Label: Sub Skank
Release Date: 10/02/2014
Upon receiving this EP I wasn’t that familiar with Akito, although he is a producer who has been on the peripherals of my listening habits for a while. I had been told the release was out via Sub Skank, giving me some idea of what would be about to scream out of the speakers, having me reloading iTunes for the rest of my Thursday afternoon.
I click play excitedly on the first track ‘Metamessage (Original Mix)’, and at first I am surprised. The beat seems relatively slow compared to what I expected, but as the track progresses more intricate percussive elements are introduced, speeding up the track until a familiar tension gripped my anatomy, my body predicting the abominable drop. When it comes the sound is surprising, a harsh melody reminiscent of early noughties grime, yet because this melody isn’t force fed to you at 140 BPM the listening experience is able to be considered; the slower tempo meaning you can digest it more carefully. This bass centric melody modulates through abrasive snare rhythms which are unremitting throughout, processed to keep the track sounding fresh for its duration.
The alternate mix of ‘Metamessage’ is not to be sniffed at as a rehashing; the percussion isn’t as powerful but allows the fullness of the bass motifs to drive the track. It’s also slightly faster, meaning it loses none of the heart-pounding excitement the percussion gives to the original.
The third offering is a rolling bass medley mixed with industrial signals and chopped vocals producing something which might not be the most memorable from the EP, but should not to be looked over because of it.
It is the finale track that really got my attention however. A dusty haze of percussion mudded in reverb slowly builds, until the tension breaks with a series of carefully placed sub-snare hits which form a rhythm difficult for your feet to ignore. After this main break the sustained reverb notes return but with elements of the break now intertwined, turning what was initially promised as a foot stompingly riotous beat pattern into something a little more reflective, before a fury of drums return once again.
‘Metamessage’ is an EP made for those who wish for their beats to knock their pint from their hand, grab them by the nose and pull them into a group of sweaty clubbers who care little for how they are perceived by the chin strokers at the back. Its tracks demand to be listened to through the use of sounds which are difficult to master but once they are become all too contagious with their energy.
Akito has employed a fusion of downtempo dubstep and grime made popular over the past few years by labels like Night Slugs, a movement which has my firm approval (not that it needs it). Akitos contribution to this scene is one which I’m thankful for, sounds which do what they say on the tin. And they do it well.