Sunday, 15 January 2012

SBTRKT's Eponymous Album

An electronica, bass heavy and vocally soothing album with thanks to the extraordinary singers Sampha, Little Dragon, Jessie Ware and Roses Gabor. The London musician and producer responsible for this masterpiece works under the sudoname SBTRKT pronounced 'subtract'.

With catchy melodies and a minimalist like approach to textures and development, the album contains a variety in genre, production and influences. Everything which is guaranteed to be a massive hit this year in the music industry from Electronica, Dubstep, drum and bass and hip hop combined with the 'unlikelys' such as funk, pop and ambient music is what draws this album to its unique whole.

The single 'Hold On' breaks my heart. The relaxed attitude to vocals (by Sampha, who is an amazing contribution to this album) and wonderfully chilled high notes are so easy to listen to and are simultaneously reminiscent. Plus, what song cant make it when it has a xylophone?!?! The Caesers did it, and now SBTRKT are bringing it home, to Dub and Electronica. The next single to be released must surely be 'Something Goes Right' (feat Sampha) because it's so distinctly SBTRKT, but contains an uplifting and percussion like Casio chords, up-beat tempos and fun filled vocals which really does contain many elements that allows this track to go further than an underground single on an underground album. I think it also faces a lot of potential for remixes.

Tracks like 'Wildfire (feat. Little Dragon)', are going to be a sure hit on the mainstream now that Dubstep, with thanks to the giants such as Skrillex, Knife Party and Chase and Status are entering our eardrums at 10am on a Wednesday via Radio1. 'Right Thing to do' (feat. Jessie Ware) has a Two Step, softer approach to the reverb filled land of electronica and house music. Funk based 'Pharaohs' (Feat Roses Gabor) with its bouncy bass, off-beat high hats and catchy chorus allows for a breather from the intensity of the otherwise complicated glitches and electronica quick-fired-beats that fills the rest of the album. It is the inclusion of tracks such as this that makes SBTRKT a contender for the mainstream charts.

The more perhaps, outstanding tracks such as 'Sanctuary' develops in its own time, pace and layering of electronica. It belongs to those who want to invest in the album and pay it undying attention. 'Go Bang' (despite sounding like it's just fallen out of an episode from the TV series 'Skins') is a stunning track. It takes its time, fills an atmospheric and ambient space with simplistic but effective harmonies and shape. A producer who uses pizzicato strings in an ambient piece is well worth giving a high five to. I hope it stays untampered and well received.

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