Scuba shares a new video for ‘Ants’ taken from SUB:STANCE In Retrograde, a ten-track album of previously unheard music during the early part of the five-year run of his legendary SUB:STANCE party at Berghain.
After moving from London to Berlin in 2007, Scuba embarked on a journey of cross-pollination, merging his influences to reflect both cities. This manifested itself in both his own productions and the curation of the SUB:STANCE parties at Berghain from July 2008, which brought debuts at the legendary venue from an impressive and diverse roster of artists, including James Blake, Mala, Gilles Peterson, and Mount Kimbie. SUB:STANCE opened the Berlin institution up to a new set of aesthetics over its five-year run, sparking a conversation between UK artists and Germany’s most vibrant music centre.
SUB:STANCE opened the door for a unity of sounds, which is ultimately reflected in this collection of original tracks. The party eventually spread further afield, with a residency in New York and showcases held around the world, before coming to a considered end with a final party at Berghain and Panorama Bar in July 2013, exactly five years after the first edition.
On SUB:STANCE in Retrograde, Scuba cultivates the sonic aesthetic established in the UK in the incubative period of dubstep, whilst incorporating the fruits of an exploration of textures, drum patterns and acoustics. Produced during the sessions for both his A Mutual Antipathy a nd Triangulation albums, familiar dub tropes of slowly decaying echoes and floating pads are offset with industrial synth leads, intense percussion, and cavernous space. Carefully fusing elements from the multi-layered UK scene with the singular aesthetic of Berlin, he provides a space for disparate elements to cohabit in a way that highlights their respective strengths.
Consisting entirely of unreleased music which has spent almost a decade on undisturbed hard drives, SUB:STANCE in Retrograde reflects a period of growth for Scuba, documenting an exchange of ideas that continues to unfold to this day.
‘It’s ten years since the first SUB:STANCE party, so that got me thinking about it. I was then trawling through a load of old hard drives from back around then and was surprised at how much good music there was that I hadn’t heard in years. Finished tracks as well, not just ideas. So it made sense to bring those two things together.’
Original artwork by Michael Sayles, ‘Ants’ video produced by Moving Systems.