Australian multi-instrumentalist and producer Ukiyo recently released his sophomore EP Fantasy. A collection of expertly crafted electro tracks, the music combines soulful guest vocals and syncopated rhythms, resulting in a more experimental downtempo and trip hop vibe. Below, Ukiyo gives us the scoop on the making and meaning behind each track.
Hey my name is Ukiyo from Australia and if you’re reading this then my new EP Fantasy has finally been released amongst the interwebs! This EP is super special to me and has especially drawn on my love of soundtrack music. I’ve always had a fascination with escapism and ambiguity, so these concepts have shaped everything around this EP. Making Fantasy has been a journey for me and there are a lot of special moments and feelings attached to it. I hope I can take you on your own journey while you listen through. Here’s a little about each track:
I started and basically finished this one in one hot Aussie summer day. The track started with all the percussion stuff which is why it got the name “Clicky,” most of my tracks start with a silly name like that but somehow this one stuck through till the end. I recorded the synth stuff live on my laptop keyboard and really liked how out of time it was so I kept it like that and kind of warped the rest of the track to be in time with it instead of the other way round.
“SOMETHING LIKE THIS”
“Something Like This” was a strange one because it sat around for so long without doing much at all. I had a horribly mixed version titled “Flute” sitting around even before “Calling” existed. I knew there was potential in it but it never felt like the right time. Fast forward to 2017 and I met FEELDS playing a show in Melbourne. His insane vocals were only matched by his incredible harmonies, it was a rare moment where I knew instantly it’d be perfect. We had a finished track less than a week later.
This track started because I thought it was about time to whip out the old Saxophone from high school. I also had a whole bunch of beautifully out of time hip hop drum beats I’d found online. The main chopped up melody that runs throughout the song is a mix of saxophone and flute and I ended up Frankenstein-ing the hip hop beats together to get what you hear in the final song.
One of my favourites on the EP. This one came together super quickly just before my second live show. It was the first time I was making a track with the idea of playing it live. There’s a heap of little subtle effects on nearly everything to make them sounds like they’re spinning around your head. I remember waking up feeling inspired to make a track, having this 90% done by mid afternoon, and playing it at the show that night. People went pretty crazy, hearing it now always takes me back to that moment.
This track started with the vocal sample that’s now at the end of the song. I had a couple of chords in mind and recorded myself playing them with my phone on the piano at my dad’s place. Everything in this song subtly fades in and out and wobbles in pitch slightly, I wanted it to sound like waves at the beach on a winter day. I actually finished this track down at my local beach. Almost half the layers in this song are atmospheric sounds and recordings I’ve made, it’s also the only Ukiyo song I’ve every made with 808 high hats in it, because why not right?
A really special track inspired by the same Melbourne trip where I met FEELDS. I’d wanted to make a song for a while that gradually built from an acoustic sound to a full electronic kinda thing. “Go” came about on the plane ride home and pushed me out of a pretty intense writer’s block. It’s about tackling the unknown and fixing relationships with yourself and the people you love. Chyme’s vocals are another perfect match. Make sure you check out the insane music video for it on YouTube if you get the chance.