SBTRKT

Wonder Where We Land

Young Turks

Sep 22, 2014 Issue #51 - September/October 2014 - alt-J Bookmark and Share


Individuality goes a long way in the music industry, something SBTRKT (aka Aaron Jerome) found out when he emerged onto the underground dance scene in 2009. His addictive house/electro/dubstep fusion and identity-hiding collection of African tribal facemasks garnered him something of a reputation in the independent music world, further enhanced by a series of stunning collaborations on his self-titled 2011 debut LP with the likes of Sampha and Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano. The eagerly awaited album number two, Wonder Where We Land, brings more inspired guest appearances as diverse as A$AP Ferg, Jessie Ware, and Ezra Koenig, while the production has its eyes set firmly on the horizon with truly innovative beats.

SBTRKT's ability to create such brilliantly diverse tracks using handpicked vocalists from across the independent music world cannot be overstressed. Sampha's soulful vocals appear so much on the both SBTRKT records that he is as familiar as the beats themselves, lending them a deep human element that can so often be missing in electronic music. "Temporary View" is a feat. Sampha highpoint on Wonder Where We Land, its glittering chorus the kind of thing the Disclosure brothers spend nights on end trying to replicate. Ingenious machine-gun-quick bars form the body of "Higher" courtesy of Raury, while Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig sounds suave as hell on top of the best bass-line in years on "NEW DORP. NEW YORK." However, vocal guests are essentially the icing on the top of Jerome's brilliant bass-filled cake. Every track's beat structure is completely different and exciting because of it, yet each couldn't be mistaken for anyone other than SBTRKT. Everything Jerome touches turns into audible gold, making him not just an innovator, but a pioneer of modern electronic music. (www.sbtrkt.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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June 29th 2018
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