Revered artist and prolific collaborator SBTRKT shares the brand new single “L.F.O.” featuring Sampha and George Riley, unveiling more of the hotly anticipated forthcoming album The Rat Road, set for release on the 5th of May via AWAL.
“L.F.O.” sees SBTRKT enlist the help of longstanding collaborator Sampha and the burgeoning R&B polymath George Riley. The duo’s vocal contributions are layered atop metamorphic synthesisers and sporadic injections of intricate drumwork, the latest single is an undeniable full-circle moment as SBTRKT unites with Sampha for the first time in seven years. “L.F.O.” deftly follows the release of the hypnagogic single “Days Go By” featuring Toro y Moi, “Waiting” with Teezo Touchdown and “FORWARD” ft. LEILAH, whichwas first previewed in the video for Drake and 21 Savage’s “Jimmy Cooks” music video.
SBTRKT speaks on the single: “L.F.O. began with me messing around with an analogue synth about 6 years ago – the track title stuck (L.F.O. – Low Frequency Oscillator demo 1).
The opening chords became my breakthrough moment, which captured that feeling when chords and melodies feel like they float.
Sampha dropped by my studio around 2018 – was excited by the sonic palette of it and so we laid down some vocal ideas. Over the time since, I have probably past 70 different versions of this song!
Late 2022, I got in touch with George Riley after following her music and the rest started to drop into place! Sometimes songs take 5 minutes and some 5 years to find the right components!
Much love to Sampha for getting involved and being a constant through all my albums – over more than a decade on from our first work together – and to George Riley for being up for experimenting and creating music that doesn’t have to fit any rules. Sometimes the pieces find their way together and make sense texturally without forcing a concept on it.”
Instead of focusing on “bigger streaming and stat-building collaborations,” SBTRKT has looked for interesting and new talents from across the UK and U.S. in a way that can only make sense through a SBTRKT lens.
The album wears its emotions openly as SBTRKT takes the listener on a journey through euphoria and melancholia. In the same minute, footwork is melded into four-to-floor techno while screeching electronics and synth-heavy production are reminiscent of his early work. Mutant garage lives alongside pop-leaning future-synth production adding new colors to SBTRKT’S palette while taut, wiry slices pop and fizz with menacing energy in his distinct mode of expression. The Rat Road is a true marriage of genres with SBTRKT’s febrile presence felt throughout, prioritizing intention and purpose over spectacle.