Akito is the nodal point of east London’s club scene, the link through which many friendships and collaborations have been patterned. It makes sense, then, that his debut album Gone Again hits so many familiar vibes and moods for any listener plugged into London’s outsider party cycle.
The tracks move from grimey saw waves to floating mesospheres, from broken 2-step rhythms into hard percussion and dancehall, without ever feeling misplaced or forced, a perfect representation of a living interaction of influences. Spirals and sequences, escalating dizzily upwards and brutally crashing back down on Tuesday: Gone Again is an incredibly honest statement.
A catalogue of experiences and intensities is carved into these tracks. It’s a story of staving off the comedown and stopping by the 24 hour off-licence on the way to the next place, rolling over into day two, wondering if it’s too late to ever reset the imbalance of a few years of extremes. But it also holds out the mad thrill of being able to reach and sustain those levels, of making it to the next city for another night, or cloud-watching on a long-haul plane deeply enough to forget that the escape is only going to be short-lived.
Every time a moment of angst is released into the album, whether through a distorted, punishing tom or an unsettled, homeless melody, a burst of optimism recuperates it. Whenever you think you might have given a bit too much away, or you get hit by a paranoid fear that you’ve been misunderstood in a new place or relationship, another synth-line breathes some energy back into you. A fresh connection, another friendly face, more nights on the carry-on. Back soon but always Gone Again.
TWO FOR A JACKS
“Two For A Jacks is the opening cut taken from Akito’s brand new long-player, ‘Gone Again’ but, more than that, it summarises his place at the “nodal point of east London’s club scene”. What that translates to is essentially a symbiotic stew of noodling instrumental grime and tough-nut UK funky, which is precisely my home field axis. So, um, yes… I’m a pretty big fan of the lad’s ridiculously pitched, kinetic riffing, hollow synths and tribal drum-driven swagger.” 9/10 review – DJ MAG
The title is about NOS, a Jacks is cockney slang for £5, so 2 balloons for a fiver. A common deal in London, sometimes you can 3 or more, just depends who you’re talking to.
With the synths I wanted to make them sound quite flexible and rubbery while the percussion tries to recreate the feeling of being on balloons, a sort of quick, disorientating, distorted high represented in the tight loops of repetition.
The title is to do with self-limiting beliefs, cheap thoughts that hold us back from moving forward; which could easily be snapped, providing pressure is applied in the right direction.
SEARCH ENGINE TRANSLATE
Video directed by Meshach Falconer Roberts – Premiered by Trax Magazine
“The NTS resident’s new album will showcase the sounds of the London club scene.” – Fact Mag
This track is based on my last relationship and our difficulties in communication. When we were apart things got far more difficult and we spent a lot of time translating what each other where saying, sometimes it worked and a lot of times it didn’t. I tried to recreate the frustration and back & forth through the conflict of the square waves and the good times through the slightly more pleasant shimmering synths, while the pounding crashes reminded me of the sense of confusion and uncertainty.
STARING OUT THE 787
“North London producer Akito is a master of percussion-fuelled peaktime energy, blending global influences with his city’s hardcore heritage. As boss of the Sans Absence label and as a member of the Acid Fantasy party crew, he’s spent the past few years shaping the sound of London’s basement raves. For his debut album, Gone Again, Akito joins Tight Knit Records to distil his cross-genre attitude into a ferocious hybrid of grime, 2-step and dancehall – with the occasional moment of ambient introspection. ‘Staring Out The 787’ is a highlight: low-slung and slow-rolling, it’s one of his most versatile and melodic productions to date” – Chal Ravens (Red Bull Music Academy)
I was trying to create the anxious feeling of travelling somewhere far that you’ve planned for ages, that sense of wonder and running through scenarios in your mind of what could potentially happen over your travels when you’re day dreaming, aimlessly staring out the window.
“Renowned on the underground London club scene Sans Absence’s Akito latest release ‘Gone again’ is set to make waves. Expect Hard Drum sounds, 2-step rhythms and strong production.” – Mixmag
In this interlude I wanted to play between a relaxed, calming synth and upbeat drum pattern, similar to when you have the intention of going to sleep but you end up rolling around in bed until it’s time to get up.
“‘Rollover’ is a track which is bound to really turn heads and move limbs in the club. Akito works up a visceral dose of unrelenting percussion and ‘bubbly’ samples (for lack of a better word); in a master-class in pacey and dynamic songwriting.” – Insert
‘Rollover’ is another slang term for carry-on / after-party, which was introduced to me by my friend Baliboc from Dublin, Ireland. He loves a drink and so do I, it’s a track dedicated to him, he’s a great guy and I love his energy.
The aim with this track was to have a break from all the synths, a simple drum-work out that pivots on an 8 bar loop, influenced by some early grime arrangements – less tears and more aggression.
WAKE ME UP IN PARIS
Once I played a Warehouse Project in Manchester; got pretty hammered and couldn’t sleep well, the morning after I had to jump on a train to London, then jump on another train to Paris to play a party with Teki, this tune just reminded me of the experience and the title sounded quite bouji, something I don’t consider myself but it stuck, haha.
The name stems from the fear of a permanent chemical imbalance. Imagine never recovering from a 3 day bender, fuck, haha, what would you do? That was the feeling I tried to create in this one.
‘Konbini’ is short for convenience store in Japan, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can buy anything from booze to fresh socks and T-shirts, my favourite are FamilyMart (inspiration for AkitoMart) and 7-Eleven, they have the decent food at reasonable prices and a vast drink selection you can’t get in the UK. Anyway, to the point, I wanted to capture the drunken stumble from store to store, picking up a cold one or two with the gang, and floating around the streets of Asia, getting more waved as the night unravels.
Title and ending track of the album. I wanted to create something slightly more uplifting for the finale, I always wanted to make dancehall influenced beats growing up, I simply didn’t have the confidence so I put it off. With this album I feel like I had a lot more space and confidence to play with so I wanted to create more rhythms in this style, this is the happiest one, still sticking with the theme of the album – the positive feeling of a fleeting escape / deluded sensation.
Title: Gone Again
Format: LP, 12″ Vinyl & Digital
Record Label: Tight Knit Records
Catalogue Number: TKRLP001
Release Date: 16 November 2018
Vinyl and Digital Mastering: Beau Thomas (Ten Eight Seven Mastering)
Vinyl and Digital Distribution: Cargo Records UK
Artwork: Loïc Dupasquier
Portrait Photographer: Steve Braiden
Special thanks to Charlie, this album’s as much his as mine. Without his trust, guidance and patience it wouldn’t be here. Thanks mum, your support means everything – thanks for letting me get on. Big up HUB16 for letting me mix the whole thing at theirs – love you Jason, Sam, and Natty. Thanks to Impey, Noire, Polo & co. for being an extra set of ears at the carry-ons and for all the feedback. Thank you HDM NKC for creating the press release and of course massive thanks to Loïc on the artwork. Want to save the biggest thanks to the end; thanks to all the doctors and nurses who saved my Dads life, big up yourself forever. Love everyone, bye for now.
Five Japanese inspirations behind Akito’s upcoming album, ‘Gone Again’ – Hyponik
Atmospheres and sounds typical of the most underground London, researched samples and oriental brackets. The rhythm remains almost dead present, discrete but still constant. An album to listen to multiple times. 7/10 – DJ MAG Italia
Early DJ support from Jubilee, Teki Latex, NKC, Swing Ting, Batu, Tom Ravenscroft & many more
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