Design is at the heart of this project: first the instruments, then the songs and finally the masks. Whilst massively prolific, a minimalist ethos runs through the work and style of SBTRKT, not just in the name but in the precision of his sonics and arrangements.
A string of wildly successful EPs and collaborations introduced SBTRKT to critics and DJs (his single with Sinden was one of our favorites of 2010). Now he has has finally unleashed his debut album proper (on Young Turks Records) featuring break-out vocalists Sampha as well as Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano. Despite the massive pop appeal of tracks like "Wildfire" and "Hold On", it's important to note that the album's vocal and instrumental sections are all intensely cohesive, hearkening back to the golden age of vinyl and restoring our faith in the album as music's holy grail. We'll let the obsessives argue over whether SBTRKTs sound is more “techno”,“neo-garage” or “dubstep”; this record places him comfortably in any category he wishes to occupy.
Suppose you investigate just his remixes; each piece is distinctively SBTRKT and is guaranteed never to lose its luster. But take them on the whole and you start to see the common thread -- Radiohead, Modeselektor, Basement Jaxx, Underworld, Little Dragon -- like each of the artists he's mixed, SBTRKT himself bows to no trends and never sacrifices quality. Thank you, masked man.
See SBTRKT LIVE Friday, October 28th at the fourth annual HARD Haunted Mansion along with FATBOY SLIM, RUSKO, 2MANYDJS and much much more.