Akito – ‘Metamessage’ EP (Sub Skank)

London party starters-cum-record label, Sub Skank, belatedly start 2014 with promising, ‘one to watch’ newcomer Akito’s stomping, hybrid ‘Metamessage EP’ – a fantastically, original amalgamation of skitty House, powerhouse Techno, UK Bass and ice-cold, Eski Grime.

Following on from last year’s single ‘Unaquainted’, a release that saw the producer tackle Techno facing, Bass orientated, grimey Dancehall in an equally bizarre, yet fresh take on mashing up and combining disparate genres – Akito delivers another impeccable selection of original cuts that defy genre convention by seamlessly weaving elements of Grime, Funky, Dancehall, House and Techno into a finely wrought, tightly coiled tapestry of urban-centric, dance-floor weapons.

The EP kicks off with the titular ‘Metamessage’, a tune that starts life as an almost ‘warehouse ready’ Techno tune, with its relentless 4×4 rhythm chugging the tune into gear before launching into a flurry of icy Eski influenced synth lines that druggily power the track along into peak time dancefloor territory. It’s a hybrid of the highest quality and a blatant “WTF  U lookin’ at?,” two-fingered salute to genre purists, from a producer obviously in love with the sounds he makes.

The alternate mix of ‘Metamessage’ step ups next, finding Akito belligerently breaking the original’s 4×4 flavour in favour of a more scattered Garage-y type of sound. The track feels sparser than the original, with more space being given to the skippy, fragmented beat than the former’s pummelling rhythm afforded; allowing the fantastically, characterful Eski synth lines to sing in a different, but no less beguiling context.

‘Bordello Bounce’ see the producer flip up his style once more, this time working within a Funky indebted, syncopated world of pitched kicks and percussion, rolling claps and reverberated snares that all combine with ripping, industrial effects and moments of ambient bliss that contrast with the tune’s rhythmic workouts in fine style.

Last up is ‘Aqua Tryst’, another bastardised Techno hybrid of epic proportions that probably sits closest to the bugged out, spaceman Grime aesthetic fostered by people such as Bloom, Mumdance and Logos and Arctic more than anything else I can think of that is out at the moment. However, with this of course being Akito, the spectre of industrial decline looms heavy over the horizon, with dirty, distorted elements never too far away from the surface. It’s a stunning way to end a fantastic, varied EP.

‘Metamessage’ is out now on Sub Skank. Buy it here.

Al Kennedy

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