SBTRKT - Wonder Where We Land - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

SBTRKT - Wonder Where We Land

by Nse Ette Rating:9 Release Date:2014-09-23

For the follow-up to his 2011 eponymous debut, electronic wunderkind SBTRKT enlists an impressive array of friends, from A$AP Ferg to Jessie Ware, to Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. 
The result is nothing short of spectacular.

Moody, bass-heavy soundscapes with jazzy piano riffs sit side-by-side with bleeps and echoey effects. The title track, featuring his frequent collaborator Sampha, is a prime example. Sampha also lends his soulful croon to the futuristic R&B of 'Temporary View', the brief piano ballad ''If It Happens', and the groovy 'Gon Stay', with its bubbly bassline and a breathless-sounding vocal.

'Lantern' is a swirling instrumental with staccato beats, while 'Higher' features 18-year-old unknown Raury singing/rapping atop the broody bass. The cinematic 'Look Away' features Caroline Polachek and is followed by the floaty instrumental 'Osea' with its chirpy effects. 
The rhythmic 'New Dorp, New York' juxtaposes a skeletal groove to a pulsing beat with a sung/spoken delivery by Ezra Koenig.

'Everybody Knows' is a woozy near-instrumental that recalls Flying Lotus. Jessie Ware's velvety croon floats delicately above this piano-sprinkled R&B approximation, supremely beautiful. Battling this for the album highlight is the falsetto-sung, glitchily atmospheric 'The Light' featuring Denai Moore. A$AP Ferg raps on closing cut 'Voices in My Head', a trippy, jazzy piece with awry sounding beats and intricate production; a tinkle of piano here, a snare there.

It takes a lot of talent and hard work to sound this easy and unassuming. This is an absolutely captivating collection that draws you in more and more.

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