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British-born producer and DJ Paul Rose, best known as Scuba, explores numerous electronic genres in addition to running the cutting-edge Hotflush label. He made an impact during the early days of the dubstep scene before moving to Berlin and branching out into house, techno, and other styles. On early singles and 2008's full-length debut A Mutual Antipathy, Scuba's music was lean, minimal, and yes, aquatic, but he gradually explored higher tempos and brighter tonal colors with subsequent releases like 2012's Personality, which ventured into jungle, electro, and synth pop. Mixes for the DJ-Kicks and Fabric series further demonstrated his fusion of several club music styles. 2015's aptly named Claustrophobia marked a shift to darker techno and electro, and some of that paranoia fed into 2018's Caibu, Rose's first album as SCB. He changed gears again with 2021's Diivorce, a rock-oriented EP with London vocalist/producer DOMiNii, and he paid tribute to breaks, hardcore, and rave culture with 2023's Digital Underground. Paul Rose launched the Hotflush Recordings label in London in 2003. Its first single, "Red Hot," was produced by Rose under the moniker Spectr. He began releasing material as Scuba in 2005, while Hotflush established itself as one of the premier U.K. bass labels, expanding the scene's parameters with releases by Distance, Boxcutter, Mount Kimbie, and many others. Rose relocated to Berlin in 2007, as he had started feeling out of touch with the London scene. His debut full-length, A Mutual Antipathy, appeared in 2008, followed by the more expansive Triangulation in 2010. Sub:Stance, a mix CD named for Rose's event series at the infamous Berghain club, was released by Ostgut Ton the same year, and a volume of !K7's DJ-Kicks series followed in 2011. Rose began releasing techno and house as SCB, and his third Scuba album, 2012's Personality, was significantly more varied and optimistic than his previous work. Following health issues that necessitated a break from touring, his music moved in a darker direction with a trio of Phenix EPs in 2014, and the 2015 full-length Claustrophobia, a haunting set of techno and electro. Fabric 90, a mixture of raw techno and acid house, appeared in 2016. Scuba released several digital compilations of his early singles, as well as highlights from the Hotflush catalog. Caibu, a reflective full-length as SCB, arrived in 2018. Returning to more upbeat work as Scuba, he released a handful of singles, including "Expectations" and "Forgive Me." He then recorded an EP with DOMiNii, who provided uncredited backing vocals on "Forgive Me." Diivorce, a seven-song release drawing from '80s pop and new wave, appeared in 2021. Scuba rounded out the year with Talaria, a three-song EP for Aus Music. Scuba released two collaborations with Bakongo (aka U.K. bass producer Roska) in 2022. He then celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hotflush with a series of mixes (Hotflush Origins, Post Whatstep?, Sidewalk Euphoria, and Concrete Contradictions) as well as a vinyl compilation (20). Morph Beat and Other Stories, an EP featuring co-productions with Bakongo, Nikki Nair, and Distance, appeared in 2023. He also released two limited Hardcore Heaven EPs, taking influence from early '90s breakbeat hardcore as well as acid house and 2-step. Digital Underground, a full-length containing alternate versions of tracks from the EPs in addition to exclusive material, arrived in November.
© Paul Simpson /TiVo


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