Record Review: Ta-ku – DOWHATYOULOVE

Regan Mathews aka Ta-ku has been at it again. Whether it's albums, guest mixes or taking a song that already sounds good and remixing it to make it sound even better, the Perth producer has shown that he really can do it all. And it seems as though he is not prepared to slow down or stop anytime soon. And let's all hope that he doesn't. Check out his debut record DOWHATYOULOVE, which you can purchase now via Jakarta Records.

Record Review_Ta-ku - DOWHATYOULOVE

I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to Ta-ku’s debut album, “DOWHATYOULOVE” this week, but it’s definitely been more times than I can count. AND every time I listen to this record, I generally come out with the same outcome: I could easily lose myself in this record.

Opening with ‘Intro (Searching)’ this tune reminds me of when I have my iPod on shuffle and I’m flicking through hundreds of songs searching (pun intended) for that one song that I want to listen to because of my current mood or the state of mind that I’m in. In all honesty, the first time I listened to it, I was a little confused and thought I was listening to the wrong record or something but the second time, something clicked and it all just made sense.

Even though ‘Where’ was released last November on Ta-ku’s Facebook page, not only did he release it as a free download, he instructed his fans to “Close your eyes and take a listen.”. Personally, I took the advice to heart and by the end, found myself running high on emotions when the music stopped. If I could listen to a song all day, ‘Where’ could easily be up there as one of my choices.

Mixing in both old and new tracks, ‘Make You Wanna’ and ‘Boom’ lifts the vibe of the record with its lively beats, but ‘Color Her Sunshine’ is reminiscent of Ta-ku’s “25 Nights For Nujabes” project and you all should know how I feel about that record. Melodic and pretty, ‘Color Her Sunshine’ is definitely a highlight on the record.

Other favourites from the record include ‘Masaya’, ‘Meet You There’ and ‘Red Alert’. Doesn’t the latter just make you wanna bounce your head as soon as that beat drops (at 0:50)?! Then the horns come in and you just want to dance! That’s how I feel when I listen to this song. Can definitely see this one going on a few Summer playlists.

It’s always the longer tunes that are the best though. ‘Static’ goes for 3.52 minutes and although it is just purely beats with no hint of vocals attached whatsoever, it is a track that really stood out for me.

Closing with another oldie, ‘Sylvia’, the track itself is a favourite to many, amongst both fans and Ta-ku himself (I did my research on this so I know that it is a fact.), so I’m glad he was able to include it in his debut LP.

“DOWHATYOULOVE” shows Ta-ku at his best – production-wise. With layers of beats that are honest, raw and soulful, it is clear that the Red Bull Music Academy graduate is still heavily influenced by elements of both hip hop and jazz. The Perth beatsmith is really defining himself in the overall field amongst other beat makers around the world.

‘Don’t hate. We’re just doing what we’re supposed to do. We shut it down.’ – Supposed To Do.

The message is clear: DOWHATYOULOVE.

While some may argue that this album has too many tracks (but nowhere as much as J.cole’s latest effort), it is obvious that this is not your typical debut record. Consisting mainly of beats and with each track lasting only a couple minutes; my recommendation is that you listen to this record in full, track by track, because by the time it’s over, you’ll be sad that it ended so quickly.

“DoWhatYouLove” and “Yeezus” were both released in the same week. Dare I say, DoWhatYouLove > Yeezus*. Yep, I said it.

Stream the record above.
[A/N: For some reason, the above player starts off at Track 12 so make sure you go back and start from the beginning.]
Pre-orders for Vinyl unfortunately have already sold out (Are you surprised?) but you can grab a digital copy here.

Turn the volume up, press play and enjoy.

Ta-ku is that guy who inspires me to keep going with this dream of mine. Truly inspiring and way too talented.

#DOWHATYOULOVE (And love what you do.)

* = Upon my first listen of both records. Call me crazy if you want to, but I’m just being honest.