Sbtrkt, The Gilles Peterson Awards, Koko


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The Independent Culture

As mysterious as he is wary of vowels, Sbtrkt was the toast of the evening at the The Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards.

The yearly highlight of the musical calendar invites industry elites to celebrate up and coming artists. The only scruple of the event is that as it's so widely respected and popular with fans, it does have the tendency to draw in a few pretentious characters in the crowd, hotly anticipating the discovery of the next big thing. In fairness, if you do want to know - there's no better place to find out.

The Radio 1 DJ commended many artists throughout the night, but his highest praise went to Sbtrkt, who was awarded both the coveted Best Band and Best Album of the Year awards. With both having competition from Little Dragon, who were clearly popular with the audience, and last year's Track of the Year winner James Blake, they were tough categories in which to shine. A grateful Sbtrkt (in his ubiquitous tribal mask) described how "I've been following these for years, but to win is crazy...Thanks to the label for believing and thank you for listening."  

Other winners included Manchester-based trumpeter Matthew Halsall for Jazz Album of the year with On the Go, and Session of the Year going to soul singer Michael Kiwanuka, who recently rose to prominence after winning BBC's Sound of 2012 list. Flying Lotus's label Brainfeeder won Label of the Year and Best Single went to Jamie XX for his remix of Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep'. The notable line up also included DJs Julio Bashmore and Hudson Mohawke.

Taking to the stage after Thundercat and Jamie XX had warmed the crowd nicely, Sbtrkt and band launched into his post-dubstep impressive intro from the beginning of the album. The venue was slightly too full all evening, but for his performance everyone was pushing to get closer. In his first gig of the year, Sbtrkt made a good move in making the opening track the wonderful 'Hold On'. The highlight of his set was 'Wildfire', which he was playing the first time live introducing special guest Yukki from Little Dragon to join him on stage. The set was short but exciting with only a handful of songs, the only notable omission being 'Pharoahs'.

Gilles Peterson took to the stage to thank Sbtrkt for the "unbelievable" performance, also commenting "We don't normally do encores but these guys deserve one, right?" Naturally, he took the rapturous applause as a yes and brought back the producer on stage, to an elated audience harbouring for more.

The anonymity the producer adopts allows his music to speak for itself, and it certainly seems to be saying all the right things.