EP Review: Ta-Ku - 'Songs To Make Up To'

Written By Donna Arendse on 06/17/2015

Regan Matthews, the electronic producer we know as Ta-ku, certainly spreads himself around. The Perth based producer is very much in touch with creating not only auditory, but also visual landscapes, as seen with his creative project Create + Explore which pairs videographers and beatmakers. As well as this, Ta-ku co-owns Westons Barber Shop & Shave Parlour, and will be launching a clothing label later this year which stemmed from his Instagram hashtag #TeamCozy.

Judging from what looks to be a very busy schedule, Ta-ku can be excused for having a bit of a gap between his 2013 EP Songs to Break Up To, and his June 12 offering of the eagerly awaited Songs To Make Up To. The EP was launched over the weekend with a live stream Red Bull Music Academy x Boiler Room session featuring a range of guest appearances and some stellar supports.

The EP starts off as a tender, lingering piano lullabye – timidly Hopeful, eventuating into excitable strings of soaring expectations and racing heart beats. Love Again (ft. JMSN & Sango) speaks of promises and a shaky future, drawing from the old-school RnB boyband stylings reminiscent of Boys II Men and All-4-One vocal layering. Trust Me, a sensory instrumental flows nicely into Long Time No See featuring Detroit’s Atu.

A standout is Sunrise Beautiful, where Ta-ku calls upon the talents of the man with a voice of honey, the extremely under-appreciated Australian singer and producer, Jordan Rakei. Jordan relocated to London earlier this year, but returned especially to make an appearance at the launch, where he also did a support set alongside collaborator Street Rat. The clunky melding of this particular original with the unexpected Pharrell cover is a nice surprise, with spacey synths and panned vocals transporting the listener into a dreamlike world.

Jam-packed with features, Ta-Ku ensures his creation reaches its fullest potential. And as a triumphant Fall4U and bumbling Work In Progress bring the journey to a close, what a journey it has turned out to be. Songs To Make Up To is a poignant, at times delicate, rollercoaster of sounds you’d certainly liken to the hesitant, unsure emotions felt when trying to repair broken trust and lost faith. A beautifully emotive collection of songs, the seven track invites the listener to feel the almost palpable tender moments of reconciliation, be it lover or friend. The intrinsic human quality of his songs are what attracts, with Ta-ku’s grasp of concept being a recurring feature through all his releases.

With a Soundcloud page boasting an impressive catalogue of 103 tracks at last count, Ta-ku has certainly built a name for himself with a long trail of originals, remixes, and tributes, such as the 50 Days For Dilla project which catapulted him into the limelight. This shooting star doesn’t seem to be burning out anytime soon.