EP Review: Ta-ku - Songs To Make Up To

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

In 2013, Perth producer Ta-ku made waves with the release of his EP Songs To Break Up To. Last week, he released Songs To Make Up To, a follow up to the highly acclaimed emotional release, continuing with the themes of love and pain. Ta-ku’s delivery on the follow up EP is just as marvellous. Below are my thoughts on his new release.

The opening of ‘Hopeful’ is graceful - there is something sweet about the melody. The sounds of the piano is beautifully paced and in a way it reminds me of a jewellery box. The delicateness of the track is then replaced with a much more synthesised version of what we just heard. The opening track is effective in the sense that it provides a good sense of what you’re going to expect from the rest of the EP.

‘Love Again’, starring JMSN and fellow producer Sango, has been used as the promotional single leading up to the release of Songs To Make Up To - there aren’t any doubts of why, the track is breathtaking. The layering of the vocals are sublime, especially the gospel-eque harmonies. Ta-ku doesn’t allow this track to be dominated by beats, instead allows the piano to drive the song with his beats remaining subtly in the background. The track remains true to the overall theme of the EP of getting back together. 

If ‘Love Again’ has you all worked up and emotional, then the subsequent track ’Trust Me’ might give you some time to settle down. In this track he ditches the piano from the first two tracks and replaces it with percussion dominant beats and textured and distorted synths. This track serves as an interlude leading into ‘Long Time No See’ featuring ATU. You might remember ATU from Ta-ku's previous EP Songs To Break Up To on ‘I Miss You More'.

Next up is ‘Sunrise / Beautiful’, a collaboration with Brisbane’s Jordan Rakei. This track provides a palette of what is first-class about his production. He combines natural sounds as well as artificial beats splendidly, creating a well balanced blend that is both intriguing and exciting to listen to. If you listen closely three-quarters into it, you will hear a disguised sample sung by Jordan of the lyrics from ‘Beautiful’ by Snoop Dogg and Pharrell, “Beautiful, I just want you to know / You’re my favourite girl.” Following this track is ‘Fall4You’ featuring Sunni Colón. The sensual track is controlled by Colón’s serene falsetto as well as an upbeat rhythm in the beat section. The EP concludes with ‘Work In Process’ starring the sounds of a melodious piano just like the opening track. 

Songs To Make Up To takes you on an enchanting journey from beginning to end. Ta-ku's innovative and soulful production has allowed him to create a body of work that is whole - I don’t feel like anything is missing or that he has left stones unturned. If you’re going through the motions of love or love lost - or have gone through them in the past, then you will find yourself immersed in the passionate sounds of the EP. As long as we have Ta-ku gracing the world with his music, everything is going to be okay. 

Written by Amy Smolcic

Ta-ku - Songs To Make Up To
Released: June 12 2015
Rating: 9/10