Where To Now? Records present the debut release from Akiko Haruna. Akiko’s world is one where cacophonic distress lingers, shuffling itself over scapes of percussive damage and driven groove. Akiko presents a fresh take on the current Technoid function through her use of emotive and intentionally disruptive vocal chops and a dizzying ‘wall of sound’ approach to the dancefloor, consuming all yet somehow keeping vibes alive.
Akiko’s artistic background is primarily in Dance, and undoubtedly this performance led background has had an acute impact on her approach to melodic detail & storytelling. Akiko’s tracks rapidly shift & morph states, always restless and searching with fluidity and intent. From the ever present Micro Electronic details to sweeping swathes of Bass flutter the notion of progressive movement remains at the forefront of her sound, minute elements of detail become briefly isolated, intentionally directing the listener to their subtle presence.
‘Delusions’ Leads with ‘A Mother’s Love’ and begins a theme of resentment and dissonance. The Japanase vocal cuts throughout the track roughly translate to “you should die”, here obviously flipping assumed and supposed relationship rules and roles and exposing an inner turmoil, reflected through a continuous anxiety ridden, almost panicked siren detail which pulses over Akiko’s heads down, deep and uniform forward march.
‘Hetero’ further explores societal character types and submissive gender tropes that are thrust into our sub consciousness from day to day. The concept of Hyperreality and its themes are continuously explored within Akiko’s practice and It would perhaps be fair to say that these themic explorations within her Music are Akiko’s own outlet for traversing human relationships within a complex, heightened, & layered reality, and it is certainly Akiko’s intention for her audience to feel some kind of relief and release within her sound world. Sonically ‘Hetero’ is a much sparser, subtler affair, where swathes of sampled voice & machine swing in and out of focus, against a weightless backdrop of affecting isolated electronics.
‘Husband Established’ picks up where 'Hetero' finished, opening with the emotive vocal line “I just hate your Voice”. This is the sound of a poisonous & damaging relationship hurtling towards combustion, where Akiko’s elements gather momentum and impact as layer upon layer of detail pummel and puncture this heightened state, pausing and spiralling to evoke a standoff of aggression and imminent outburst. ‘Husband Established’ stands as a frankly stunning piece of sound design, which manages to capture a raw human emotion, and provide release for the associated junk, stress, and occasional banality of Relationship angst.
The EP closes with ‘Ripehus Alley’, seemingly void of any deeper meaning or message this serves more as a dreamlike parting song to what is otherwise a highly charged collection. Floating itself away from a frantic & incomprehensible world into a calmer space for final thought and reflection. ‘Delusions’ is a complex, exploratory trip, one which fans of Logos, Fis, Alva Noto, Jlin, Jesse Osborne-Lanthier etc will relish exploring.
released June 28, 2019
Produced by Akiko Haruna
Mastered by Rupert Clervaux
Design by Studio of the Immaculate Heart