Review: While Hotflush may have mutated into many different forms in recent years, most would still link Scuba's label to the heady days of experimentation that fuelled dubstep's emergence. This compilation hones in on the time when wider influences were seeping into the genre with thrilling results, from Elemental's rough drum break machinations to the seminal Vex'd remix of Toasty's "The Knowledge". Elsewhere Loefah's masterful wobble on his remix of Search And Destroy is still unparalleled while Walsh & Kromestar and Jazzsteppa brought the lighter, roots influenced vibes. As a document of dubstep in full bloom, it's a worthwhile reminder for those who were there, and a valuable insight for those who weren't.
Review: The third instalment of Hotflush's compilation series drops and it's a seven year flashback to the label's most fractured, far-minded roots as Scuba's label explores their foundations on the fringes of bass and left sided echelons of dubstep. Cuts like Jamie Vex'd's almost p-funk level of bullishness on "Twitch", the loose jazz drums of Elemental's "Sparkle", even looser jazz horns of Jazzsteppa's still-filthy "Two" and Si Begg's baggy, bulbous rhythm on "Angel" represent Hotflush's consistent surges past the very forefront of the once-burgeoning genre, joining the dots and helping make sense of the stern techno cityscapes the label constructs today.
Eric H - "The Lights" (DJ Joseph remix) - (5:44) 140 BPM
Toasty - "Take It Personal" - (5:29) 93 BPM
Slaughter Mob - "Guts 'n Bones" - (4:47) 91 BPM
Scuba - "Words" - (4:52) 140 BPM
Toasty - "Like Sun" - (4:45) 137 BPM
Distance - "Empire" - (5:07) 93 BPM
Scuba - "Dream" - (4:35) 140 BPM
Review: While Hotflush is now a label known for its position at the forefront of cutting-edge club techno, it has gone through many different stages of evolution to arrive at its current sound. Scuba Presents Hotflush is a new series of compilations curated by the label boss attempting to trace the label's rich history, which goes all the way back to 2003 when the dubstep sound was just starting to explode. This first compilation - titled The Formation Years - looks at the years between 2003 and 2006, when Scuba regularly attended the seminal FWD>> night and began to release music from himself and some of the producers he met there, some of which is collected here. Those who first came into contact with Hotflush via its recent techno releases may be surprised at the intense bass pressure of tracks like Distance's "Nomad" and Toasty's "Like Sun", but the bright melodies of Scuba's "Harpoon" and the breakbeat garage of Slaughter Mob's "L'Amour" show that even at the beginning, Hotflush was never just been a straightforward dubstep label. Whether you're familiar with Hotflush or not, this compilation is an essential lesson in dubstep history.