DJ Sabrina the Teenage DJ is an anonymous DJ from London. According to her bandcamp, Sabrina got her start by recording music onto an heirloom tape machine she inherited with her equipment set up consisting of; drum machines she purchased from a carboot, synthesizers from a charity shop and an Apple Emac computer. I’m always looking for new music and this record passed right by me at first, I recently discovered it after seeing a swarm of positive reviews on sites like rateyourmusic and as well as lots of conversation around “Charmed” on twitter.
Sabrina’s work carries this beautiful 90’s aesthetic, be it through her cover art which consistently has these beautiful pixel art images or her catchy and enchanting music. Sitting at my desk and listening to ‘Charmed’ proved a challenge, every song is so catchy it just makes you want to move your body and often times get up and dance around your room. This beautiful Dance, House record also uses lots of samples and manages to take these samples and put them together to build a masterpiece track after track.
‘Charmed’ is over 3 hours long and in that time it has 31 unique and catchy dance tracks. Songs like ‘How did you know?’ start off with emotional samples but then uses these to build one of the most fun, energetic and well produced songs this album has to offer. ‘Pool Party’ is another standout track, on many tracks across the album, the samples of people talking are used to tell a story or set the scene for the song and it means that many tracks manage to build an environment with the music.
Another catchy track I really want to highlight is ‘Down with love’. This 8 minute long masterpiece is such a great dance track and will definitely have you bopping your head and swaying in your seat, no matter where you are. There is then a perfect transition into ‘I like where this is going’ which continues where ‘Down with love’ left off and flows perfectly to end with more of the emotional storytelling that continues through this album.
The storytelling aspect of the album is explored much more on the last few tracks. The final track ‘End of an era’ begins with emotional piano music which carries through the track and creates this interesting contrast between the sad and soft piano, the more calm vocals but the still catchy and upbeat drums. Although not feeling out of place as such ‘End of an era’ definitely feels much more experimental and messy than most tracks on the album but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The combination of different vocals and instruments helps to make this both an interesting closer to the album and does a good job of calming the mood after 3 hours of excitement and energy.
‘Charmed’ is a real hidden gem of an album, 2020 has been a great year for music and I’m sure it’s just one of many projects that got overlooked. Sabrina shows real potential with this record. Sabrina is clearly a skilled and talented artist with a real passion for her work. Seeing ‘Charmed’ gain lots of attention online is a very pleasant surprise and I’m sure this album as well as Sabrina’s listener base, will grow massively over the new few weeks.
Words by Alex Herron.