Within the East London club scene, producer-come-DJ Akito Hearnshaw has long been the driving force behind collaborations and friendships amongst players within the community. His ability to facilitate connections illustrates his reputation between fellow artists: respected and admired by many for his busy-body approach and active influence. Co-founding bass and beats imprint Sub Skank, as well as running London label Sans Absence, Akito’s dedication is clear, promoting quality sonics geared for the club or the booth in equal measure. His production, too, is multi-faceted and functional, providing beats and melodies ready for a hot 16, or the soundtrack to your 3AM skank.
Past releases on his own Sub Skank and Sans Absence imprints, as well as fellow London label Trax Couture, have showcased the genre-merging style of Akito. Tiling together elements of Grime, Bass and Techno, the NTS resident’s output is a mosaic-like culmination of techniques and styles. Despite the breadth of influence, the finished product is always harmonious and well-balanced, tipping the metaphorical hat to each genre in equal amounts. His upcoming release, a debut album on Tight Knit Records, is no exception to this crafty blueprint.
Conveying a catalogue of intensities and experiences in music-form, Gone Again offers ten tracks of wild and progressive rhythms. Broken 2-step percussion transforms into syncopated, coarse grime, with each providing novel instrumentals. Similarly, different moods and emotions are conveyed from track-to-track, displaying melancholy alongside celebration, and calling upon everything in between. For example, ‘Rollover’ combines menacing kick drums with dizzying melodies, whilst ‘Perspex Ceilings’ merges icy, calming synthwork with fresh and fluttering pads. The album can be seen as a true representation of Akito’s journey within music, materialising lived experience within the sonic. The man behind Gone Again gave us five Japanese inspirations behind his latest release.
Shigeo Sekito – the word II
Really love the pace in this one, the synths are incredible too, the expression alone is something I really miss hearing in most modern music I hear so I find myself re-listening to this a lot. it’s concise from the arrangement to length, complex simplicity at it’s finest.
Mari Iijima – ひまわり
the sparseness and tonality in the earlier part of the track gets me gassed up, something I wanted to introduce into my productions but struggled with for some time and still working on, this made me more aware of spacing things up and even using single to less layers of sounds rather than trying to fill every song with a thumping bass line, 5 synths and 20+ percussion sounds.
The dancehall influences stem back from Mighty Crown, growing up I saw them perform a few times at numerous sound clashes in London and their energy is phenomenal, they really inspired me to DJ; I wanted to be able to bring that high energy into a room and give people a great time like they did for me, so even if I’m not there to spin hopefully the tracks can convey this same feeling.
Ryuichi Sakamoto – Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence
This one gets me welling up, so full of feels, some thing I really aspire to in my own music but know I have so far to go, this is the reminder.
it slowly became an anthem for the closing hours of many small carry ons, which where also listening sessions leading up to the completion of the album, big up my brother Impey each and every time and every one that gave it a listen and feedback especially Noire and Polo.
Pisces – Dariemo
This one for the tones and delivery, I haven’t worked with any vocalists yet so I’ve always tried to fill the void in that frequency range with synths, really into Lisachris’ sound in this track, the vocals sound really sweet while the production gives it a slightly contrasting feel for me, asked her manager if I could remix it and I got a huge slice of air pie, haha.
You can find all the details for the album release party here.