Various Hidden Treasures

"Eclectic" doesn't sum it up where Philadelphia's King Britt is concerned. The DJ, producer and driving force behind Sylk 130 has an incredible passion for music. Over the years he's brought us funk, soul, house, electro, hip-hop, pop and loads more, demonstrating an affinity not only for his Philly roots, but also his forward-minded UK friends. Born from a 1995 mushroom trip, Britt's Scuba pseudonym is all about new textures in music making, with his deep, soulful and vastly layered sounds connecting him most closely to the West London broken beat posse. Hidden Treasures, a collection of Scuba remixes for artists, including 4 Hero, UFO, Fantastic Plastic Machine and I:Cube, showcases Britt's ability to climb inside an original and take it further. "Tress Cun Deo La," a Ski Oakenfull original, gets a respectful, loving remix where beats and sparse electro sounds slide in and build beautifully with the vocals. Karma's "High Priestess" classic is reworked into a subtle, slippery and sensual whole, with the added vocals of Philly producer/singer Vikter Duplaix. It just doesn't get any deeper than the Scuba mix of Soul Dharma's "Flower." A definitive marker in the young history of broken beat music, this one features crazy, heavy beats, sustained vocals, dramatic builds and layer upon layer of sound. But it's the Scuba originals included here that have me especially hyped; from the previously unreleased future pop of "If I Lost You" to the quirky, hooky and early Scuba release "Heavenly," Britt demonstrates his gorgeous depth. "Swell," an original featuring Duplaix on vocals, seals the deal. Full of harmonies, thick beats and touches of acoustic guitar, this dreamy "aqua paradise" of a tune adds to the anticipation for the two Scuba artist albums set to come on Om. (Easy Star)