Techno & Dubstep Producer Scuba

The founder of the prestigious Hotflush label plays alongside Germany's Kompakt and Dirtybird in London.

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London-based dubstep/techno producer and pioneer Scuba's label Hotflush Recordings held the helm of one of three rooms at last week's infamous Eastern Electrics night. Getting together with the likes of San Francisco's Dirtybird label and Germany's Kompakt, Scuba played alongside the likes of Joy Orbison, whilst room two was be at the command of wonky tech-house legends Claude VonStroke, J. Phlip, and Justin Martin versus Mulletover and the main room was headlined by the legendary Michael Mayer. 52 year-old producer and musician Thomas Fehlmann supported alongside Robag Wruhme of the 'Wighnomy Brothers' - also performing together, unfortunately not in another knitted vest and mitten get-up.

DD: Do you think the merging of dubstep and Berghain techno was a natural progression in music for you, including the SCB stuff?
Scuba: Well the SCB stuff doesn’t have much to do with Dubstep to be honest. That whole project was really just a result of being out at clubs in Berlin, mainly Panorama Bar actually, and getting into the music and the atmosphere and taking that into the studio. Generally the whole dubstep/techno thing has become a bit of a cliché, it doesn’t really have much meaning any more. All the interesting things happening in electronic music at the moment are amalgamations of various different genres anyway, not just in a bilateral sense.
 
DD: Your music often tends to be quite dark (and epic), is this intentional? What were the inspirations behind this if so?

Scuba: I don’t really see it as dark, and actually I wouldn’t say the new album is dark at all. Maybe you could say it’s introspective, but I wouldn’t call it dark. Having said that, my DJ sets can get pretty dark but that’s a different thing entirely.
 
DD: In terms of your label, how do you pick your artists? Is there a common thread that runs through all your signings or a particular sound you're looking for?
Scuba: I’ve always been able to tell a Hotflush record pretty much straight away, but there isn’t a set process to choosing what to put out. A lot of the time it flows through what I’m playing as a DJ but I find that the less dogmatic you are about the whole thing the better. It’s a cliché but the only aim the label has is to release good music, regardless of the genre. I know it’s seen as being a dubstep label, but we’ve hardly released anything that most people would call dubstep in the last couple of years.  
 
DD: What/who are you listening to at the moment? Anyone you want to work with but haven't yet?
Scuba: I’m not listening to much electronic stuff really. I was just coming back from the studio and had the first New Young Pony Club album on, and on the way there I was listening to The Immaculate Collection, and that’s pretty typical at the moment. I do check a lot of tunes just to keep up with stuff but if I’m actually going to listen to something I tend to put on an album, and there’s hardly any electronic albums worth listening to. I haven’t worked with anyone on music for over ten years and I have plans to change that at the moment.
 
DD: What's next for 2010/11?
Scuba: There’s remixes I’ve done of Phil Kieran, Booka Shade and Will Saul which will be out in the autumn, plus a new SCB 12”, and a special edition of Triangulation with a bonus CD of different interpretations of tracks from the album by myself and some other producers.


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