Set to play Dazed Live this April, the UK producer signed to Young Turks prepares to release his debut album this spring
Young Turks' latest signing, SBTRKT, makes what might best be described as dubby house-fuelled urban anthems, and has so far worked with the likes of Sampha and Jessie Ware. His new single 'Living Like I Do' out on 11th April is a collaborative effort with Sampha and skillfully fuses melancholic tones with high-energy sounds. Having toured with Holy Fuck and Modeselektor last year, 2011 sees SBTRKT playing Dazed Live on the April 9 and Bloc before hitting SXSW, and Coachella. SBTRKT's debut album is released this June, alongside his new single 'Seekwal / Grazed' on Sinden's Grizzly imprint, promising to be a sonic highlight of the year.
Dazed Digital: How does this second part to your collaborative EP with Sinden differ from the first?
SBTRKT: It’s fairly different in the makeup of the songs. We approached it in much the same way, as openly as possible. We collaborate by alternating sessions at each other studios. We aren’t the fastest producers... I know lots of producers brag about how quickly they bash out tracks, but we took five or six sessions to complete these. Mainly because of the perfectionists in us never being happy with a certain synth sound or the mix.
DD: How would you describe the tracks?
SBTRKT: I think the aim was to make a one dancefloor smash – ‘Grazed’ – and one more sedate b-side in ‘Seekwal’. As with planning anything it tends to go the opposite way and we ended up with ‘Seekwal’ showing signs of sounding harder on the dancefloor. I sent it out to Jackmaster and immediately saw him tweet about it, and heard how it went down at Berghain. I guess neither Sinden or I set out to write Berghain records because, although we appreciate it immensely, we both write in different musical schools, but if a tune created by us goes off there it shows that boundaries and genre rules are made for breaking!
DD: You're set to play Dazed's first Live event, what can we expect from your set?
SBTRKT: Something like you have never seen or heard before! Myself and Sampha (who features as the main vocalist and songwriting collaborator on the album) have been working on the live show for a while now. Playing one-off shows over last year and the beginning of this one. We are gearing it up kit wise and will have the added bonus of Jessie Ware in addition to Sampha’s vocals through 2011. It’s definitely coming more from a live band type setup than a producer live laptop setup. But we still keep the electronic synths and instruments as the focus.
DD: Currently, what's your favourite sound?
SBTRKT: I’m really feeling the music coming through Swamp 81 right now. The Boddika tracks are amazing. Every track has so much dynamism and energy. Basically just getting to the basics of what making dancefloor records are about.
DD: Any favourite labels or tips for producers to look out for?
SBTRKT: As I said before Swamp 81 recordings. Sirius Mo and the Monkeytown crew are also on point. Dark Sky are coming through with some great productions right now, and Optimum and Ikonika’s Hum & Buzz label. Lil Silva’s productions. And goes without saying but of course Sampha and Jessie Ware’s separate projects. Although their tracks on my LP are pretty hype!
DD: What was the best thing about 2010 for you and what are you most excited about next?
SBTRKT: Just getting to hear tracks I’ve produced being responded to by DJs and music fans from far and wide. And also performing in such a wide variety of places. I’m definitely humbled to get the chance to travel doing what I enjoy most! Next up, I’m really looking forward to seeing my first album released. Once people have heard it, it gives me the opportunity to start writing afresh. I’ve always enjoyed writing music more in a themed LP context rather than just as single club tracks, it’s what makes me get up and continue writing. Also this year I’m getting to play a lot of festivals I’ve always wanted to visit, let alone play at... so a lot of firsts!
SBTRKT is playing Dazed Live on Saturday April 9, 2011. The festival takes place at several occasions in and around Shoreditch and is presented in parthership with Levi's and Absolut Vodka. Find out more about the Dazed Live HERE and buy your tickets HERE. SBTRKT's new EP with Sinden on the Grizzly label, 'Seekwal' is out now.