Akouo walks us through his genre-bending new EP, Carbon
The six-track EP from the Tasmanian production wizard, his first in four years, warps between electronic, hip-hop and more.
Tasmanian producer-songwriter Akouo is a name often overlooked in the Australian electronic landscape, but it's time to wake up. Over the past five years or so, Akouo has explored every facet of his signature, often genre-warping sound, whether it was through his debut EP Mesa back in 2014 or on tracks like last year's Montaigne-featuring Feel That - a more pop-centric cut that was easily his most successful and slickest single to date. After collaborating with LANKS for his sensational debut album twentyseven earlier this year, the producer's latest release Carbon - his first EP since 2014 - sees Akouo go into more of an experimental mode, whether it's through collaboration with La'Vel for a hip-hop-leaning release that paired his signature production finesse with quick-paced verses or tracks like Day Wonder, which contrasts both the soft and heavy sides of Akouo's sound. The full EP is out now - grab it HERE - and in celebration of the release, we got Akouo himself to dive into the EP's creation and meaning with a track-by-track walkthrough. Check it all out below.
I made this beat on my laptop at a friend’s house in LA, and I was gonna add to the EP as an instrumental but when I met La’vel on his trip to Tassie, he really nailed it down as a standout track for the EP.
This track reminds me of flying. The bouncy parts are like getting psyched for a tour, and the drop comes in and it’s heavy like jets taking off, the serene, mellow bits in between remind me of the stuff I’ve seen out the windows like coral reefs over North Queensland, barren mountains over North America, snowy caps over Christchurch, Tassie sunsets, etc.
Best Mistake To Make
I recorded the opening sample on a street piano with my phone while I was hungover in Hamilton waiting for the promoter to pick me up, and when I got home, I built the beat around it. It’s become one of my fav songs and as the title suggests, sometimes you can stumble across a spark of magic without thinking and it can be one of the best mistakes you could make.
This song is like a mini Akouo set, it’s the same kind of a journey I like to take in my live sets - contrasting between really gentle, atmospheric chords and heavy trashy synth drops for people to headbang to. I like to surprise people when I’m playing live, I don’t want to be too predictable, and I suppose this one has that element to it.
I’ve always been inspired by UK music; they tend to grab bits and pieces from different genres and make it their own. So, I kind of grabbed some bits and pieces from UK grime and indie electronica, and smashed it all together into some weird amalgamation.
This one doesn’t really have a story behind it, it’s just some ice cold, grimy head-nod business for the heads, and it’s fun as hell to play live!
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