SCB: 20_4 / Hard Boiled VIP (SCB)
SCB is the more straight up minimal techno alias of dubstep producer Paul Rose. Rose raised the bar for dubstep with his Triangulation and ensuing Interpretations releases under the Scuba moniker in 2010, and one might consider these two 12" releases under the name variant SCB to be a further distillation of his process. It’s Triangulationdivided by three, removing the broken beat and more downtempo elements of Scuba’s repertoire and focusing in on the clean, minimal dancefloor sounds that remain. But he’s not content to just let it be pure machine music — he still lends it a distinctly human touch by layering on concrete sounds as accents, punctuating phrases with what could be slamming doors, dropping objects, scraped textures. His first SCB record combines smooth chords and patterns with crisp, clear rhythm tracks. "20_4" is a tidy minimal workout, layered with cascading effects and delicate, delayed chords. Its hi-hat is the most insistent element, making it not only incredibly mix-friendly but also giving it a little more urgency than it would have otherwise. Its flipside, “3_5,” shares much in common, with a healthy dose of droning atmosphere overhead, hanging like a fog that slightly obscures what’s ahead without detracting from its utility. Rose’s newer SCB 12" consists of a track that’s similarly smooth up against another that’s a little leaner and tougher. "Hard Boiled VIP" is sleek by design, full of light, repetitive chords and reverb, but anchored by a nice punchy rhythm track once it hits a stride halfway through. Its flipside, “28_5,” is more no-nonsense, a tougher track that would be quite effective as a DJ tool. These records are definitely aimed more at the DJ and minimal techno crowd, with less broad appeal than his brilliant work as Scuba, but I see them also as a logical extension and exploration of some of that repertoire. I hope he continues to pursue these various facets of his sound, which ultimately will only further inform his body of work to come.