Sunday, September 18, 2011

SBTRKT - SBTRKT (The Commercial DJ)

SBTRKT is an eclectic DJ that experiments with different sounds. I haven't heard his stuff outside of Spotify and YouTube so far. So listening to his debut album should be interesting. He reminds me a lot of Flying Lotus or TokiMonsta, he has that eclectic taste for samples. I guess the best thing about listening to alternative electronica is that you never know what is going to come next. Not one track sounds like the last. The album that I am going to be picking apart here is the self titled SBTRKT. The beats on the album are, of course, provided by SBTRKT who is supported with guest stars like Little Dragon, Sampha, and Jessie Ware. The album is a little thin and it doesn't take the twists and turns that a DJ like Flying Lotus would take. it is pretty listenable though.

Is SBTRKT just another DJ behind a mask? SBTRKT is one of many emerging artists that have decided to keep their "personal life" separate from their "professional life". He even hides his face with a mask! Does this mean he is just trying to be sneaky, or just trying to create some sort of buzz about him? It has to be a combination of both. He is both hiding his face from the crowds of people while creating buzz at the same time. It worked for countless other DJ's that I think are actually hiding themselves from crowds because they secretly have a fear of preforming in front of people. The mask makes him feel safer.

Also, when did this music start to pop off? Has eclectic electronica always been around and I am just now jumping on that hype-train. It seems that in 2010 - 2011 this neo-chillwave/experimental alternative electronica has become a household thing. There are tons of artists; SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, TOKiMONSTA, Joy Orbison, Mount Kimbie, just to name a few. There seems to be a new "Hot" electronica DJ every month.

Well I am seven songs into SBTRKT's debut album and it is really good to get stoned too, other than that I don't ever see myself re-listening to this. It would be pretty cool to see this guy live and dance to the craziness but I don't see myself going back to this. The re-listen value is very low. The music seems just too thin, like it wouldn't exist if you turned away from it. It sounds like SBTRKT was influenced by early 90's Woman's Apparel Store background music. I can just close my eyes and flashback to the early to mid 90's when my mom was dragging me into crappy stores like Wet Seal and Forever 21. I would sit bored on some bench near the changing rooms while my mom "just browsed". That kind of music came a dime a dozen back then. I am afraid that this album has just enough teeth to be played in Jamba Juice or Starbucks... some sort of corporate background music. I guess SBTRKT is making the music equivalent of commercial art. Yes that was a stab at commercial artists. ;)

The end of the album jumped up pretty quickly, that means the album is short. I haven't truly enjoyed it but there are a few songs that caught my fancy. Like I said above though, i wouldn't re-listen to them. The songs are good for the time that you play them, other than that... its just background music. This music is perfect in the commercial setting. I could also see this music being played at an office, at a very low volume. Just barely in ear's reach. Czech it out if you really want to, you might come up with something different. I challenge you to listen to the album and not think about congested mid-grade clothing stores, I dare you.

Artist: SBTRKT
Label: Young Turks
Country: UK
Spotify URI: Sbtrkt – SBTRKT

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