Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scuba interview

With the rising excitement at camp Allsorts in anticipation of the Espionage feat. Scuba, Ras G, Logistics and Total Eclipse gig on the 24th July, we thought it would be a great time to speak to Scuba and find out a little bit about what he's been doing recently and why he upped sticks and moved to Berlin. You can catch us both playing at the Espionage gig and you'd be mad to miss one of the most innovative and exciting DJs, producers and record label bosses around!

You have successfully revitalised Hot Flush in difficult times to be one of the most important dance music labels, what do you attribute this success to?

I think fundamentally it’s about releasing distinctive music. What we’ve been putting out of the last couple of years doesn’t sound like anything else and that’s what makes people react.

Did you realise immediately that you were onto a winner with Joy Orbison?

His music is very accessible and of course we realised that immediately, but it’s impossible to predict when something catches a wave to the extent that Hyph Mngo did; it just snowballed. It was quite interesting watching the whole thing develop and seeing people who you’d never think would play a Hotflush record jumping on it just because someone else was playing it. It seems like quite a cynical process when you look at it like that, and of course it is.

Has the success of Joy Orbison put you in pole position to promote newer acts, in the same way that Hyperdub had with Burial?

As a label Hotflush has always been about finding new artists and giving them a platform, from Distance and Boxcutter to Mount Kimbie and Joy Orbison, it’s just something we’ve always looked to do. Obviously when people are paying you a lot of attention then it’s easier to introduce unfamiliar elements, but the aim of the label from the start was to be diverse so again it’s nothing new, but of course it’s better if more people are listening.

Your own album Triangulation just came out and seems to have captured a point in time in current bass music perfectly, have you been surprised with its success?

I’m pleased that people like it. I was pretty happy with it when I got the final masters back, it’s definitely a step forward from the first album.

You have moved to Berlin and started up your night Substance there, what was your main motivation for that move?

I was bored of London. Berlin is an interesting place with a lot going on in terms art and music so it seemed a good place to try and I’ve been enjoying it. We started the SUB:STANCE night at Berghain 2 years ago and it was the first proper big bass music party in the city and the reaction from the first one was amazing. It’s the best club in the world and it’s an honour to put on a night there.

What differences do you see with the scene and punters in Berlin, as opposed to the UK?

Berlin is less of a rave city. London has no club scene now, it’s dead. You have big raves where people get wasted and jump around and you have tourist places and that’s pretty much it. There’s no proper club scene like there used to be ten years ago or so. Berlin is the opposite to that.

Bass music, and particularly Dubstep, seems to us to be developing and evolving really quickly. Where do you see this progression going and where do you fit into this?

Parts of Dubstep are still interesting but the mainstream has been treading water for three years now. There are some interesting things going on, especially in the UK – in spite of lack of club scene the most interesting music still comes from London. Hotflush as a label will continue to take music from any areas we find interesting, I find it ridiculous when labels release the same 12” ten times in a row – what’s the point? In terms of production I’m enjoying making house and techno stuff but I’ve also been making some “proper” Dubstep recently.

What are your plans for SCB? Is there an album on the horizon?

I’ve been doing some remixes and working on a few tracks, no bigger plans are concrete at this stage.


Be sure to catch Scuba playing Espionage at Roxanne Parlour (Melbourne) on the 24th of July, also staring Ras G, Logistics and Total Eclipse.

Scuba on Myspace