Tassie beat-maker Akouo brings us our latest exclusive mix! With over 10 years of DJing experience and a number of ace productions under his belt this dude is the real deal. His recent remix of Flume’s ‘Bring You Down’ has received some serious attention reaching 30,000 plays in it’s first week and taking out #8 on the most popular Hype Machine chart! Impressive right? You ain’t heard nothin’ yet…
FITT: Hey man thanks for the mix and chatting with us today. I understand you’re from all the way down Tassie! How’s the electronic music/night club scene down there?
AK: In Hobart and Launceston, there are some clubs that cater to electronic music but there’s more of a central tendency around commercial dance music, top 40s, “bangers”, etc. There are a few dope producers down here doing their thing but there are no producer nights and producers doing something a little different generally don’t get much love compared to DJs or bands in the live setting.
FITT: After listening to a bunch of your tracks it’s quite obvious that the majority of your beats are hip-hop influenced. Have your beats always reflected this?
AK: Yeah absolutely, hip hop has always been my main influence. I started messing with beats in ’03 and up until around 2010, I didn’t touch synths, I only made sample based hip hop production. But since then, I’ve been kind of moving away from making beats for rappers and I’ve started to develop my own style to perform solo, something that feels unique – beats that are interesting enough to stand out on their own. So these days I’m blending my old love for hip hop drums and organic percussion with my new love of chillwave/future beat sounds.
FITT: You gained great recognition for your remix of Flume’s ‘Bring You Down’. Do other Aussie beat-makers such as Flume & Ta-ku inspire you when producing? And are there any other stand-out artists that have made a big impact on your sound?
AK: Aus beat makers like Flume, Ta-Ku, Kilter, Charles Murdoch, Amin Payne, etc. have definitely inspired me to challenge myself a bit more in the sound design department, they’re taking things to another level sonically. Straight hip hop production gets boring after 10 years, you need to spice things up to keep the fire in your belly. But I think my sound really started to shift when I begun listening to/studying US producers like Exile and Black Milk. On a performance level, folks like DJ Numark, Lunice, Damu the Fudgemunk have made me want to move away from just DJing my tracks out, and start incorporating midi controllers.
FITT: With 10 years of DJing under your belt you would have an immense amount of mixing experience. What can we expect from an Akouo DJ set? Do you have a preferred set-up in terms of turntables, CDJs or controllers?
I’ve always been a turntables guy, but I also use an MPD32 for effects and loops via Serato. I tend to do some scratching and mixing in acapellas, etc, and these days I’m into all kinds of styles, from garage to dub to future beats and so on (not just hip hop), so I’m constantly mixing up different tempos and styles. Occasionally I do straight live Ableton sets of my own material but for Adelaide, it’ll be a mixture of live Ableton originals/remixes and DJing.
FITT: Your national tour kicks off July 21st with a string of dates including Wild Things @ Rocket Bar here in Adelaide. We’re super pumped to have you down. Are you expecting a good response from the tour? And what’s coming up next for Akouo?
AK: Man, I’m well keen to come to Adelaide but to be honest, this is my first national tour so I don’t know what to expect. I’m just here to meet and play to some like minded crew, spread the music and hopefully gain some friends along the way. That said, Brisbane was dope and Melbourne was a packed house, so it’s all been really humbling and promising so far. As for what’s next, some more remixes and some tracks on Farthingwood Records and Laruche Records. Currently working with Allday and Coin (from my side project Letters To The Sun) on their next releases, and I’m also plunging into my next solo release. Hopefully another tour for later in the year too. Busy busy!
FITT: Sounds excellent man! Good luck for the future and we’ll see you at Rocket Bar for Wild Things July 25th!
Next – Wifey (Jaw Jam Remix)
Calvin Harris – Thinking About You (Gravy Remix)
Robin Thicke – Wanna Love You Girl (Sango Remix)
Insightful – Woa
Ambassadeurs – M.O.P.E
Flash Forest – In a Backyard in North Melbourne
INI – Fakin’ Jax feat. Pete Rock (Evil Needle Remix)
BMB – Skazka (Ben Jamin Remix)
Evil Needle – 9999HP
Paper Plane Project – Backyard Breeze
Flume – Bring You Down (Akouo Remix)
Stint – Summer Teeth
Fulgeance – Whut It Iz feat. Fresh Daily
$irOJ – Directions (New York, New York)
George Maple – Fixed
Ta-Ku – Make It Last feat. JMSN