SBTRKT: SBTRKT (Young Turks) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Young Turks

Jul 07, 2011 SBTRKT Bookmark and Share

SBTRKT’s name is pronounced “subtract,” and the moniker fitsthis London producer’s self-titled debut is all about subtlety and mystery. Beats seem to emerge from dark corners, sounds from shadows. The fact that SBTRKT performs wearing a mask comes as no surprise.

SBTRKT‘s leadoff track “Heatwave” is something of a statement of purpose. It’s punchy and melodic, full of both synthetic and natural, tangible beats. It lets the listener know that this is dance music, but it’s also pop music, and that’s a good thing.

With its appealingly cold production and haunting vocals, SBTRKT’s work often sounds like Prince or Sade. The album’s highlight, “Wildfire,” features singer Yukimi Nagano of Swedish electronic band Little Dragon, and her disaffected tone is the perfect match for SBTRKT’s unforgiving rhythms. Likewise, “Trials of the Past” and “Never Never” are minor-key workouts with skittering beats and synthesizers reinforcing the melody’s angst. This isn’t music for the club; this is a soundtrack for the drunken walk home.

SBTRKT is a sure-footed and patient producer. His first album is an exercise in restraint, one that leaves the listener with an itch for more. To call this a promising debut would be an understatement. (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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