- "I do not exclaim," Scuba tweeted a few months back in response to music journos ascribing extra enthusiasm to the producer in interview transcripts. And Paul Rose's music—techy, sullen, inward-looking—has traditionally fit this character profile: neither his dark debut album A Mutual Antipathy nor its cagey follow-up Triangulation sounded like the work of someone who speaks in exclamatory phrases. But "Adrenalin," Scuba's latest for his own Hotflush label, does. In fact, the three positively beaming slices of trancey (trancey!) techno on offer might add up to the most ebullient record of the year. Even given "Loss," his upbeat anthem (as SCB) on Aus Music that's been slaying clubs all year, and the ticklish "Feel It" from Hotflush's Back and 4th, "Adrenalin" comes as something of a shock. But does this about-face deliver?
In terms of being extremely effective and impeccably produced, absolutely. The title cut is basically "Loss" turned up to 11: a carefully snipped vocal sample once again runs the show, though the track's breakdown comes earlier and amps things up well beyond where "Loss" dared to go. A careful listen to Scuba's chords, though, reveals just a pinch of his signature glumness. Still, the track's pure uplift basically masks the morose. "Never" pairs Scuba's newfound lush synths with an electro beat that is, dare I say, kind of sexy. This formula lightens up even more on "Everywhere," a slice of '80s-indebted dance pop (dance pop!) that wouldn't sound unwelcome at an aerobics class. It'd be difficult to digest Scuba's massive stylistic shift if these weren't some of his best-produced tracks.