Paul Rose, the man behind Hotflush Recordings, released his third album under his production and DJ alias, Scuba, on February 27. Coming after earlier albums such as A Mutual Antipathy (2008) and Triangulation (2010), Personality is surprisingly cheery. Followers would already have noticed the difference in sound when Scuba released the Adrenalin EP in 2011, and Personality takes a leap and lands in yet another dimension.
The album features 11 brand new tracks, moving away from the underground and appealing to a wider audience. Like the title of the album already suggests, Scuba injects his distinctive sound with electro, techno and house vibes, and brings the album to life.
Personality starts off with ‘Underbelly’, which is reminiscent of tracks on the ‘Adrenalin’ EP (2011), but ‘The Hope’ quickly undermines listeners’ expectations. Released as a free download on 6 Feb, ‘The Hope’aptly signals Scuba’s intentions to cover new ground, pushing forcefully in a fresh direction with interjections of soul amongst the droning vocals. The album, while defying expectation, is consistent in itself – most tracks follow progressive house or techno rhythms that dip at intervals to reveal trance-like echoes.
‘July’ and ‘NE1BUTU’ are, no doubt, the happiest tracks on the album.
The energy is balanced by ‘Cognitive Dissonance’, with a two-step beat that is closer to Scuba’s previous material.
‘If U Want’ closes the album on a strong note, packing a punch with the four-to-the-floor rhythm and asserting that Scuba knows exactly what he’s doing.
Overall, Personality has a lighter vibe compared to his earlier work, which may not go down well with some, but it retains the distinct, heavy atmosphere that shrouds Scuba’s music. Tracks with a bit more bite make for a more emotional experience, and perhaps this is where the album falls short. Nonetheless, Personality is nonetheless a welcome bout of energy, an enjoyable listen that will certainly please the dancefloor, and a befitting example of today’s electronic music scene, where genre is increasingly fluid.
01. Ignition Key
03. The Hope
04. Dsy Chn
07. Cognitive Dissonance