I only was able to catch the last song of SBTRKT’s Coachella performance this year, as they played at the same time as Miike Snow. It was a tough decision, but I knew I would be covering their show at The Independent as soon as I got home on Monday. They did not disappoint.
SBTRKT is primarily recognized as a solo act. Aaron Jerome started in the London club scene, gaining recognition as a prominent DJ. Things changed however when he decided to begin recording his own material, as Jerome added recording mate Sampha to record vocals and perform during their live shows. The two use a combination of live instrumentation, live vocals, keyboard sampling, and electronic drums. They use a dark, but inviting silhouette-based lighting setup that removes them as the primary subjects, and makes them more of a staple of the overall scene. Their use of sharp and lively melodies and triggering creates a tone that leaves you grooving in the moment-and recalling it hours later. Their debut full-length, Young Turks was released in June of last year, and has been well received seemingly by everyone who has had the opportunity to hear it. Their sound was amazingly full for having only two performers, which was complemented by their noteworthy musicianship. The name SBTRKT signifies the subtraction of their individual identities within their music, which they hope will allow listeners to decide for themselves what they think of their work. If you haven’t had the chance to hear their music, have a listen.
-Written and photographed by Darryl Kirchner