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As a producer, a selector, and boss of his Sans Absence label, Akito has been a mainstay in the UK’s underground music scene for the best part of a decade now.
Over time, Akito’s output has evolved immeasurably, but one thing that connects it all is his ever-inventive way of extracting threads from various club strains—grime, garage, jungle, even Jersey Club—and filtering them through his own lens that’s simultaneously minimal and restrained yet intense and heavy. His most recent venture was the Ripples EP with long-time ally NOIRE, a five-track blend of Eski bass, dark funky, and warped, shuddering drums.
The pair have been on the same wavelength for a little while now, hopping on radio together semi-regularly for the past few years. Now, however, Akito faces a solo adventure as he relocates to Japan to soak up their own patchwork of club experiments and see what new directions it’ll take both his productions and his DJ sets. In the wake of the Ripples EP, we called on the multi-talented producer and DJ to step up for Complex Sessions with an hour of drum-heavy grooves. Press play below, and enjoy.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
It’s a mixture of bits I’ve been playing loads recently for radio and guest mixes—mostly music from friends, a couple from mine and NOIRE’s Ripples EP, plus a few forthcoming tracks that will be part of my Undercurrent EP coming out with Greek label Club Night Not Now.
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
NOIRE’s “Deep Thinker”. I’ve been playing it loads recently, so it felt natural to start the mix with it.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
It would be any one of my own, for sure. However long I’ve been doing this DJ and making music thing, I’m still quite uncomfortable playing my own tracks.
What’s the first single or album you ever bought?
The first I can remember is Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “Crossroads”. I bought the cassette from my local HMV at the time. I’d take it into primary school and the teacher would let us listen to it on headphones when we were on our best behaviour [laughs].
What’s the last physical record you bought?
I haven’t bought one in well over a decade, so I can’t recall. But the last one was kindly gifted to me by my good friend, Wallwork. It was a copy of SIM’s Terminate EP on Nervous Horizon.
What do you want to see happen musically over the next 12 months?
I’d be happy to see all my friends smashing it! Besides that, I’m unbothered. I’m happiest operating on the outskirts and not focusing too heavily on external things.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
I feel social proof is the reason behind a lot of bad choices, so if anything, it would be people making decisions because of numbers over substance. Sounds corny, but less ego, more heart would be nice.
1. NOIRE - Deep Thinker
2. Scottie Dee - RIA (Original Bass Mix)
3. ??? - ???
4. Akito - Double Gin & Mood Swings
5. DJ Safari - Tempo Do Xakazulu
6. NOIRE & Akito - Turbo Sprog
7. Ovid - Stone Coaster
8. Akito - Residual Feels
9. Color Plus - Sqweek
10. NOIRE - Influenzer Funk
11. DJ JM - Do It Like You Do it
12. Fraxinus - Overland
13. Superficie - Virado
14. DJ JM - Patrol
15. NOIRE & Akito - Shut Eye
16. TAH x JWords - Path Train To Miami
17. NOIRE & Akito - Cloud Bound
18. Akito - Coal Mine Canary (Last Japan Remix)