- Scuba's mnml ssgs mix of August last year, proffered under his then shady SCB moniker, was—and is—rightly regarded as amongst 2009's best podcasts. Betraying an increasingly pervasive techno fixation (inevitable, considering he now lives in Berlin), it nevertheless remained true to the ex-Londoner's dubstep roots, culminating in Joy Orbison's UKG-fuelled "Tentative Bidding" and never quite collapsing into out-and-out 4/4 chuggery. It was there where we first heard the shimmering chords of "20_4," now pressed to wax alongside the equally anonymous "3_5," and much the same ethos is in evidence: It's techno, for sure, but—to coin a term oft employed by his local record store—"subs driven," built as much for spliff-scarred bass bins as hi-tech laser rigs.
It's a dynamic which worked beautifully on Aesaunic, its sprawling title track sitting almost perfectly on the now heavily quarried techno/dubstep interstice. "20_4" is perhaps a little more gung-ho than that, offering swung hats, skittering rim-taps and a lumbering 4/4 thud, and "3_5"—as "nu-Detroit" as anything Luke Hess has ever done—even more so. But the tension remains, perhaps most pointedly in Scuba's increasingly soft-centred melodic touch, which here manifests as a kind of wispful abandon that, for all its hedonistic appeal (and people will get messy to this), can't quite shed that distinctly British sense of post-Rave melancholy so integral to his—and, by proxy, his label's—development. Balearic techno with a rainy soul, SCB001 is yet more evidence of Rose's scene-shaping status—his Sub:stance event sets the standard in discerning bass music—and about the best thing to come out of Berlin's encounter with the Continuum (or should that be vice versa?) since Shed's head-on collision two years back.