Show Review: SBTRKT

If you have never seen SBTRKT (pronounced Subtract) in concert, do it. You do not have to be the biggest fan of their music to appreciate the novelty of their live performance.

I was lucky enough to see them last spring at the Pitchfork SXSW showcase in Austin, TX. From the minute SBTRKT and Sampha, the vocalist, stepped on stage, I was caught off guard in the best way. Unlike most electronic music acts, they attempt to use as many human elements as possible to recreate their songs live for the audience. Aside from the occasional sample loop, most of the music relies on the performer.  SBTRKT provides the rhythm on a drum set comprised of a snare, a kick, and electronic drum pads. Occasionally, he will hop up from his kit to turn some effect knobs on his MIDI controller and then quickly get back to drums to continue the beat. On the other side of the stage sits Sampha who provides the gospel/soul style vocals along with a few synth parts and the crowd favorite, cowbell solo.

IMHO the show was best the first time in Austin simply because everything about the show was fresh and new but it could also have been because there was not a drunk girl with sunglasses that read ELEKTRO bumping into me. Alas, that issue is another whole blog post.

 --Lee from Barbershop Quartet

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