SAVE YOURSELF
SAVE YOURSELF

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SAVE YOURSELF

SAVE YOURSELF

SAVE YOURSELF is the new project from me to you, my fans. While a complete piece with a beginning, end and visual concepts that have been worked on over many months, this is not an album.

This record was written from last summer til last week and is about being able to share music with you more frequently than I have done in the past, and not long after its been created.

Though as SBTRKT I am one person, I've always tried to champion the idea of bringing together artists who are from different places both musically and geographically.

For this record I worked with a small group of collaborators, most of whom I had not collaborated with before. Instead of an open-ended collaboration where studio jam sessions would lead to songs, I approached collaborators who I felt would be most suited to the overall ideas I had already collated.

To me it feels similar to my first album - a small group of vocalists, productions that are fairly stripped down and a project filled with emotion. These songs are what I feel to be the most interesting musical stories I've made to date.

Though perhaps more importantly than how, why SAVE YOURSELF is coming now has to do with the current cultural and sociopolitical climate. Culturally, albums now feel like a means to prove you are a "real" artist. To release an album, you turn yourself over to traditional label cycles and the end of increasing sales, leaving behind the creative spirit that brought the music to life in the first place.

The title SAVE YOURSELF and the visuals reflect my personal mood on what's happening in the world and society on a macro and micro level. Whether that be racism, xenophobia, the environment or irresponsible greedy politicians. All this while thinking about how incredible it will be when humans actually reach and settle on another planet. As an artist it feels strange to me to create simply happy music without being effected by current world affairs. Through the music too, I'm reflecting my constant state of nostalgia for the future. A dark optimism, for one that seems ever far reaching. So the title and artwork reflect this. Where we go next but also where we are now.

1. GEMINI

every record starts somewhere. this track felt to me a fitting introduction in the same way Heatwave did on LP1. it features a number of common synth sounds like the moog that i played across the record. one of the key things with this record in particular is that i wanted to play the main melodies and synth lines only once on analogue synths, and then not edit them again... to just feel where i should play the next notes rather than programming it to go somewhere.

Anyhow, most of what i could explain in regards to production is meaningless. To me its like a grown up version of one of my early songs, 2020.

Written by SBTRKT / All Production, arrangement and mixing by SBTRKT / Recorded at Laundry Room, London

2. GOOD MORNING (feat. The-Dream)

GOOD MORNING is a song I've actually been working on for a quite a while. i wrote the original brass hook nearly two years ago but couldn't quite work out where to take it next.

after many versions i got closer to where it stands now. the vocal tells a more intertwined story of children / marriage but also seems to encapsulate the story of a family leaving the earth and travelling to an unknown world in space, the nostalgia of old tv cartoons, the warning 'if you dont leave, it will be tragic'.

after a link up by a friend of mine (shout to jamie james medina), i headed over to Atlanta to record with The-Dream who i hadn't worked with before. what occurred in those sessions was magical. a total understanding of where we wanted the songs to travel to. i was, and never am, looking for making obvious pop songs in a session, everything comes from an abstract place - these songs are so much more than that to me, both in their feeling and direction.

Written by SBTRKT & The-Dream / All Production, arrangement and mixing by SBTRKT / Vocals by The-Dream / Recorded at Silent Sound Studio, Atlanta & Laundry Room, London / Atlanta Studio Engineer: Nathaniel Alford

3. I FEEL YOUR PAIN (feat. D.R.A.M. & Mabel)

I FEEL YOUR PAIN combines my idea, along with those of three other artist collaborators.

D.R.A.M.'s main verse was recorded in New York with him last summer / Mabel's response to it we made early this year / and T.K who had been touring with me through last years shows and festivals on backing vocals. i'd been a big fan of D.R.A.M. since hearing his Cha Cha mixtape release thru my friend Callender, and then he supported me on some U.S dates. Mabel i first heard last summer and was struck by her voice, then discovered she was London based; it's always great to find new artists who are here and haven't moved away.

it seemed natural to find a response verse to what D.R.A.M. had written and Mabel found a fitting place for it! that NY recording session for D.R.A.M.'s verse was incredible, just watching and hearing the storyline unfold and make sense within the song. there is some great humour in this song too which is often lost in all too serious music... T.K came through after that and added in some extra layer to complement the pitched church organ sounds. this is something i was particularly keen on doing on my first record with different vocalists contributing to one track.

Written by SBTRKT, D.R.A.M. & Mabel / All Production, arrangement and mixing by SBTRKT / Vocals by D.R.A.M. & Mabel / Backing Vocals by TK / Recorded at Downtown Studios, NY & Laundry Room , London / NY Studio Engineer: Dan Fyfe

4. TBD (feat. Sampha)

this was actually the last song that made this project. i had a number of other pieces that i thought could work but this one just really felt like the uplift the record needed. it was an instrumental i created around two months ago that just seemed to cross reference a lot of the other record's instrumental sounds, and the progressions within it. Sampha came by my studio to catch up just prior to having the tracks mastered (shout to Mandy Parnell who does amazing work), just one week prior to releasing the album, and after playing him this track we tried out some ideas. rather than a full vocal from Sampha its just a bridge section that i pieced together. its great to also continue our collaborative story since way back in 2009.

Written by SBTRKT & Sampha / All Production, arrangement and mixing by SBTRKT / Vocals by Sampha / Recorded at Laundry Room, London

5. REVERT (feat. The-Dream)

i first made the instrumental to this song around last June. i immediately felt that there was a lot of synergy between this and my first album. one of the things i took great care with on this release was to try and play the chords and progressions that come most naturally, without trying to overthink what i was making. its almost a sub-conscious way of writing music. its often easy to go off on a tangent and make random songs when you are too alert.

having gone to Atlanta to record GOOD MORNING we worked on this song at the same time.

if you are listening intently you might recognise the 'Sanctuary' chords right at the end.

Written by SBTRKT & The-Dream / All Production, arrangement and mixing by SBTRKT / Vocals by The-Dream / Recorded at Silent Sound Studio, Atlanta & Laundry Room, London / Atlanta Studio Engineer: Nathaniel Alford

6. READY OR NOT

For me this is a continuation of songs in the style I've made before - something which reaches between the club, the live show and records such as READY SET LOOP / HIGHS AND LOWS / DECEMBERIST. all these songs were primarily played on the analogue synths i have in my studio - different ones over the years - which is why they all have a similar widescape and warmish sound.

Written by SBTRKT / All Production, arrangement and mixing by SBTRKT / Recorded at Laundry Room, London

7. LET THEM IN

initally i had set out for this to be the opening song on the record. for the past year or more I've really been pushing myself to create and use more unusual sounds and production techniques within my music making.

I've always loved overdrive and distortion in the music i listen too, and in my LIVE performances, but haven't really used it in songs I've put out. this is me presenting another side of the music i make that I'm hyped about releasing more of in future!

Written by SBTRKT / All Production, arrangement and mixing by SBTRKT / Recorded at Laundry Room, London

8. BURY YOU (feat. The-Dream)

The final track from the atlanta session, also fittingly the last track on this record.

i guess since my brother passed away during the process of recording Wonder Where We Land, which informed the more sombre mood of that album, it's been something that seeps into music I'm creating. The-Dream felt similar in his lyrical direction, and to me this song lives between haunting, the unknown and uplifting. it was inspiring working alongside an artist who could read the same emotional storyline that i had already placed in the production.

Written by SBTRKT & The-Dream / All Production, arrangement and mixing by SBTRKT / Vocals by The-Dream / Recorded at Silent Sound Studio, Atlanta & Laundry Room, London / Atlanta Studio Engineer: Nathaniel Alford

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CREDITS

MUSIC

COLLABORATIONS: THE-DREAM, D.R.A.M. , MABEL, SAMPHA & T.K

MASTERING: MANDY PARNELL @ BLACK SALOON STUDIOS, LONDON

ARTWORK & ANIMATION

ART DIRECTION & CONCEPTS: NILA (AHP) & SBTRKT

ARTWORK PAINTINGS: MICHAEL LISOWSKI

CHARACTER ILLUSTRATIONS & STORYBOARD: NILA (AHP) & SBTRKT

ANIMATION + ADDITIONAL ILLUSTRATION: LAURIE HILL & MICHAEL ZAUNER

FONT DESIGN: NILA (AHP)

LISTENING EVENT

ART/ EVENT DIRECTION: NILA (AHP)

SET DESIGN/ BUILD: JESSIE RUSSELL DOHN & HARRIET SLEIGH

LIGHTING: PHIL KAIKOURA

ADDITIONAL THANKS: MICHAEL BURKE, JIMMY HOLDOM, BEN REDGROVE + TOM FINN

PROJECT

NILA (AHP), MIKEY STIRTON, JADE NAZARETH, JAMIE JAMES MEDINA,
CALLENDER, MARKUS / NOAH / COURTNEY AT MTHEORY

WEBSITE BY REMOTE

CONTACT