In school at recess the guys in my class would always get together and play soccer, football, Butts-Up, capture the flag, etc. Whatever it would take for us to let loose our daily boredom of running through the tedious curriculum that was elementary school. And in the middle of our premature male-bonding experience, there would always be a girl or two in our class that thought they had the chops to hang with the boys in the realm of sport. Usually they would be cast aside with adolescent insults or simply by ignoring them, but every-now-and-again there would be that one chick that could play like a dude, or better. Now apply those same schoolyard recess rules to the industry of music and you will see that it is similar in composition, that is to say male dominated.
Kito and Reija Lee are that proverbial elephant in the room. Two talented girls from Australia that are breaking down the sign outside of the boys club that reads, “No Girls Allowed”. Males in the United Kingdom have been controlling the scene since Burial became the dubstep poster child for every magazine a few years ago. But a lot has changed in the world of music and in the world of dubstep; it has become a worldwide phenomenon that's permeated its way into the mainstream and the Billboard Music charts. After signing to Skream’s label Disfigured Dubz Kito moved to the epicenter of electronic music (London), where she is literally kicking in the door and running game on the field of play.
2005 Best New Talent winner at the Perth Electronic Music Awards, Kito started turning heads when her songs like Broken Hearts and LFO kept popping up everywhere. From her recorded sets on Triple J and Mad Decent mix shows to remixes and collaborations being dropped into live sets from Perth to Portland, it has all helped create a healthy buzz for this budding dj/producer. After hooking up with native Australian songstress Reija Lee last year the two decided to drop an EP together, aptly named after one of their crusher’s, “Sweet Talk”. The 4-song offering leaves the listener begging for a full-length album which will hopefully come from the duo in the future. Enough about hope, recess and genre-gender bending musicians, let’s get to the actual music.
The title track (Sweet Talk) kicks off this auditory adventure that doubles between grinding, modded-out bass-heavy tracks and Reija Lee’s sweet and syrupy vocals layered nicely on top like a tiramisu. The back beat that Kito provides with pulsing heavy handclaps, sitar-like synths strung out over the chorus and ending with pulsing stabs that has the pitch of a balloon being stretched with air being let out of it. Broken Hearts changes the albums pace by speeding up the tempo and leading to a more dance-influenced track with a driving synth-heavy bassline and Reija Lee reminding, “1, too many times…I can see straight through your sweet, little lies”. This is undeniably my favorite track on the album that makes me want to go out and “Do all the things that we thought we never should do”. Going back to the slow-dubby, chunky, wobbly sounds of dubstep; Kito captures another vicious drum pocket in On The Jam. The dancehall influenced drum beat with guns being locked and loaded in the background is a pop-sounding track that could find itself inside of US clubs or get play on your favorite Top 40 FM station. With the repetitious “Come on everyone” it is the perfect anthem for the evening if you are going out to be seen and make a scene. Closing this digital appetizer is This City, which returns to the whompy drum pockets of more dubstep influenced beats. I love Reija Lee’s recurring vocals being blended and laced over the high-pitches of the synths and the low-end bass that Kito’s sonic structure provides.
Just because these two women are behind this monstrous release, don’t judge a book by its cover and think it’s all sugar and spice. This EP has teeth and they are sharp. From Reija Lee’s crispy, dreamy vocals to the banging drums and bass provided with nightmarish-synth accompaniments; this EP is a must-have for electronic music lovers. Between Kito’s epic production and skills as a dj, and RL’s beautiful vocal talents, I’m feverishly excited to see what other collaborations these girls can lock down this year. In closing, this EP has an infectious groove that you can easily leave on repeat and before you realized it, you’ve gone through this 16-minute record over a dozen times and it still sounds fresh. If you don’t believe me then download a mini-mix sampler of the EP for free, here.