Sabota - Sabota LP on Hybridity Music

Words by: Dave Jenkins
Posted: 11/2/14 8:24

Ever heard of Canadian producers Max Ullis or Robbie Slade? Nah, neither have we. Not that it matters, it’s a fitting opportunity to let the music do the talking. And boy, does it do some chatting.

Launching into the dance with a full length album is always a bold move – some might argue a stupid move – but once you’ve digested this opus you’ll have no illusions as to who this duo are and what they’re capable of. A clear statement of sonic intent, their skills are evident from start to finish.

The opener “Don’t Ask” ignites the narrative with off-beat charm. Angular percussion, honey-coated subs and a cut up Apparat style vocal fuse to form a blend that works well on both headphones and dancefloors. Emotional without being too naval gazing, it segues neatly into the more persistent riffage of “Cooking Shows”. Here the falsetto vocals develop into more a fully fledged form while the rhythm switches from 4/4 to a more alluring broken affair. With sprinkles of acid mischief buried deep in the mix, it’s not dissimilar to Elite Force’s Modern Primitive album from a few years back.

As we delve deeper into this 10 track adventure we’re flipped wildly off-track with the subversive tropical percussion, demonically downpitched vocals and cascading sub bass twists of “Next Time”. We’re enraptured by the stunning meld of synths and vocals on the Ame-meets-MalinchakTeacher”. We’re massaged into a swooning puddle of mush on The XX-flavoured expressive fracturisms of “October”.

The Sabota formula works; vocals, broken beats, warm bass and spacious textures are united with a house sensibility that peers into the realms of over-sentimentality while never fully immersing itself into overblown weepiness. As the album reaches a crescendo with the glistening melodic ripples and shimmering timpani rhythm of “Untitled” and the heaving keys and sturdy slo-mo beat of “I’m Not There”, we’re reminded of the main emphasis of this extensive work: the beats.

Contemporary and distinctive, while many other examples of the ever-developing new beat genre appear faceless or a little naked, this marriage of star-gazing melodies and well measured vocals give Sabota genuine character and soul. Sure, I hadn’t heard to Max Ullis and Robbie Slade until this landed… Now I can’t get enough of them.

Artist: Sabota
Title: Sabota LP
Label: Hybridity Music

Tracklist01. Don’t Ask02. Cooking Show03. Next Time (feat Charlie Damara)04. Teacher05. Jeans06. Stumble07. Hi + Lo08. October09. Untitled10. I’m not there11. Next Time (Grenier Remix)

Our rating: 8/10


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