Ever since Tim Arnott launched his Ukiyo project a few years ago, he’s managed to make a name for himself as one of the fast-rising, and most innovative producers on the scene. With a tendency to create some of the most captivating compositions heard in the genre today, it’s hardly a surprise that his self-titled debut album was set to be a highly-anticipated one.
Following on from this acclaimed 2019 mixtape, the 19-minute release closed with something of a promise to fans, with “See You Soon” almost indicating that his next step was set to be a big one. Indicating just what that big project was set to be with singles such as “Good Enough”, “The Middle”, and “Make It Better”, it was soon revealed that it was all leading to the eventual release of Ukiyo, which has been shared into the world today.
A kaleidoscopic collection of electronic compositions, his self-titled LP is one that not only showcases Arnott’s wide array of influences, but manages to prove there’s almost nothing he’s unable to accomplish across its 40-minute runtime – with downtempo, introspective cuts effortlessly sitting alongside veritable party-starters in this melting pot of musical melodies.
Backed by an array of talented feature artists (including the likes of Isla, Feelds, JANEVA, Maribelle, Panama, Sammi Constantine, Bajillionaire, and Brewer), there was never any danger of Ukiyo finding himself in a situation in which he would need the talents of others to help get him across the line. Instead, the addition of these collaborators help to ensure the record remains fresh throughout, with nary a single idea repeated, or album beginning to feel repetitive at any moment.
While the inventive and refreshing musical approach undertaken by Ukiyo would likely draw comparisons to fellow Australian producer Flume, such a likening would do his music a disservice due to its wholly unique and groundbreaking nature. It’s nostalgic without being derivative, it’s forward-thinking without being too self-assured, and it’s bold without being brash.
If anything, Ukiyo’s full-length is not only a welcome addition to the Australian music scene this year, but also a satisfying collection of tracks that lives up to the anticipation it has built. The only question now is: what next? Where will Arnott go from here, and how will he top something like this next time? We might be unsure right now, but we’ll have as much fun finding out as we have listening to his debut LP.
Ukiyo’s self-titled debut album is out now via Pack Records.