Album of the Week: Ta-Ku - Songs To Come Home To | 2023 Week 34
Beloved Boorloo/Perth-based producer completes a trio of iconic releases ten years in the making with his official debut album + new records from Be Your Own Pet, Danger Mouse & Jemini, Open Mike Eagle, SPELLLING, The Cat Empire and more
For the better of 15 years, the words “beats” and “Perth” have been synonymous with Regan Matthews AKA Ta-Ku, a multi-faceted creative who in the early 2010s dropped a string of dope beat tapes and singles, establishing himself as an acclaimed producer and recording artist while also becoming a celebrated photographer and Creative Director/Co-Founder of creative studio Pretty Soon.
Back in 2013 Ta-Ku dropped his now iconic Songs To Break Up To mixtape, showcasing his emotional depth and layered productions, soon followed up in 2015 by Songs To Make Up To that saw features from the likes of JMSN, Sango and Jordan Rakei. Now, eight years (and an exhibition at Perth Festival) later, the “Songs To” trilogy is coming to an epic conclusion in the form of the phenomenal album Songs To Come Home To, an epic collection of 20 tracks that showcase Ta-Ku’s progression as a musician while bringing some of his very talented friends along for the ride, including Milan Ring, Touch Sensitive, Young Franco, Wafia, ?uestlove, 1300, JMSN, Sango and many more, with every cut on the record featuring at least one feature.
Album opener THE END (feat. Thrupence, Will Paquin & rum.gold) perfectly sets the scene for what’s to come, opening with stripped back piano, a restrained lead and stunning vocals, before laidback drums enter the mix. Following an abrupt interlude, the track flips on its head to a jazzy, soulful, boom-bap style beat, sure to be the start of continual head nods throughout the remainder of the album.
Exploring all manner of tempos and styles within the hip-hop infused sides of soul and funk, Songs To Come Home To has an extremely satisfying push and pull in energy and BPMs, taking the listener on a journey with several upper tempo peaks and sultry, slow jam valleys.
Perhaps most delightfully surprising, the record comes to a close with a stunning, stripped back & melodic cover of A-Ha’s ubiquitous hit single Take On Me, featuring US-rapper NOÉ accompanied by twinkling piano and baile funk style drums, with layered vocal harmonies cutting through the mix.
Ta-ku says on Songs To Come Home To: "This debut album is a celebration. A full-circle moment. An opportunity for me to express myself in the most complete way as an artist. A culmination of my musical & visual journey over the last decade. A homecoming and arrival to a place of calm and contentment. Featuring some of today’s most exciting new artists, as well as returning collaborators, all of whom I deeply admire, this marks my most ambitious project to date. This project is less about me & more about... us."
The best of the rest of this week's records:
Be Your Own Pet - Mommy [Third Man Records] USA
Alternative / Rock
Becca Mancari - Left Hand [Captured Tracks] USA
Alternative / Indie
Danger Mouse & Jemini the Gifted One - Born Again [Lex Records] USA
Georgia Mooney - Full Of Moon [Nettwerk] AUS
Indie / Folk
Hiss Golden Messenger - Jump For Joy [Merge Records] USA
Indie / Folk
Open Mike Eagle - Another Triumph Of Ghetto Engineering [Auto Reverse] USA
SPELLLING - SPELLLING And The Mystery School [Sacred Bones Records] USA
Indie / Experimental
The Cat Empire - Where The Angels Fall [Cat Empire] AUS