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EP Review: SBTRKT – Transitions


Artist: SBTRKT

EP: Transitions

Number of Tracks: 6

Label: Young Jerks

One of the most well renowned electronic artists in the world, SBTRKT is now looking to further secure this reputation by recording a series of six instrumental tracks, to be released on three 12″ records over May and June this year.

Transitions I

Release Date: 5 May 2014


This two track introduction to the series lays bare the core of SBTRKT’s tribal inspiration. Gamalena fuses together an infectious electronic rhythm with something that boarders on organic forest sounds. However, their almost metallic quality never fully removes the synthetic undertone. The end result is something other-worldly but unmistakably primitive, challenging the listener to envision a world that is wild and untamed, but abstract in it’s origin.

This first movement concludes with Hold The Line. Nature untamed is still a theme radiated by this track, but now it seems to portray the calm after the storm that SBTRKT’s electronic world just experienced. It’s an image of the same world taken in negative as underlying elements of Gamalena come to the fore, bringing light, shimmering melodies to the centre of attention rather than the stark beat of before.

Transitions II

Release Date: 19 May 2014

trans 2

Act two of this series begins with Kyoto, introducing the notion of a far more urban setting than in Transitions I. Running with this comparison allows for some quiet contemplation on the dull monotony of the city compared to more natural surroundings. Both Kyoto and Resolute provide repetitive and simple cadences that comment on the fact that despite the hustle and bustle, there’s nothing refreshingly complex about easily reproducible processes.

Transitions II allows for a more personal exploration of the compositions, the scope for looking into the thought processes behind the music remaining broad through SBTRKT’s fairly minimalist approach.

Transitions III

Release Date: 2 June 2014

trans 3

This is where things become a little more bold. Highs + Lows is something designed to elate, rejecting it’s predecessor’s more contemplative stance. SBTRKT really injects this final instalment with some classic electro positivity. Elements from all the Transitions make appearances, creating an ecstatic conclusion to the EP series.

Stifle becomes the final full stopno one element of the track bearing any particular prominence over the others. As SBTRKT allows a range of melodies to ride a simple percussive track, the final result sounds something like an electronic round. Nothing is quite in sync with the rest but this provides a pleasantly chaotic note on which to end.

To listen to the whole series yourself, check out the fully interactive website for Transitions, designed by long-term collaborator, A Hidden Place, and Japanese creative agency, PARTY.


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About The Author

Currently a 3rd year Journalism student at the University of the West of England. Real life just around the corner and getting excited about new Journalism opportunities! The more music involved, the better.

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