SBTRKT “Wonder Where We Land” Review

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SBTKRT released his second album titled “Wonder Where We Land” on Young Turks (The xx, FKA Twigs, Sampha, Koreless, etc.) He’s been away hiding for sometime almost 3 years, and after his debut self titled album, has only released a Live album. But at the start of the year we heard new material as he released his three part transition series (number two being my personal favourite) He’s been up against a lot of competition with a lot of really good electronic albums being released around the same time, such as Aphex Twin and Flying Lotus. But I don’t think thats bothered him a lot. The album is quite a long one clocking in at 43 minutes, but lets get to it.

“Wonder Where We Land” starts with “Day 1” which is just a small electronic build to get the album rolling. Then comes in “Wonder Where We Land” which features frequent collaborator Sampha, its an amazing second track, with Sampha’s amazing vocals grabbing you, I feel Sampha’s song writing with SBTKRT is a lot more prominent on the album. With his piano coming in to make the already great track better, its a bass filled, vocal mini master piece, its just a bit short, leaving you wanting more. “Lantern” comes in next and its full so sharp, aggressive snares, pulsing sythns and string instruments. Then its time for “Higher” which features Raury’s its an amazing hip hop track with Raury’s flow matching the beat perfectly, and the chorus comes in with help from Denai Moore, who comes back later in the album. “Look Away” comes up featuring Caroline Polachek, its telling you to look away for most of it, its full of high pitched sounds and scattered drums, I feel it’s missing something. “Osea” is next which features fellow Young Turks signing Koreless, it’s just an soundscape of electronic haze, which breaks up the album really well. I feel its more Koreless then SBTRKT though, which isn’t a bad thing! “Temporary View” which is the first song I heard from the album, and already got released under “Resolute” much like his earlier track likes “Colonise” being “Living Like You Do” which just adds Sampha’s beautiful vocals which echo through out the track. “New Dorp, New York” follows after, featuring Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend, not being the biggest Vampire Weekend fan I was worried to listen at first, but it’s an amazing track, with the funky bassline coming to make everyone dance, and catchy vocals keeping it stuck in your head for days. Then another interlude with “Everybody Knows” to make way for “Problem (Solved)” featuring Jessie Ware. Who was also on the debut, its a piano driven tune with Ware’s voice in control. After comes two more tracks featuring Sampha “If It Happens” which is just 1 minute and 30 seconds, and just makes way for “Gon Stay” which starts with loads of random percussion, but then goes into this funky bassline with Sampha’s vocals taking you in again, its one of the highlights on the album. “The Light” features Denai Moore which is a soulful ballad full so random electronic clicks and more piano. The last track “Voices In My Head” featuring american rapper A$AP Ferg who is apart of A$AP Mob. “Voices In My Head” is a hip-hop track full of different flows from A$AP Ferg, which is a bit hit and miss. It should of been a bonus track.

“Wonder Where We Land” may not be as dance filled as “SBTKRT” but it is still an experimental joy, pushing Aaron Jerome’s SBTRKT ego into new ground. Full of more laid back tracks, but feeling better produced with more thought into it, some songs being a bit short in parts, but with 15 songs. You get more than enough!

3.3/5

Key Tracks: “Wonder Where We Land” “Higher” New Dorp, New York” and “Gon Stay”

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