Though he has already turned out a number of singles and remixes - many of which were for some very high-profile acts - this record marks SBTRKT's first long-playing effort (under this name, anyway - Aaron Jerome is another story). So was it worth the wait?
The answer is an unreserved yes. Much as Caribou did last year with Swim
, SBTRKT manages to perfectly pitch his electronic offerings between the cerebral and the visceral. The tracks herein are far from cookie-cutter pap with identikit beats, yet they do not suffer from the smugness that dance music can all-too-easily adopt when it tries to get smart.
Instead, SBTRKT keeps his eyes on the dancefloor and his ears on the beat. The rhythms - whether they be built on dubby throbs or crisp snares - are all direct, purposeful and aimed at the part of the brain that sets toes to tapping and buttocks to jiggling. Clever it may be, but this is party music first and foremost.
As well as his knack for satisfying and catchy rhythms, SBTRKT's choice of collaborators has also served him well. Sampha contributes some very agreeable vocals to a number of the tracks - complementing the music without dominating it - whilst Little Dragon's sassy turn on `Wildfire' is a definite album highlight.
All in all, this is an assured release that should secure itself a place in many Album Of The Year round-ups come December. For those who like their electronica to exercise brain and booty in equal measure, it is a must-buy record.