SBTRKT PLYNG BTTM LNG THS FRDY
By Jake Guidry in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 2, 2011 7:20PM
Few producers have bridged the gap between the UK's underground bass scene and North American popularity. The most obvious of these producers is James Blake, whose minimal electronic soundscapes have maintained a certain accessibility, most likely attributed to his mature, soulful voice and boyish good looks. Second to "The Prince of Dubstep", though, might be SBTRKT, whose more pop approach to bass music has landed him a considerable amount of success when compared to his contemporaries. A highlight of this year's North Coast Music Festival, SBTRKT will yet again hit Chicago, this time for a live show with collaborator Sampha at Bottom Lounge.
SBTRKT's self-titled debut is a highlight of 2011, widespread with dubstep, 2-step and garage sensibilities re-transmitted through poppy structures with vocal hooks. It's a possible precursor to a future state of pop music, and with the current one having a sort of identity crisis, the possibility seems less and less crazy. Regardless, SBTRKT has constructed a fine, ultimately accessible album, one that can operate in the most underground of clubs and the most corporate of coffee shops.
The live show for SBTRKT includes the producer himself, some drum machines, a synthesizer, and frequent collaborator Sampha. Sampha's vocals are a staple on the LP, which is no surprise given his sultry, flowing delivery. If he is the key to SBTRKT's transcendence into pop stardom, so be it. The show Friday should give us a glimpse if it's even possible.
SBTRKT plays Friday, November 4, at Bottom Lounge, 1375 W. Lake St., 9p.m., $15+, ages 17+