Akono Miles is a Pittsburgh producer whose new album, Dust To Go, was born from a period of time during which the artist felt “hazy and nostalgic for a good minute.”
Where Miles’s 2019 releases, April’s Halogen and October’s Room Temperature, represent waved-out takes on instrumental hip-hop and house music, respectively, Dust To Go tackles the contemplative drift of ambient music, albeit in Miles’s signature, sample-heavy form. There are still beats on here, but, for the most part, their purpose is not so much to get heads nodding or feet rushing to dance floors, but to anchor otherwise amorphous clouds of melody and disjointed snatches of vocals. “Haziness Not Laziness” is one of the more lively tracks on Dust To Go, featuring layers of skittering polyrhythms and electronic blips that coalesce into a recognizable cadence. Miles arranges subdued keyboard and chattering sound effects around the beat rather than within it, like a visual artist suggesting a figure without making it out as one contiguous object. About 2/3 of the way through the song, though, Miles switches things up and introduces a pan-fluted electro beat that truly knocks. Equal parts waver and thump, “Haziness Not Laziness” has something for both the daydreamers and the night-outers.