Review Summary: The Outsider
It’s obvious that Scuba spends his time rummaging around intensively in garbage littering dark alleyways, always somehow managing to unearth delightful treasures instead of pure filth before returning to the light. Taking these pieces, he crafts them with masterly precision into the eleven sprawling and often captivating musical artefacts that make up A Mutual Antipathy
. Without a doubt, the key weapon in Scuba’s arsenal is restraint; dozens of dichotomous sounds resonate across the aural canvas without ever sounding cluttering or forced. The twilight playground of Tell Her
features quivering gasps of piano that murmur tremulously as the dying rays of burning synths attempt to placate the battering darkness of last gasp industrial percussion; Scuba modus operandi is to replace stereotypically overwhelming monsoons of bass with haunting soundscapes or juddering melodies that give his works a moody, poignant yet still crushing atmosphere.
Indeed, this can’t be called a club album in the usual sense; it’s more of soundtrack to dark journeys along dimly lit corridors: shadowy silhouettes fade in and out of the scattered light pouring reluctantly from a naked bulb whilst whispered conversations reverberate through the shimmering air. Miraculously, there’s also not a single ‘drop’ to be found; a refreshing change in a genre that’s well known for it’s often unbearable, tsunami like waves of sound.
Scuba’s hometown of London has always been synonymous with filth and squalor, physically as well as musically; drum n bass, garage and dubstep are bastard orphan children with a common love of dirt and grime that stains their mischievous faces as they run amok through the soiled streets. When it comes to his adopted city of Berlin, however, it is apparent that good money has been spent on keeping the streets spotless and children in school.
Scuba’s debut treads a careful path in between the unfathomable depths of these two mammoth mazes, steering clear of the hooded vandals whilst still unavoidably treading in the dark stains that shimmer like oily tear drops leaking from the chewing gum pimpled scars of the pavement; ostracized by both communities, he’s forced to walk alone, an outsider, teetering over the dual abyss.
Fingers crossed he doesn’t trip.