Ta-Ku – Songs To Break Up To (LP review)

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Emotional music has become a loose term thrown around to describe ‘sad’ music, Ta-Ku seemingly embraces this idea in his LP but also moves beyond the feelings of an emotiional break-up. Usually, we all cringe at the thought of break-up music, bringing to mind the cliché scenes in American films where the heroine goes home to eat ice-cream by the tub and the man is portrayed as looking moody or as a total jerk. Regardless, none of these scenes were conjured to mind as Ta-Ku’s latest offering is not archetypal break-up music but also a hybrid of experimental Hip-Hop and Soul music.

Ta-Ku or Regan Matthews as he is known takes his influences from the likes of J Dilla, so it is not surprising to see this surfacing within ‘Songs To Break Up To’ but this challenges the concept of his album being focused solely around overcoming the end of a relationship. He does this it because typically Hip-Hop instrumentals would not create the right atmosphere. Instead, Ta-Ku has created both an album to ‘break up to’ but also one to appreciate the fluid nature of hip-hop when moulded together with Jazz elements and lo-fi sounds.

Ta-Ku’s sharpest ‘break up’ offering come in the form of, ‘ I Miss You’ which samples ‘Summer Fling’ by Willow Smith and MVSIC which builds in a poignant melody that is underlaid with trademark Ta-Ku beats. On the other side of the spectrum, Ta-Ku pushes the ‘break up’ boundary with hints of Jazz rhythms in ‘Moving On’. Although throughout it there is a clear sense of the notion of ‘break-up’ music especially in the final track  ‘Descent’ featuring Ebrahim with it’s contrasting emotions of sorrow and looking forwards.

To label Ta-Ku’s latest LP as a group of songs to ‘break up to’ seems to oversimplify the beauty of them but what is clear is that it cements his name as an Australian producer to look out for the in the coming years.

Stand-out Tracks: ‘I Miss You’ & ‘Descent’

40 – Lumis takes on Mount Kimbie’s Sophomore Album – ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’

Rating – 4/5

Lumis picks – ‘Home Recording’, ‘You Took Your Time feat. King Krule’ and ‘Blood and Form’.

‘Turn that monotonic rubbish off and do your homework!’ Shouts my mother from downstairs while I’m listening to haunting lines of Home Recording of which, in my opinion but clearly not my mother’s is a beautiful track encased within an equally majestic almost cerebral album. Reality seems to hover in out and of existence when you sink into the album, taking you to a new world full of low-key melodies and off-beat synths. To divulge into their sound, it’s interesting to see how they create their initial noises from a field recording, which picks up to say a bicycle going by which they could morph into a beat, to create something entirely organic but yet artificially transfigured.

To me, the album seems to be part of some greater ethereal being that has been embodied within this album, it is so alive and vibrant that it just jumps out of the album and into the listeners very ears demanding to be heard. Home Recording grabs you first, its haunting trumpet sounds out the first keys which then slowly evolve into this steady discordant snapping in the background. As the track builds and builds, the soft vocals of Campos wash over you, washing all worries away keeping you attached to the beauty of the song. Cold Spring builds crooning you, with King Krule not so much rapping but speaking to you, moving from softness and then suddenly lashing out in an echo of rage, in time with the soft organ keys. Suddenly, the air that cleared for his coarse voice, then suddenly thickens, morphing and dampening his voice as You Took Your Time ends… Other noteworthy tracks that burst out of the album are the catchy two-step of ‘Made To Stray’ and the near industrial groaning roars of ‘Slow’ distilled into some smooth harmonies.

The album ebbs and flows with the touches of Mount Kimbie, who are pushing it along in an attempt to find their own in sound in the ever-increasing space of the internet. At times, the uncertainty of the duo emanates with silent tension as if they placing their feet in new ground away from ‘Crooks & Lovers’ which sometimes fails but other times resounds perfectly.

– L