South London producer Sampha Sisay has written and done vocals for SBTRKT, Jessie Ware and Drake, and although in all those instances he’s created something notable, each of those were in the service of someone else’s vision.
Earlier this week, Sampha released his “Dual” EP on Young Turks and it is a gorgeous work of minimalist RnB that (in my humble opinion) actually fully realizes the sound that artists like The Weeknd and Drake have been working towards the last few years.
Complex, heartfelt and effortless, “Without” is one of the most original singles and stand out tracks of the year. Plaintive and simultaneously wildly self-assured…the track vulnerably whispers “Take me home” while setting forth the reasonable argument that neither Sampha or his prospective hook up don’t have to “go without.”
His vocal overdubs and simple synth work are mesmerizing, but the real stand out is the remarkably crisp drum programming which skitters and chucks with unquestionable certainty. I have a hard time recalling any track I’ve heard this year with drumming this adventurous. This be that new New Jack swing.
If Sampha can maintain this level of cocksure production, he’ll be a name on everyone’s lips soon enough.