‘Digital Underground’ is the culmination of Scuba’s two-part vinyl-only series entitled ‘Hardcore Heaven’. Taking influence from acts like Top Buzz, SL2, and Shades of Rhythm, the familiar collision of hard-edged beats, euphoric breakdowns, and helium vocals got a 2023 update on the first installment which dropped in April to coincide with Record Store Day UK. The sequel lands on vinyl this month from one of the UK’s most versatile and prolific producers.
Arriving on digital formats as well as CD, the mixtape expands the ideas found on ‘Hardcore Heaven’ into altered versions and additional tracks, connecting the dots between acid house, early hardcore, breaks, and techno. Throw in a few nods to early 2-step, as well as some moody vocal rubs and you have 12 tracks of uncompromising action designed specifically for the dancefloor.
Highlights include the perky ‘Tru Love’, a dynamic slice of breakbeat that takes in elements of hardcore and rave, all within the framework of Scuba’s unmistakable melodic touch. ‘Move Like Shadows’ reimagines an early-90s anthem, guided by a memorable vocal hook set against a delicate percussive backbone. A glistening cut made for euphoric dancefloor moments. ‘Pls’ is an M25 rave gem, imbued with dreamy breaks, frenetic stabs, hints of sax, and a helium rap snippet. The exultant ‘Room with a View’ will transport you to a British warehouse circa 1991 for a piano-laden odyssey. This is a ‘one more tune’ if ever there was one!
‘Hardcore Heaven II’ will drop on 29 September on vinyl, featuring alternative versions of four tracks from ‘Digital Underground’. Available via Bandcamp