We arrived at Saturday’s super, super soldout SKTRKT show at Wrongbar just as Ango was finishing up his set. As it tends to be, the vibe at Wrongbar was great and the bar hot and sweaty. The screen behind the dj flashed alternating between the artist’s name and the tribal African mask adopted as his logo. The mask also works as a disguise for the artist underneath, Aaron Jerome, who prefers to use SBTRKT as a vehicle for the music – removing the idea of the ‘artist’ from the music. Well, on Saturday, through his DJ set, he honoured that promise by letting the music do the talking.
SKTRKT jumped right into one of his newer tracks as soon as he took the stage, specifically his remix of Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower”. Just three tracks in and he was into the Sampha-led “Hold On”. From there, it became evident that he was going to continue relying on tracks from his self-titled album from 2011 to form the basis of his set. Straight from “Hold On” he transitioned into “Right Thing to Do”. While SBTRKT’s track selection kept the crowd moving, his mixing leaves something to be desired. Many of the mixes were muddy or were abrupt cuts indicating some unsteady programming and mixing. However, the crowd appeared happy to hear some bass drops and those were provided from time to time, but his mixes weren’t always reliant on those drops – which was a refreshing change.
While the roots of his DJ sound were firmly house-based, his 90-minute set did also showcase the diverse elements of electronica that SBTRKT brings forward as an artist. Moments of UK bass, garage and dub all found their way into his set. Highlights for us include Shadow Child’s “So High” and a jittery remix of Azealia Banks’ banger “212″. By the time the bassline of “Wildfire” dropped, you could tell the crowd was happy and would leave satisfied having heard a nice blend of SBTRKT originals and remixes mixed in with some of 2012’s club hits. A great night that only heightens the anticipation for more new SBTRKT material.