He’s produced mixes for the likes of Radiohead, Basement Jaxx and MIA to name but a few and has also made waves with his self-titled debut album. A whole three years have passed since the influential first release and with a second album to promote, Aaron Jerome is taking his mask of anonymity on tour, stopping off for one night at Manchester’s Albert Hall.
There is a lot of artists you could put into the same bracket of genre as SBTRKT such as Jamie xx, Caribou and James Blake et al. You know the kind I mean, the type of music you can kick back in the evening to, but it also wouldn’t sound out of place at 5am chatting to your mates after being out and still looking to keep the vibe going.
Doing electronic music live and doing it well are two completely different things. So walking into the Albert Hall and seeing the array of drum machines, kits, synths and keys on display was quite impressive.
A seventeen song melee comprising of such crowd favourites as Pharaohs, Never Never and Wildfire greated an energetic crowd, inside the gothic surroundings which even Aaron Jerome reserving praise for the unusual abode he found himself playing in.
As the profile of SBTRKT grew over the last couple of years, so did that of Sampha. The soulful sounds that adorned his debut album reverberated around the Albert Hall as a live recording was played to substitute his absence. It didn’t even matter come to think of it; the live percussion was a perfect replacement.
The vocal prowess of the artists who feature on records definitely adds to the appeal of the SBTRKT sound. Hand picked for this record were Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend and Raury both whose vocals go perfectly with the new album.
As live performances go, it was unorthodox. There was no singer, but the crowd didn’t care. I couldn’t see a single person in the Albert Hall who wasn’t moving for the entire night. Much will depend on the success of this album as to where SBTRKT goes from here, but with a sold out tour and a lot of attention on the release, the only way seems North.
Words by Joe Lanigan Smith
Images courtesy of Jack Kirwin