Representing the UK scene

Dance music is spinning ever faster, and to try and get a fix on a sound that will please most quarters is very much a modern moving target. SBTRKT however has mingled quite a few strains of the modern scene to meld an album that represents the UK scene pretty well.

Eight of the eleven tracks feature vocal collaborations, with the soulful Sampha taking the lead with five of those. ‘Something Goes Right’ represents UK funky, in all its perky death throes, whilst ‘Hold On’ is perhaps a better showcase of ‘SBTRKT’ - gentle, emotional, delving into the deeper end of the dance pool. Album closer ’Go Bang’ is delightfully dark and weird whilst Jesse Ware perhaps contributes to the album’s biggest banger on ‘Right Thing’; an old school garage throw back with more rounded snares, but still with enough bite to get Toddla T sat bolt upright in his high chair.

Over the tracks SBTRKT easily displays a pedigree and sensitivity that should set this dance album apart from its numerous gaggling peers. It’s a breeze to say that this is an apt snapshot of the dance scene in the UK in 2011, but it’s more than that; it’s also a very personal, soulful trip into the immediate future. If you don’t like vocal dance music, if you’re going off funky or you don’t like a bloke playing live behind a faux-Polynesian tribal mask then avoid. Otherwise ‘SBTRKT’ will delight the droves of bass fanatics that want something a little more sophisticated.


Words by Matthew Bennett

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