In theory, SBTRKT shouldn’t work. Best known for his instrumentals and remixes, SBTRKT is no doubt a deft producer, but 10 bassy reworkings do not a good album make. Lucky for us, SBTRKT the record settles on a more cohesive formula, thanks to a handful of guest vocalists and a healthy helping of pop influences. To call SBTRKT a dubstep record would be selling this collection short; over the course of its 11 tracks, we get funky, Prince-esque club thumpers (“Pharaohs”), rave-ready electronic tracks (“Go Bang”), and at least one freakishly ear-wormy synth groover (“Wildfire”). With an arsenal of capable and diverse vocalists in his corner (Sampha, Jessie Ware, Roses Gabor, Yukimi Nagano) SBTRKT is left to do what he does best: craft pulsating beats that neatly balance between the worlds of dubstep and electropop and promise to get feet moving, no matter what you’re into. SBTRKT plays a show for UCSB on Friday, April 20, at UCSB’s Hub. Visit


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