SBTRKT, Sampha & Jessie Ware

Pardon my French, but: Oh my f***ing god, this is beautiful!

Jessie Ware and Sampha collaborate in the 2 minute short, but intense love tune Valentine. Both are best known for having provided their voices to one of this year’s best new artists, SBTRKT (see below).

Somewhat unsurprisingly, this track is much softer than the usual, bass and synth-focused stuff from SBTRKT. Sampha, with a voice smooth like silk, is one of the most important factors of SBTRKT’s latest success. Mandatory for a song with a name like this, it’s available on heart-shaped vinyl, on the label Young Turks.

SBTRKT (read Subtract) is symbolizing a musical identity independent from a single person. Hence, his alter ego, London-based producer Aaron Jerome, is always performing behind a charismatic mask. For anyone who doesn’t know his  self-titled album yet, check out a fan-made video for Hold On featuring Sampha and the track Right Thing To Do featuring Jessie Ware.

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SBTRKT’s style is combining electronic and distinctive R&B elements in a unique, innovative manner:

“The main thing are the synths, arrangement and syncopation. I tend to play around with chords or pads first, and then start applying some drums to it. Even though I guess I write ‘bass music’ I tend to add bass in last; rhythm and arrangement are most important for me. A lot of people seem to mention ‘2 step’ alongside my name guess it’s just because of the syncopation that genre entailed.”

In that sense it is much like The XX or even Little Dragon. After all, Little Dragon’s singer Yukimi Nagano has given her voice to SBTRKT’s best known track Wildfire:

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