Hotflush & Scuba revisit the seminal Sub:stance era 2008-2013


One of the pivotal moments in UK dubstep in the first decade of this century was the merging of it with techno in Berlin. In many ways this breathed new life into the long running Berlin-London-Detroit (and Kingston) axis. Sub:stance ran at Berghain from 2008 to 2013 hosted by Scuba and Spymania’s Paul Fowler – creating a vital interchange between artists and producers between (mostly) London and Berlin. By the time it closed on its fifth anniversary in 2013, the sonic fruits of these fusions could be heard across many microgenres, sounds and productions – not to mention the evolution of scenes. But beyond the output of those involved and influenced by Sub:stance the only musical documents of the club were Scuba’s mix for Ostgut Ton in 2010 and a six track vinyl-only boxset Sub:stance 072008 072013 with exclusives from Appleblim, Scuba, Martyn, Addison Groove, John Osborn and Trveino.

This is all being rectified with three releases from Hotflush. First up is a remaster of Scuba’s 2008 A Mutual Antipathy which was recorded during his move from London to Berlin and is full of the possibilities of that era. The remaster comes packaged with a slew of associated remixes that were previously on seperate EPs. Next is a Scuba’s Sub:stance In Retrograde which is a ten tracker comprised of Scuba’s unreleased tracks recorded during the Sub:stance period between and at the recording sessions for A Mutual Antipathy (2008) and Triangulation (2010).

Finally, and perhaps most exciting, is the a 29 track compilation – Sounds of Sub:stance – full of the sounds of the era from Shackleton, Vex’d, Untold, TRG, Mala, Skream, Peverelist, Instra:mental and many others. Most of these are either exclusive or previously vinyl only and is a real treat for those who want to reminisce about that fertile period, or those who want to backtrack through the evolution of sounds.

The tracklist is all fire.

01. Mala – Eyez
02. Matty G – 50,0000 Watts
03. Vex’d – Titan Rain
04. 2nd II None – Waterfallz (Peveralist Remix)
05. Trevino – Derelict
06. Scuba – Ripchord
07. Skream – Ain’t It Cold
08. Shakleton – Torn Skin
09. Toasty – Skinny
10. Appleblim – Darkest Red
11. Instra:mental – Vicodin
12. Scuba – Eject
13. TRG – Mercury Dub
14. Mala – Stand Against War
15. Search & Destroy – Wavescape (Vex’d Remix)
16. Addison Groove – Forgiven
17. Sepalcure – Feeling That I know So Well
18. Boddika – Syn Chron
19. Roska – Schmuck
20. Trevino – Tracer
21. Untold – Winding Shott
22. Shackleton – Live Dawn (version)
23. Vex’d vs Search & Destroy – End Of Line
24. Matty G – The 808 Bass
25. Jon Convex – Pop That P
26. Untold – Rainbow Dell
27. TRG – Make Everything Alright
28. John Osbourn – All Night Long
29. Search & Destroy – Blue Mantra

Stream three tracks below.

A Mutual Anitpathy is out 19th October, Sub:stance In retorgrade is out 2nd November, and Sounds of Substance is out 23 November.


About Author

Seb Chan founded Cyclic Defrost Magazine in 1998 with Dale Harrison. He handed over the reins at the end of 2010 but still contributes the occasional article and review.