Sumo, the self professed “sound nerd” from southern Germany with an eclectic musical taste ranging from traditional Japanese influences to his main love, UK garage, returns to Sonar Kollektiv after a three year hiatus. Having unleashed his debut Hokori EP on the label back in 2019 – a raw, bass worrying, dance floor facing affair – the Stuttgart based producer is back with a more mature, melancholic take on his signature sound with the sonorous offerings of the Trakul EP, due to be released this autumn.
The first single from the EP is the lugubrious yet reassuring RaK. Featuring the sultry vocals of local rising star Soffie, singing alongside Sumo himself, it’s a piece of music that provokes opposing emotions on the listener, at once wistful and uplifting. The pair’s soothing and consoling lyrics act as a panacea for the song’s main concern – that of mental wellness. Post pandemic, it’s an issue that many of us have to deal with and one that we shouldn’t be ashamed to discuss, as the song professes.
“Talk to me, I’ll make sure you feel safe with me, and keep you from insanity.”
The more restrained production, featuring muted pads, delicate synths and layered, warm harmonies is quite the contrast from Sumo’s more restless earlier work, but isn’t surprising either. This musical maverick and sonic chameleon has always been able to adapt to the world around him, whether as a straight up musician, club DJ, radio and podcast host, decorated student, sound designer or more serious composer.
Today he works for one of the world’s most renowned sound branding studios where he composes music for various projects, including the Berlin Global exhibition
at Humboldt-Forum Berlin, Björk exhibition at MoMa in New York, the Smart trade fair presentations in Paris, Geneva and Frankfurt, and the Bread&Butter exhibition for Mercedes-Benz in Berlin. Sophistication and austerity are nothing new for this diverse beat-maker and sensitive musical soul.
RaK feat. soffie is out August 26th.
From the Trakul EP – out October 7th.