07 December 2011


[Young Turks]

Finally there's good reason to get excited about pop music again. Well, some pop music, anyway. While many may argue, suggesting "post-dubstep" is a more accurate term to apply to the subject of this review; modern pop music is exactly what SBTRKT has aimed for on his self-titled debut, for Young Turks (home to other notable sound-of-nowsters, The xx). By and large he succeeds. Admirably, even. Unlike contemporaries and closest comparisons James Blake and Jamie Woon, SBTRKT aka Aaron Jerome (who had a handful of releases under his own name on WahWah45s some time ago) is undeniably accessible, with tracks like Pharoahs (which out-Basement Jaxx's Basement Jaxx) and the just-wobbly-enough Wildfire (featuring typically outstanding vocals from Little Dragon's Yukumi Nagano) far more digestible than anything from his peers' recent efforts (as excellent as they both are). The key difference is that Jerome makes room for his guest vocalists (also including Sampha, Roses Gabor and Jessie Ware) among his intricate arrangements, with the skittering, Timbaland-for-2011 beats only one part of the whole picture. With hints of dubstep and garage among these glitchy-yet-soulful grooves, SBTRKT has found a winning formula - and a label - which bodes well for the future of pop music.

4 stars from 5

Check out more from SBTRKT here...

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