Q+A: Scuba - Features - Mixmag

Q+A: Scuba

Got techno?

  • Dave Jenkins
  • 12 February 2016

After a tough tail-end to 2014, during which he had to take six months off, UK-born, Berlin-based techno craftsman Scuba booted down the doors of 2015 and ensured its status as vintage. His well received fourth album ‘Claustrophobia’ saw him poke and prod the widest realms of the genre, and enjoy a decorated remix album. DJ-wise he was an unavoidable force, touring the world with a strong presence in Ibiza throughout the summer, while his label Hotflush made similarly strong noises with its own radio show and releases from Paul Woolford, Auden, Shall Ocin and Alan Fitzpatrick. This year has been kicked off with an equally vigorous bang by the man known more formally as Paul Rose: he’s taking over London’s XOYO every Saturday from January to March for 12 Weeks Of Techno, during which he’ll be inviting the widest range of techno artists to play including Shackleton, Chris Liebing, Matthew Dear, Kenny Larkin, Nicole Moudaber and many more. It’s a unique project that we needed to know more about. But first, we asked about a Twitter campaign he instigated late last year. Fed up of witnessing DJs campaigning, sniping and screaming for attention in a certain DJ poll, he jokingly offered fans a bump of ket for every vote. Naturally we needed to know a bit more about that, too…

So… er… fancy a cheeky bump?

No comment! My whole point was that end-of-year polls are a distraction from what we’re all trying to do. Every year it seems to get worse. This time round it was at parody proportions.

You also triggered a pretty mature discussion about drugs and alcohol while making your point…

Drugs are drugs, we all know people take them in the scene. But alcohol is the real elephant in the room in terms of public health. It’s the one that does the majority of the damage, yet it’s socially accepted. I’m not proposing we have alcohol-free clubs but I think it’s an area where personal responsibility seems to go out of the window, and it seems to be acceptable for artists in our position to fan the flames of it in a way that people would never do with drugs.

You’ve had quite a destructive relationship with alcohol haven’t you?

Yes. I had health issues last year which weren’t a direct result of alcohol but I was advised to give up everything for six months. In my last Mixmag interview I said ‘I’m nearly an alcoholic’ and I got criticised for being a little flippant about that. But having a drink problem doesn’t necessarily mean a bottle of vodka before breakfast. It can be a lot more subtle than that. Issues with alcohol can affect you in a range of ways, and the way I faced up to my issues wasn’t the most desirable way – sitting on my arse doing nothing under doctor’s orders. I’m much more realistic about my relationship with alcohol now. In hindsight I would’ve phrased that a bit differently because it’s a complex and much-misunderstood issue that affects different people in different ways.

You wrote ‘Claustrophobia’ during that six months, didn’t you?

I did. For the first three months I was literally in bed and couldn’t do anything. Then I started doing a few shows and getting into the studio for a few hours every day. At first it wasn’t much fun; I was really ill and it was pretty hellish at points. But now I can be much more philosophical about the whole thing.

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