High Five: Scuba
Until recently, it seemed that Hotflush label boss Paul Rose (a.k.a. Scuba) was content to quietly put together a solid 2011, dropping the "Loss" b/w "Futureunknown" single (as SCB) and the Dance for Me EP (as Spectr). Apparently, quiet wasn't actually part of the plan, as the last six weeks have seen Rose unveiling an effort to finish the year in a much grander fashion, including the release of another SCB single, a forthcoming DJ-Kicks mix, and a much-hyped new Scuba single, "Adrenalin," which came out earlier this week. The latter has particularly caught our attention with its clear nods to '80s-era electro, funk, and freestyle, so we asked Rose to put together a list of five tracks that influenced the making of the record and tell us a little bit about each one.
Midnight Star "Scientific Love"
One of my favourite bands ever, most people know them for "Operator" and "Midas Touch" and those tracks were also my way into them, but their whole catalogue is amazing, all the '80s albums are great. I've had this track on constantly for the last few months. The classic sounds are all there, but they deliver the whole thing with a proper dose of attitude.
Madonna "Lucky Star"
I always thought she was far better before she learned to sing properly. This is an amazing song, but it wouldn't sound nearly as good if she'd sung it a few years later. The bassline is unbelievable, that style of bass has been one of the things I've been playing around with over the past year or so in the studio. Plus, there's a lesson in arpeggios that some contemporary producers could learn a bit from.
Alexander O'Neil "Criticize"
Again, the bassline is what does it on the basic track here, but the chorus is absolutely unreal—when the backing vocals drop, it's just too much. Also featuring pretty much the definitive gated snare drum.
Paul Hardcastle "Nineteen"
I was given some compilation of number-one singles when I was about 10, which also had [Pet Shop Boys'] "West End Girls" on it, and I remember being totally flipped out by the vocal cut-ups. I shudder to think what a 2011 version referencing Iraq would almost certainly sound like, [at least] one that would have a hope of getting to number one these days. Yup, I'm a hater.
Pet Shop Boys "I Want To Wake Up"
Actually is by far their best album and I've had a few different favourite tracks from it over the years. I've pretty much settled on this one. It's definitely the best of the upbeat tracks on the album. The synth line that comes in towards the end gets me every time.