on repeat listens does it reveal hitherto unseen intricacies and depths that are simply hinted at with a cursory glance. A must for any discerning fan of music, electronic or otherwise.

Crabs out of 5: 4.5

Buy it at Boomkat