Album Review

Wonder Where We Land

Wonder Where We Land


Young Turks
8 / 10
14th October 2014

Reviewed by Paul Larsen

As the masked master-mixer behind the SBTRKT alter ego, Aaron Jerome has never been one for the limelight. Instead, the London-based DJ insists on telling his story through his his distinctive take on modern electronica and a rotating stage of guest vocalists. It’s a formula that has won SBTRKT an array of plaudits and a broadening fan base since the release of his 2011 self-titled debut record. Since that album however, the scene has caught up with him somewhat with artists such as Chet Faker building on that sound and taking it to new, even more inventive heights.

If the question is whether Wonder Where We Land manages to live up to its predecessor, then the answer is "yes", without a doubt. This is a vibrant and engaging record that displays mastery in almost everything it attempts. The return of loyal collaborator, Sampha, adorns the record with some of its finer moments (‘Temporary View’ and ‘If It Happens’), and provides a stable platform for Jerome to branch out into pulsating and inventive post-dubstep on tracks like ‘Lantern’ and the engrossingly dark ‘Look Away’.

Where the album stumbles slightly is that it never quite gels as a complete package, thanks to the unnecessary filler tracks between songs early on. And if you’re listening on vinyl, there’s a noticeable drop off in attention after flipping to the B-side, other than the star power of Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig on ‘NEW DORP NEW YORK’ and A$AP FERG on ‘Voices in My Head’. All told, Wonder Where We Land is a gratifying highlight package of undeniably great electronica but remains in real danger of being superseded by the next best thing. For modern electronica fans, this can only be a good sign.

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