Akurei’s ‘Photophobia’ is haunting and sensitive
With just two tracks to his name, Brisbane producer AKUREI has earned a spot as one of Australia’s best upcoming electronic acts. His first single of 2018, ‘Photophobia’, is an evolution of his evocative and layered sound that also tells a haunting story.
Akurei‘s debut ‘Hinterland’ introduced us to his RnB tinged electro-pop craft, and earned him countless accolades online. His follow-up was ‘Floating’ featuring Nico Ghost, a cut that showed off his dreamier and more ethereal side. With ‘Photophobia’, he’s struck a balance between the two, resulting in a tumultuous and deeply emotional track.
Co-produced with electronic partner-in-crime Golden Vessel, the track aims to evoke the feeling of a debilitating migraine, an ailment which Akurei has suffered since his early youth. Emulating one’s state of mind during an attack, the mix is bursting at the seams with sounds and instruments. Affected vocals loop in the background while booming bass and smooth percussion anchor the listener. Layered vocals morph from an almost-whisper to soaring harmonies, leaving behind grabs which loop and warp seemingly at random as the track moves at a languid pace.
According to Akurei, the track “is about the whole experience that comes with [a migraine]; the aching in your skull, the sensitivity to light, the nostalgia, the insight you get about whatever it is that’s playing with your mind.” With its mix of ethereal ambience and pounding electronics, ‘Photophobia’ strikes an effective balance that portrays the feeling of a migraine attack remarkably well. Akurei has shown he’s a master at crafting deeply evocative and personal electronic cuts, and with ‘Photophobia’ he’s outdone himself once again.
WORDS BY MAX LEWIS