Itokim – ‘Rhythm Poems’ 12″ [Subject Detroit]

Been way too long since we’ve been shouting about a record of this calibre, especially on the techno tip. Coming to us on Subject Detroit, Japan-based producer Itokim has kicked things in a different direction for his debut wax release, bridging the gap between the classic techno pioneers and the swift new-school.

Last year’s A Larger Orbit 12″ release was a welcome return to form from the Subject Detroit label, having slowed down their output in recent years, with label boss DJ Bone giving us three tracks of Detroit techno goodness, laced with that Motor City funk that seemed to be lacking from a lot of techno plates of late. Nine months on and SUB039 keeps in step perfectly, with Itokim letting his own style of dancing synths drop down across functional organic rhythms, perfectly marrying the beats and keys.

Subject Japan: Rhythm Poems is three fresh cuts built for playing out. ‘Motechnique’ is the sound of warm strings from throwback tracks coming into their own with modern electronics. Proper blissed out, as the opening track it’s also the most hectic, as the high-ends stack on top of each other, with stabs jostling for position at the track’s peaks and stripping back equally fast.

Closing off the A-side comes ‘Roll Up and Shine’, bordering on electronica, but sounding far too organic and natural from an analogue point of view, with way too much bump, to cross the boundary from classic techno. Even bigger high-ends on this one, and a lot of producers looking to use small-chopped and fast electronic samples will take a lesson from how it’s done here, in the same vein that ‘Shake’ Shakir composed from minimal sample-time.

Flip it over and the best is yet to come. Slightly darker but headed straight for the big club systems ‘The Mood Device’ is a set changer, building on to itself with a droning mids and pattern-based synths throughout the eight or so minutes. Nothing we don’t like about it.

Really nice record all-round, one of the best drops of the year thus far, looking very slick too on white vinyl. Press release below, and tracks via youtube just underneath that.

via Subject Detroit

Itokim, aka Tendo-based producer Takuro Ito, aligns with DJ Bone’s Subject Detroit label with the Subject Japan: Rhythm Poems EP and his opening gambit certainly leaves a dent. “Motechnique” has been a staple of Bone’s 3 deck attacks in recent months and it will have eyebrows raised and mouths open from the off. Weighty but warm kicks start as they mean to go on, bursting with pace and vigour as thrusts and stabs pinprick the brooding chords. The laidback, easy-going connotations of the title to “Roll Up and Shine” are very much the ethos and aesthetic of the production, as a playful, bubbling melody sets a warm and almost sugary tone from the off before being bolstered by a suave melange of full-bodied kick and dexterous percussion. Itokim rounds off his first outing on Subject Detroit with “The Mood Device”, a to the point groover that melds elements of the previous productions to stunning effect. A genuine builder of a track with a straight and true trajectory, “The Mood Device” melds innumerable coatings of percussion and synth as stabs are layered and layered again, clotting and coagulating the composition in to one delightfully deep and multidimensional slice of formidable dancefloor composite.