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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tonikom - "Seeking the Lost Mind"

Artist: Tonikom
Album: Seeking the Lost Mind
Year: 2014
Label: Hymen
Genre: Downtempo, Breakbeat, IDM
Website: hymen-records.bandcamp.com

Tonikom returns once again with more of her patented downtempo breakbeats littered with beautiful melodies and bits of IDM flavor. This is her 4th record on Hymen, and easily my favorite thing she has released.

After a short intro, the album kicks in with "Dark Hand" which sets the tone for the record. On Seeking The Lost Mind Tonikom crafts excellent, dreamy songs full of floating melodies atop steady breakbeats with the occasional bout of glitching and IDM flourish. It gives me a sort of retro future spaceship vibe. The style brings to mind her German contemporary Angina P, as well as the older, more illusory sound of acts like Mouse on Mars. I couldn't get into The Sniper's Veil that much because I felt like the songs all sounded too similar; however the tracks have much stronger identities and increased variation between them. There is definitely a specific sound that runs through the entire record, though the songs can easily be discerned from one another. "Nocturnal" and "The Narrowing Path" are both great pieces that continue this dreamy spaceship mood through interstellar pads, catchy melodies and steady breakbeats with a bit of glitching sprinkled in. "Kokoro" flirts with an album Burial-esque chilled out vibe, but with stronger weightier drums. "The Cavern" has something of subterranean vibe with it's heavily reverbed plucked melody and everpresent droning pad. It's also got a solid driving beat which sounds like halftime drum and bass complete with that tinny dnb snare. "Drowning Again" has very fast paced drill n bass drums juxtaposed with slow, airy pads. The album ends with "Tebanasou" which has a sleek, darkened futuristic city vibe and some neat vocal bits sporadically placed throughout.

An excellent record to put on and chill out to. One of those that zips by quickly and when it's over you think "wow, this can't be over already can it?". Like I said previously, this is my favorite thing that Tonikom has released. Overall the melodic content on each track is stellar and captivating. The percussion can feel dense at times, but it never overwhelms the other elements and everything remains in balance. Definitely something to get for fans of the more subdued side of Hymen and IDM. If you're looking for upbeat songs, dense drums, and synths that fit one or more categories: airy/dreamy/nostaligic/futuristic, than check this out for sure.

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