Scuba – Triangulation review

Artist: Scuba
Title: Triangulation
Label: Hotflush Recordings
Genre: Dubstep/Grime, Techno
Format: CD, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

“Triangulation is a way of assuring the validity of research results through the use of a variety of research methods and approaches.”

This may sound a bit of a dry way to start a review of one of the most musically interesting albums of the year so far. However, this ethos is at the heart of Berlin-based Hotflush founder, Scuba’s new album. Moving away from the “dubstep/techno crossover” pigeon hole, and from the sound of his moody, atmospheric debut album Mutual Antipathy in 2008, Triangulation moves between a range of tempos, referencing house, techno, experimental D&B, dubstep, garage and all the unexplored, ever-shifting territory between these constellations.

Beginning the album with a crackle of meditative, minimal atmospherics and soft breathy echoes, interspersed with sharp, immediate gunshot bleeps, Scuba moves effortlessly between one track and another. Drifting smoothly between meditative moments, dribbling synths and shuffling breaks in tracks like “Minerals” (also featured in his recent Sub:Stance mix album), “Descent” and “Latch”, as well as heavier numbers with a thumping, hypnotic beat, warm horns and jarring SFX, like “Heavy Machinery”, the album itself is an ever-evolving organic structure, not at all estranged from the dancefloor, by any stretch. “Three Sided Shape” plays again on the triangle motif, developing from a warm, indistinguishable glow of white noise, into the hum of a single organ-like sound, with tapping hi-hats and sweeping atmospherics slowly building into a deep, pulsating number which instantly draws comparisons to the work Joy Orbison. Drawing to a close with the beautiful “Lights Out”, it’s a perfect end to the album. An album which makes a poignant sonic commentary on where electronic music is right now and where it is likely to go in the future. An album which you’ve simply got to own.

Review: Belinda Rowse