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Let’s be honest here, Australia is teeming with talented producers and musicians at the moment, with wunderkinds and up-and-comers throwing their hat in the ring daily, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. The Australian electronic music scene has transformed, with a new wave of producers cultivating the evolution of the ‘Australian sound*’ – spine-tingling beats flooded with glitchy synthwork, booming bass and nuances of future garage, deep house and trap. Regan ‘Ta-ku‘ Mathews from Perth, Australia is one of said producers.

ta ku

Than-ku Ta-ku. Catch him alongside a huge host of local power at Listen Out this October!

The full-time health insurance salesman-turned-progressive-beat-scholar is no newcomer. Ta-ku’s been kicking around for over four years now, and has since become a regular fixture on countless blogs, amassing a large fanbase and is rapidly on the rise. The self-taught music student’s tracks are characterised by future garage beats, minimalist electronic production and vocal distortion, elements which have become synonymous with Ta-ku’s sleek and sophisticated signature sound. If you’re late to the Ta-ku bandwagon, don’t worry, just start listening to him now. Like right now.

With every one of his musical outputs, Ta-ku hits home every single time. Songs To Break Up To is a ten-track EP of musical finesse, exploring themes of love, loss and heartbreak, effortlessly threaded together with dark and brooding production. A stunning vocalisation of the beatsmith’s ponderings on the hopelessness of love, the EP chronicles the series of emotional stages following a painful breakup. We Were In Love couldn’t sum it up any better. The track epitomises breakup music, a dramatic rework of L.A. songstress Jhene Aiko’s Comfort Inn Ending.

The result is a cinematic, bass-heavy epic adorned with melancholically luscious vocals which croon ‘We were in love, so I was the only one, so I was the only lonely one’ over the slowly crescendoing melody. Whether it’s the soulful Melodic Chaotic-sampled vocals and J Dilla-influenced beat of I Miss You or beautifully chilling, piano-driven I Miss You More, Songs To Break Up To is a compelling and evocative depiction of the dissolution of affection and severing of the deep bonds between two individuals. What does this EP say about Ta-ku, the self-professed ‘genre killer?’ Like most of us, he’s obviously had his heart broken a few times. Songs To Break Up To is so good that after listening to it, if you don’t already, you’ll wish you had a break up to cry about.

Don’t worry, Ta-ku’s not all tears and catharsis. The ever-prolific producer also happens to be a gun at remixing the work of others – Flume, Drake, Banks, JT, Disclosure and Childish Gambino, to name a few. Drizzy Drake favourite Over is transformed into the ‘quick club joint’ Closet Drake Fans, which is interspersed with pitched-up vocal samples and electronic frenzy. Flume’s Left Alone (featuring talented beard-grower Chet Faker) gets the Ta-ku treatment with a smattering of vocal skews, textured layers and sounds of a gun cocking. Sped up, bass-laden and vocals deepened, Ta-ku’s take on ‘Bino’s Telegraph Ave is fresh as. If I even tried to begin to name all my favourite Ta-ku remixes I’d end up writing a thesis, so click through those links and hear for yourself.

Ta-ku will be playing alongside the likes of Flume, Chet Faker, ZHU, Schoolboy Q and more at Listen Out. You’ll be kicking yourself if you miss seeing this rising producer, so grab your tickets now. I’ll be counting the days…

Saturday, September 27 – Centennial Park, Sydney

Sunday, September 28 – Ozone Reserve, Perth

Saturday, October 4 – Observatory Precinct, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Sunday, October 5 – The Avenues & Expo Place, Brisbane Showgrounds

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*ADM (Australian Dance Music) is a term being thrown around a fair bit, however the acronym has to compete with a large scale agricultural processing corporation on Google, so it might not take off straight away.

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July 7, 2014

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