Hotflush Recordings – the label founded by Scuba aka Paul Rose – hits its 20th anniversary in 2023 and will celebrate with a series of mixed compilations, a wide-ranging tour and a fresh collection of originals kicked off by a new collaboration between Scuba and dubstep pioneer Distance, out January 27, 2023.
Born in 2003, Hotflush stands as one of electronic music’s most influential labels. A multi-dimensional imprint that defined the development of bass music throughout the mid-2000’s, in the last decade it would evolve towards the liminal spaces between house, techno, and beyond – a journey which has given the dancefloor some of its true underground classics; from Paul Woolford’s ‘Untitled’ and Dense & Pika’s ‘Colt’, right through to ‘Hyph Mngo’, Joy Orbison’s famous debut that changed the shape of bass music forever.
Along the way, Rose would establish himself as one of the industry’s most astute tastemakers, helping to break the careers of artists including Mount Kimbie, George FitzGerald, Locked Groove, Or:la, Pangaea and Lawrence Hart. Today that deft ear for the fresh and next extends to bubbling talent such as Closet Yi and Anna Kost.
The celebratory mix series charts the history of the label and points to the future, with four compilations that each focus on a different musical angle of Hotflush and include both classic and unreleased material. The first ‘Hotflush Origins’ includes cuts from Benga, Shackleton and Boxcutter; ‘Post whatstep?’ features tracks by Mount Kimbie, Sigha, Pangaea, Or:la and early works by George FitzGerald; ‘Sidewalk Euphoria’ showcases Paul Woolford, Martyn, Mall Grab and the late great Trevino, while the final mix ‘Concrete Contradictions’ shares productions from Recondite, Agoria, Mind Against, Alan Fitzpatrick and Rose’s own Scuba and SCB aliases.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebrations, Scuba will embark on a series of new collaborations with artists including bass music’s most exciting new artist Nikki Nair, UK funky legend Roska and dubstep pioneer Distance.
SCUBA + DISTANCE ‘OPPOSITES’
A collaboration 20 years in the making, the pair met at the scene-shaping FWD>> night at Plastic People, before going on to be residents of the then-pirate station Rinse FM. Distance’s ‘Nomad / 3rd Choice’ 12” was the second ever release on Hotflush, before he’d go on to release albums on the legendary Planet Mu and launch his own imprint Chestplate Recordings. ‘Opposites’ harks back to dubstep’s fledgling pre-2006 sound and is a low-slung, atmosphere-rich beast. Stream now.
EXCERPT FROM VINYL SLEEVE NOTES
“At the end of 2002 I was a new graduate with a boring job, making music as a hobby with a fairly deep suspicion that I wasn’t very good at it. But eventually a sense of obduracy took over and even though the dim view I took of my musical output hadn’t changed, it had become a point of principle. During summer 2003, the first units of my newly formed imprint Hotflush Recording arrived. What Hotflush is, really hasn’t changed that much in two decades. It’s a place to release my own music, and other music that I like, without much thought for anything else. I am hugely and eternally grateful to everyone who has contributed to the label, through music, artwork, administration, or just buying and listening to the music itself. You have, and this is no exaggeration, made my life worth living.” – Paul Rose (aka Scuba)
In support of the digital output of the campaign, a special edition 3 x LP gatefold vinyl release will feature Hotflush classics including James Blake remixing Mount Kimbie, Paul Woolford, Or:la, and many more due out March 17, 2023.
A tour will complete the 20th anniversary celebrations taking in stops across Europe, UK and North America including cities pivotal to Hotflush’s journey encompassing London, Glasgow, Berlin, Barcelona, Munich, Bristol, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, plus more dates to TBC. Individual tour date announcements to follow via social media.
NOT A DIVING PODCAST
Rose continues his weekly conversation ‘Not a Diving Podcast’ which recently hit the one-year mark earlier this month with an interview with DVS1. The beloved podcast has gathered a loyal following since its inception in January 2022, presenting long-form conversations that have so far included Seth Troxler, Chloe Robinson, Roska, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Steffi, Cassy, Aphex Twin agent Ned Beckett, Hospital Records founder Chris Goss, Blitz Club owner David Muallem, plus a ‘Dub Warz’ series where Scuba documents bass music’s story in the US with interviews including Joe Nice, Dave Q and promoter Nicola Cacciaviallano. The podcast was also invited to be part of the official ADE program in 2022 where Scuba interviewed Ellen Allien. Future guests confirmed for the podcast include Gilles Peterson, AFEM’s Silvia Montello, Bradley Zero and Tijana T.
Listen to the full archive of podcasts here, including the latest episode with Distance.