Record Review: Ta-ku – Songs To Break Up To

It's been a while since I did a write-up on Perth producer Ta-ku but that's not because I've stopped loving his music. Over the past couple of months, he's been releasing songs and creating teasers and hype for his newest EP, 'Songs To Break Up To' which was released today. And for me, personally, knowing that a full record was in the works, I wanted to wait for the record to be released so that I could review it in its entirety. So read on for my thoughts on a very emotionally-driven record.

Record Review - Songs To Break Up To

If you’ve ever experienced heartbreak, Ta-ku‘s newest record, “Songs To Break Up To”, will trigger emotions, feelings and memories. But if it’s not how you want to feel right now, don’t let that statement turn you off from reading on.

“A cinematic musical journey for the broken-hearted.”Ta-ku.

Kicking off the record, ‘Beggining to End’ showcases itself as somewhat of an orchestrated symphony. And as the song goes on, each layer builds on top of the next to introduce us to the rest of the record. Whilst some may think there’s a typo in the song title, Ta-ku has revealed that it lends a hidden meaning of ‘begging to end’. Very clever.

‘Heartbreak (Sinking)’ is such a heavy, heavy track. Those layers of sounds and background noise? It’s like someone taking a hammer or something of the like and hitting it into something fragile (i.e. your heart). The worst part is, they don’t stop. The sounds loop over and over, so it feels like your heart is breaking again and again, and the wounds are cutting deeper and deeper. ‘(Sinking)’ is definitely an accurate description of how this song makes me feel.

The subtle transition of sounds from ‘Heartbreak’ to ‘I Miss You’, reminds of those old skool days where I used to sit in my room and create mix-tapes on cassettes (Kids today are probably reading this and going, ‘Ca-what?’) – a favourite past-time of mine. We gotta bring those back. But ever since the release of ‘I Miss You’ back in August, I’ve always had the sense of nostalgia and longing for something more every time I listened to it.

‘Love Lost’ really showcases Daughter‘s Elena Tonra’s voice on a remake of a song that was already heartbreaking. Having reviewed this particular song before, I don’t want to repeat myself so read my initial thoughts here.

Knowing prior to its release that Ta-ku was working with fellow producer Atu, ‘I Miss You More’ was the one track that I was really looking forward to hearing. And thankfully, all my expectations were met. Sampling Janet Jackson’s ‘Someone To Call My Lover’ and Keith Sweat’s ‘Twisted’ within the tune was an unexpected surprise but definitely a good one. A downtempo collaboration filled with synths, drums, pianos, and subtle touches of Janet’s and Keith’s vocals makes this track pretty much perfect.

In all honesty though, these two creative individuals are pretty much on par with their releases at the moment. What they really need to do is go back into the studio and create a collaborative EP. Does anyone disagree with this idea?

‘We Were In Love’ reworks Jhene Aiko‘s seductive vocals (If you’re not familiar, look her up now.) with a moody, atmospheric composition and production from Ta-ku. The result is a tune that is both understated and under-rated.

‘Wasted Time’ brings about mixed feelings for me. There’s something about this tune that I don’t agree with. It’s the only song on the record that I can’t really connect with (no matter how many times I listen to it), which is a bit of a shame really, because the rest of the record is so on point. Oh well.

‘Healing (Hope You’re Well)’ is reminiscent of Ta-ku‘s previous work on “LATENCY” and “25 Nights For Nujabes”. For me, they all seem to share that same vibe of feeling somewhat hopeful about what is going to happen next. May that be between the two parties involved in the broken relationship, or for you, the individual who is currently experiencing the heartbreak and slowly getting through it.

And ‘Moving On’ pretty much cements the final stage of the heartbreak process. We’ve all been there. The wallowing and whatnot. And if you haven’t? Well, you will one day and you’ll connect with this record more than ever when it does happen.

As for the extra bonus of Ebrahim jumping on ‘Descent’? Wow. I’ve been a fan of Ebrahim since his earlier YouTube videos and unique interpretations of songs, but on this tune, his voice is like silk. The words he’s singing against Ta-ku‘s production is so beautiful. This is the song that really got to me and had me shedding a tear (or two).

Overall, a very deep and emotional release. It’s a record that really reveals how much time, work and effort Ta-ku put into creating “Songs To Break Up To”. Possibly, his best work to date, this entire production really hits you at the core. It’s hard to believe that it’s only an EP. Imagine what it would have been like as a full album?!

“Songs To Break Up To” is one of those rare records that once you’ve heard the entire EP right up until the very end; it will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, send tingles down your spine and/or leave you with goosebumps against your naked skin.

Support the very talented Ta-ku and purchase his new record here.

Still not convinced? Check out two interviews featuring Ta-ku for Pilerats and HW&W where he talks about the inspiration behind the record amongst other things.

“I love you.
Love takes time.
Time heals all.”

So poetic.