SBTRKT album review

Self-titled offering from the man behind the mask


After two years of tantalising 12-in singles, plus remixes for everyone from Tinie Tempah to Basement Jaxx, the man behind the tribal mask (Aaron Jerome to his nan), is about to drop one of the freshest debut albums the UK has ever produced. Key to the record’s success is regular collaborator 21-year-old Morden native Sampha, who adds his plush, effortlessly elastic tones to SBTRKT’s bass-heavy, minimalist brilliance. Plus we’re predisposed to love any artist who can take a Karate Kid catchphrase – ‘Wax on/wax off’ – warp it and throw it down on a song as peerless ‘Trials of the Past’.

If SBTRKT is the accidental ambassador of ‘future garage’ then the slick grooves that gel with singer Jessie Ware’s seductive delivery make ‘Right Thing to Do’ the genre’s unofficial anthem. Other choice guests include Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano on ‘Wildfire’, which packs such a punch that US superstar Drake decided to freestyle over the intro. A superior slab of inventive electronic soul.

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