ako - "SUBO 5" Review

Bandcamp has become a steady source of undiscovered classics post-pandemic and Music Mondays took the chance to dive into a very rare project titled "SUBO 5" by an artist known as akó. This is an article that brings some heavy nostalgia mixed with all of the breakdowns you love from our writers.


Earlier this month I came across a five track mixtape that, with its varied nostalgic directions, really grabbed my attention. Released on May 31st, under the artist Akó’s other alias ᜀᜃ᜔, ‘SUBO 5’ is a bright, fifteen minute long, rather fantastic handful of acapella remixes. Something about this album that stands out particularly, is how it leans into nostalgia. Rather than sticking to one specific or niche era to draw from, ‘SUBO 5’ takes everything from 2010s trap crooner vocals, to 2000s R&B classics like Cassie’s ‘Me & U’. It’s in this way that I feel this project takes a unique approach to how it presents nostalgia. 

The mixtape opens with a sun-drenched remix of ‘75 Bars (Black’s Reconstruction)’ by The Roots, from their 2008 album ‘Rising Down’. Akó taking the acapella from this song, and switching the upbeat direction backed with jazz drums to opt instead for an almost 90s R&B style instrumental- like the kind that makes you want to lean back into a loveseat with something to smoke in your hand, really works here, maybe better than I would have thought going in. The next track titled ‘kabute’ is a remix of Miguel & Travis Scott’s ‘Sky Walker’ from 2017. On this remix, the trap beat is substituted for an instrumental equally as warm as the previous track, one that sounds like it almost could’ve been on one of the Griselda members albums, and the result is the start to a surprisingly logical and fitting sequencing of tracks. The third song, remixing A$AP Rocky’s Purple Kisses, feels like an interlude of sorts in the way that it bridges the sound of the first two tracks to the sound of the last two. 

The precursor to the closing track is a slightly slower remix of ‘Me & U’ by Cassie. The substituted instrumental has a bit of a vintage feel to it, in the same embellished way that a Silk Sonic song might. Akó closes out the tape with an equally laid-back remix of ‘Saddest Day’ by Foxy Brown, that likely won’t leave my rotation for a long time. Altogether, ‘SUBO 5’ by Akó maintains cohesion in its transitions and general style, while pulling from pretty diverse areas of music, and is definitely one of my favorite listens this year so far.

Stream SUBO 5: yungako.bandcamp.com/album/subo-5 

Follow ako: twitter.com/yungako_ 

Written By Em Bishoff: twitter.com/emofc_