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Live Review: Tashka delivers with dense alt-R&B cut 'Yokubo'

8 May 2018 | 5:10 pm | Max Lewis

Sydney producer Tashka has returned with 'Yokubo' - a tightly wound alt R&B/electro-pop package with, and the first taste of her upcoming EP.

You know when a self-produced artist blows up after releasing their song into the ether that you've got something special on your hands. That something special in this case is Sydney producer TASHKA, who has just dropped her latest single 'Yokubo' - a densely packed, ethereal journey into left-field alt-R&B.

The world's first glimpse of TASHKA was through her vocal feature on DONATACHI's breakout track 'Gold', showing off her vocal prowess as well as her ties to garage music that would filter through her later music. It was her self-produced single 'Taken' that sealed the deal, introducing us to TASHKA's experimental vision of soulful electro-pop. 'Yokubo' is our first taste of her upcoming 'APHID' 6-track EP which, if the leading single is anything to go by, is sure to make a huge splash.

'Yokubo' (directly translated from Japanese as 'desire') is such a unique pairing of electro-pop sounds that it's kind of hard to describe. If you take the left-field style of GRIMES replete with layers of vocals and abstract electronics, and combine it with the gothic R&B tinge of BANKS,  you've sort of got the picture. Exploring the meeting of two souls and the delicate push-and-pull that follows, the track dances between absolutely immense explosions of sound, and quiet, contemplative ambient sections. Tashka's vocals move between piercing soars and contemplative whispers without effort, while the instrumental shifts between a hip-hop style beat and experimental soundscapes.

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'Yokubo' is a super busy track but never once feels overcrowded thanks to Tashka's impeccable production. What could easily be an impenetrable wall of sound is impressively anchored by powerful vocals and a strong low-end, resulting in a track that you can lose yourself in. It took a while, but 'Yokubo' is definitely worth the wait, and we can't wait to hear what Tashka has in store for us when her EP APHID drops later in the year.

Photo by Tim Grove

Words by Max Lewis