Scuba: Electronic Music Goes Underwater

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Paul Rose of Scuba

Scuba's Paul Rose reworks his song "Before" as "Before (After)," a gem worth more than the sum of its many moving parts. courtesy of the artist/Hotflush Records hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist/Hotflush Records

Tuesday's Pick

Song: "Before (After)"

Artist: Scuba

CD: Triangulation (Interpretations)

Genre: Electronic

Year after year, the U.K. cranks out forward-thinking electronic music, and Hotflush Recordings owner Paul Rose has helped make that happen. Last year, his label put out Joy Orbison's dub-step miracle "Hyph Mngo," which landed on just about every Best Of 2009 list in the electronic world, and this year, the label released Mount Kimbie's stunning avant-garde electronic album Crooks & Lovers.

Under the name Scuba, Rose also released his own album called Triangulation, a submarine ride through the murky definitions of British bass music. Now, his new album Triangulation (Interpretations) lets other artists put their own spin on his work, and has Scuba reinterpret the track "Before" as "Before (After)."

Though some of the original's elements are here, "Before (After)" conveys a far woozier vibe. Contrasting digital leads with analog textures — the song opens with laser sounds and the crackle from a needle touching vinyl — Scuba creates a song that swims its way through peaks and valleys. A percussive and incessant 1/16 note of white noise steers stretched organs over fleshy bass bumps, with a sweeping ebb and flow that drives the song's energy. Through heaps of drawn-out filtering, the artist's underwater aesthetic is on display: He's rounded the edges of the original's buildups and breakdowns with delayed reverb that leaves the cut sopping wet. Topped with an adorning vocal that evokes a strobe-like feeling of suspension, Scuba has provided a focal point for a track worth more than the sum of its many moving parts.



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