With a DJ mix program, there's always a very fine line to be navigated: it's the one that separates seamlessness from monotony. On the one hand, you want the tracks to flow cleanly from one into the other, which implies the necessity of careful beat matching and artful use of the fader -- but a consistent tempo means the risk of tedium. Lock yourself into a specific style (house or dubstep or techno) for 76 minutes and you compound the risk of boring everyone in the room. DJ Scuba is a master at avoiding that problem. Despite having made his name on the dubstep scene, Scuba roams all over the place on his contribution to the DJ-Kicks series, hinting at his roots more than embracing them. The 32 tracks presented here range from thumpy house (Sigha's "Let Me In," Arkist's pretty but rather tedious "Rendez-Vous [SCB Edit]") to juddering dubstep (Badawi's "Lost Highway [Incyde Remix]," Sigha's "Where I Come to Forget") with stops along the way in neighborhoods that are harder to identify: Braille's "Breakup" incorporates slippery beats and orchestral synthesizers to weird and fascinating effect, while Scuba himself and Jichael Mackson both contribute examples of what can really only be called meat-and-potatoes electro-funk. Throughout it all runs a deeply dubwise aesthetic: vocals are used only in scraps and as decoration, while booming echo and infinitely regressive delay define enormous sonic spaces. Scuba has achieved something hard to define with this mix program, and that's part of what makes it so enjoyable. ~ Rick Anderson, Rovi
Track samples provided courtesy of iTunes
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