Tonight on Drive Time music review I’ll take a look at SBTRKT’s debut full-length album, SBTRKT.
SBTRKT (pronounced subtract) is Aaron James, a British producer and musician who has remixed songs by Radiohead, M.I.A., Basement Jaxx, Underworld, and many others and is often accompanied by his collaborator, Sampha.
James’ debut album displays his experience with some of the biggest names in electronic music by the song structure and use of an array of instruments. On songs like “Living Like I Do” and “Never Never” the combination of Chicago House and dub step fits Sampha’s vocals perfectly, while guest singers like Jessie Ware on “Right Thing to Do” adds another dimension to the album and reminds the days when Massive Attack had great female singers on their earlier CDs.
The thing that impresses me about this album is that James doesn’t rely on heavy distortion and reverb like some DJs these days (no offense). James sound is clean and fresh compared to Grammy nominee, Skrillez, and is way easier on the ears. It definitely has a European “feel” to it and can imagine kids going crazy over these tunes in some late night basement club – although I can vision myself driving aimlessly while jamming to this CD.
The “mask” thing is a little strange (DJs wearing a mask to put the emphasis on the music was started by Daft Punk and has been carried on by DJs like Deadmau5), but that has no effect on the great music James is putting out.
If you aim to take a listen, I recommend “Living like I do”, “Pharaohs”, or “Something Goes Right”(my favorite – very uplifting).
Mask or no mask, James has really something with SBTRKT and his debut album shows it.