Tuesday, June 21, 2011

TOKiMONSTA - Creature Dreams ep (2011)

TOKiMONSTA ("toki" means rabbit in Korean, apparently; "monsta"… is something that lives under your bed, right?) is Los Angeles producer Jennifer Lee – a female presence in a scene dominated by laptop-mashing males. While softer and calmer at its centre than the work of labelmates like Lorn and Teebs, her music’s design isn’t informed directly by her sex; it’s more likely that this well-studied but emotionally rich sound is the product of development, of trial and error. Active for some time (though this EP is likely to comprise an introduction for many), Lee is no newcomer to the world of experimental electronica, and has enjoyed limited overseas exposure – she toured the UK back in 2009, and released through London-based label Ramp Recordings. Creature Dreams, then, is the latest evolution of an artist steadily developing a very singular voice.

Not that she uses her own, literally. Creature Dreams’ vocals come from Gavin Turek, another LA native (and a she, not a he) whose soulful contributions decorate Darkest (Dim) and Little Pleasures: not numbers to bop to, but to relax with. The latter has a really warm, slightly trip-hop feel to it: more mid-90s Massive Attack than coffee-table Morcheeba. Light acoustic guitar on Stigmatizing Sex gives an otherwise solely synthetic piece a nice organic quality, and Bright Shadows is a skittering delight that ticks many of the same (quirky) dancefloor-pleasing boxes as another inventive individual on the Brainfeeder roster, Daedelus. Mood-wise, this is a set best listened to at twilight.

By Mike Diver

Latest tracks by TOKiMONSTA

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