Scuba
Triangulation


3.5
great

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
April 14th, 2010 | 21 replies | 8,502 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If Will Bevan was the prophet, Paul Rose is a most loyal apostle.

It's a grotesque over-simplification, but broadly speaking, dubstep fans in 2010 can be split into two camps. The first became fans by osmosis; they're clubbers who graduated from ecstacy and cocaine to ketamine and watched the grime and garage they were listening to transform into dubstep over the course of months, at the same clubs they go to. The second is the stay-at-home type, who reads The Wire, downloads as much of the stuff as they can, and then strokes their beard at how interesting it all is.

It would also be a misleading generalization to suggest that Burial is hated by the former and loved by the latter; certainly, there are plenty of people from both camps who dismiss him as not being part of the genre to begin with, while I've been to clubs and seen "Archangel" get the same kind of rapturous reception as "Midnight Request Line". Yet there's no denying that he, more than anybody, moved the music out of the clubs and into another realm entirely, one two steps removed from the drug culture that gave birth to the genre in the first place. It was a natural progression that would almost certainly have happened anyway (by taking the spooked urban loneliness that underpinned so much of the genre's early music and making it completely obvious to everybody that hadn't spotted it, he effectively did exactly what Mat Weddle did when he covered "Hey Ya!"), but now he's broken the doors down, the genre is only going to move in that direction more and more, and the ravers are going to lose something that, only a few short years ago, was entirely theirs.

So Scuba must be the dubstep club's worst nightmare. He's the first major dubstep artist to appear that is inspired 100% by Burial and 0% by everybody else.

Like Untrue and Burial, Triangulation is an album with precisely 0 chest-rattling drops, in a genre where drops are the number-one defining feature. "Before" and especially "Latch" ape the style of tracks like "Distant Lights" so well that it's actualy surprising when the trademark pitch-shifted, heavily EQed vocals don't arrive. Searching for anything beneath the surface that really links this to a Benga or a Caspa or even a Pinch is a fruitless task - this keeps the hardcore, OG fans at arm's length. He only really breaks from Burial's influence when he breaks from dubstep entirely - "On Deck" is so far away from 2-step that it's tempting to start singing Beni Bennasi's "Satisfaction" over the top of it, "Heavy Machinery" is pretty much just a reggae track, and despite a slightly awkward rhythm, I can't help but feel that "You Got Me" would sound more at home on a funky house mixtape than a dubstep one. Otherwise it treats 2006's Burial as a holy text.

Is that a bad thing? Not really; good music is good music no matter what or who it sounds like, and this is definitely good music. Scuba has a firm, impressive grasp on his atmospherics, and each one of the more distant, ambient tracks is perfectly handled. He manages one grandstand track, too, in the shape of "So You Think You're Special?". This track could become canonical, and it'd deserve it, too - while you can still tell that this is a track by a Burial fan (check some of the "Ghost Hardware"-referencing percussion) the stadium rock drums, the slowly building synths and glitches, and the stuttered, wistful vocals make this a truly unique track, quite unlike anything that has yet come out of the scene. It's another step into crossover territory, perhaps, but it's a seriously excellent way to take that step.

A lot of people have found themselves drawn to dubstep because of its constant evolution; no matter how identikit a lot of the major acts are, there's always something harder, heavier, or more experimental to be found somewhere. If your enjoyment of the genre depends on the thrill of finding those acts, then you're probably going to look down your nose at Triangulation. Still, that's your loss; I've always been a firm believer that it's better to copy the best and succeed than it is to be completely original and fail. There are literally hundreds of dubstep records around that are more original than this, but how many are this good? Dozens. If that.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wish
April 14th 2010



262 Comments


Sounds good.

joshuatree
Emeritus
April 14th 2010



3743 Comments


have this but haven't listened yet. seems i'd like this because i'm the type that reads The Wire, downloads as much of the stuff as they can, and then strokes their beard at how interesting it all is


Roach
April 14th 2010



2149 Comments


this will probably be really good

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 14th 2010



30873 Comments


Must acquire

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

SmurkinGherkin
April 14th 2010



1769 Comments


i prefer the 'other' dubstep

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
April 14th 2010



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dig this a lot.

sgrevs
April 15th 2010



698 Comments


Sounds like something I should listen to. Nice write-up.

2muchket!
April 15th 2010



900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I keep trying to explain to people the way dubstep is going down two paths but I always fall short of fully explaining exactly what I mean, something you do amicably.

Oh and this is amazing btw, almost on par with his first album.

steveosk8s
April 16th 2010



135 Comments


See, i like to simplify dubstep into two categories: wonky dubstep, and headphone dubstep.

wonky dubstep is 99% of the stuff you hear in clubs, its the stuff popular with american teenagers and played all over the world.

headphone dubstep is stuff like clubroot, burial, scuba, etc.. basically all the ethereal, blissed out stuff thats great for chilling to.

i HATE wonky dubstep. so much of it is absolute garbage. some can be done right but very rarely. most of it nearly completely forgoes anything resembling a melody and just decides to assault your ears with nothing but wonky bass and nothing more. it's too simplistic as well.



steveosk8s
April 16th 2010



135 Comments


how to tell what kind of dubstep you like:

wonky:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oes2c3i0Ddw

headphone dubstep:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuOLitbRozI

TheWayfarerElectric
April 16th 2010



154 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

James Blake is still better.

deadinholywood
April 16th 2010



238 Comments


I love the headphone dubstep but when done right (which seems to be rarely) the wonky dubstep is killer.
Nice review

2muchket!
April 18th 2010



900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The emerging scene in Scandinavia and Israel is very interesting also I think.

Borgore, Shekel and Tomba especially are producing some great tunes atm.

deadinholywood
April 19th 2010



238 Comments


I will check the other two out but sorry, Borgore is rubbish

shablaman54
December 24th 2010



281 Comments


great review, excited because you mentioned burial as his 100% influence, about to listen now

Deathcar
April 22nd 2011



1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is pretty average really, some cool moments, but lots of others do this post-dub/garage thing much better.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 22nd 2011



30873 Comments


Get outta here with that post talk

WashboardSuds
April 22nd 2011



4984 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

been meaning to check this one out

Digging: Acid Bath - When the Kite String Pops

IAMERROR
February 29th 2012



219 Comments


I'll look into this one. Scuba hasn't captivated me as much as the others from this genre, so I'm hoping this new album might do that for me.

scissorlocked
April 8th 2012



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yep this is pretty good

Digging: John Roberts - Ausio



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