The secret of minimal music lies in its subtleties. The understated magic of deep dubstep isn’t immediately apparent to everyone. The genre relies on structure and repetition: rather than always striving to re-invent sounds, dubstep is often driven by stylistic similarity. So it makes sense that many of the genre’s critics focus on the notion that all dubstep sounds the same. Still – anybody who truly believes that the 140 tradition lacks imagination clearly isn’t familiar with Taiko.
The UK-based artist is among the newest additions to the Sub.mission Agency’s roster, and one of the most inventive minds to inhabit dubstep’s realm. There aren’t many producers who sound like Taiko. The artist’s distinct style is driven by powerful percussion and an intimately unique interpretation of the 140 template. Taiko’s captivating approach to dubstep culminates in a sound that is constantly evolving, but unmistakably and unimitatably his own.
The sonic elements that set Taiko apart are not so subtle. His emphasis on primal, energetic percussion can be summarized by “Spray Can”: the 93 BPM track was featured on Uprise Audio’s 2013 Live From The Future compilation album, and served as the producer’s definitive introduction to the dubstep community’s elite echelon of artists. Taiko’s release history is as unconventional as his sound. His dubstep discography includes recent EPs on Subaltern Records and Albion Collective, but the multi-genre artist is also known for his work outside of the 140 sphere. Taiko’s tendency toward breaks and techno rings through his dubstep tracks, and is audible in his mixing style as well. His diverse repertoire is a testament to the continuing impact of outside influences upon the 140 sound, even as the genre matures into its own legacy.
Taiko’s most recent dubstep EP showcases a side of his ever-progressing style that is both tribal and theatric. Such a description may seem to be a contradiction, but the Flummox EP is anything but dissonant. Its dramatic title track is the shining centerpiece of the release, featuring a cinematic orchestral melody that packs an irresistibly climactic punch. “De Maya” highlights Taiko’s signature quicksand-like style of bass, as well as a surprising side of Le Lion. The impressive collaboration is also a statement of Le Lion’s versatility and sophistication.
And, of course, those who have been paying especially close attention are privy to Taiko’s emerging angle on grime. The artist’s biting, even aggressive style is reminiscent of the vocal genre’s instrumental trademark. My fingers are crossed for Taiko’s venture into grime territory sometime in the near future.
Word on the internet says Taiko has plenty in store for us – stay up to date on the artist via Facebook and SoundCloud. For tour dates, booking information, and more, check out Taiko’s agency page.