On his third release, Paul Rose (aka Scuba) delivers something much flashier than anything his past may hint at. There’s no doubt that Personality is a techno album rooted in house, but it also finds Rose delving into more body-moving sounds than his darker tendencies would show. Beginning with “Ignition Key”, we hear a monologue in a low voice: “We are all unique. Or are we?” Over the course of Personality, the world of Scuba opens up, a world where synths pump like it’s 1985 and dance music production is best left to those who know more than just how to press play.
“Cognitive Dissonance” is as wobbly as it gets on Personality, but in the post-dubstep era, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here it only serves to remind us that Scuba was a key player, but he is successfully redefining himself. As he resurfaces, he ditches some of the older, beat-heavy sounds in favor of some sleek ’80s synthesizers and much more vocal sampling, as exemplified by “July” and “Ignition Key”.
“The Hope” feels retro, with its disco and soul samples, yet it finds Scuba establishing a new sense of ambition, all behind the down-pitched vocals that repeat, “Got the hope, got the hope.” Likewise, “NE1BUTU” is a perfect hint of what he’s capable of and what kinds of directions this disc could lead to.
As Scuba navigates a new sound for himself, he has his fellow house-heavy Hotflush label mates to encourage his adaptation. This is just a starting point, but it’s obvious he’s found his footing.
Essential Tracks: “The Hope”, “NE1BUTU”, and “July”