The last few years have seen the rise of emotional RnB and Hip Hop fuelled by post dubstep beats. One of the key producers behind this sound in the UK was SBTRKT with his masterful self-titled debut album. However, the followe-up 2014’s Wonder Where We Land was a patchy effort that at times seemed repetitive and over-long.
In response to this SBTRKT’s follow up and third album Save Yourself is short, very short in fact, running at only 8 tracks. However, the flow and rapid nature of this album make it a much more enjoyable listen than Wonder Where We Land.
There’s also been some interesting changes to SBTRKT’s sound gone are the two step and dubstep influenced beats in their place are synthy trance stabs, they are a welcome change. And one which given the rise of Arca, Rustie et al is well planned. The best example of this new string to SBTRKT’s bow is the delicious sounding Gemini which kicks off proceedings.
The rest of the album like past efforts sees SBTRKT rely on guest vocals this time mostly from the soon to be huge singer The-Dream. Again the emphasis is on the emotional RnB of the Drake and Weeknd variety, however, with the additional synth stabs everything feels rather beautiful and almost dream like.
Despite The-Dream’s beautifully whispered and hushed vocals the real stand out tracks on Save Yourself are when SBTRKT goes it alone such as Gemini and Let Them In. If the mysterious producer is to continue his critical acclaim exploring this path and dropping the vocals may be the way to go.
This is a strong, lush and beautiful return to form from SBTRKT and one which deserves to be appreciated.