Recommended: Itoa – Persuasive Percussion

With his previous project, the Darline EP, released nearly a year ago on Modern Ruin Records, Itoa returns on Bad Taste Records with the three-track Persuasive Percussion EP. Originally formed in Sheffield, Bad Taste is a London-based label that releases a range of music influenced by the styles such as hip-hop and garage. It’s no wonder that Persuasive Percussion came out on the label – Itoa is notable for his distinct style, fusing sounds relating to juke, DnB and bashment with one another. Itoa is said to have been more interested in writing different types of music on this record, and some tunes are deemed to be more stripped back than usual for him whilst others could be classed as dancefloor friendly. There’s a distinct mixture of the two on the EP, and that comes as little surprise.

Persuasive Percussion opens with “B 2the B”, a song fueled by both footwork and dub tones. Itoa’s use of overwhelmingly satisfying percussion allows the up-tempo track to instantly make a positive impression.. For those unaware of the artist, “B 2the B” may be the winning song that invites new listeners to explore his eclectic and intriguing catalogue of work.

There is a clear contrast between “Nobody” and the rest of Persuasive Percussion, the former being a minimal production embedded between the other two tracks featured. As such, “Nobody” elicits a more relaxed atmosphere, evoking placid imagery as the listener advances through the song – due in part to the gentle water droplet-like sounds. The reoccurrence of soulful vocal snippets paired with the repetitive bassline demonstrates Itoa’s ability to produce with a ‘less is more’ approach to music.

Throughout the EP, it’s clear that Itoa has a knack for strategically placing samples in his songs. This is certainly present in the title track which closes the record, which features shouts along with Rick Ross’ infamous grunts. Another notable element of “Persuasive Percussion” is a sample of Vietnamese flute, creating the underlying melody of the song. This one aspect brings the tune to a whole, connecting all of the separate percussion elements together.

The Persuasive Percussion EP shares its name with a 1959 project from Terry Snyder and the All Stars. Itoa pays discernible homage to the latter’s work through his music and its visuals; The artwork is a play on the polka dot pattern present on Terry Snyder and the All Stars’ own Persuasive Percussion album cover, and samples from the 1959 record are included in Itoa’s work. Perhaps we can look forward to his own version of Provocative Percussion by The Command All-Stars some time in the future.

Michelle Ulor