Hotflush head honcho Paul Rose aka Scuba is a man of many monikers and exceptional talent. Those of you with elephantine memories may recall his only previous release as Spectr, Red Hot–a booming, dubby opus that paved the way for his journey through UK electronic music back in 2003. For years he was at the forefront of London dubstep until he eventually punched his way through to the other side with 2010’s Triangulation, entering a new world of bass-heavy, garage-inflected house. Quite why he chose to resurrect Spectr at this point in time is unclear, as new tracks Dance 4 Me and I Know bear little or no resemblance to the embryonic dub of Red Hot.
That both tracks are excellent should come as no surprise. They are primed dancefloor weapons, their chunky, fragmented beats clattering under unfeasibly high pitch-shifted vocals. Dance 4 Me in particular is a great example of Paul’s new pop sensibilities, thumping along in an unmistakably club-ready way while retaining just enough of an unsteady punch to remind you of its creator’s stripped back, more past.
Like so many others before him, it seems that moving to Berlin has had a profound and lasting effect on Paul’s music. His releases as SCB betrayed his fixation with the minimal tech for which the city is famous, and this Spectr release seems to be the meeting point of the two seemingly disparate paths his music has taken. Staying firmly on the side of house music, he is nevertheless incorporating more and more garage elements back into his tracks, all the while producing some of the most compelling music you’ll hear this year.