across its glassy surface
|along the rail||*.mp3|
|lost to the flames||*.mp3|
|this is what she felt||*.mp3|
|29 degrees (angina p's 32 degrees remix)||*.mp3|
|detector (haujobb remix)||*.mp3|
tonikom's third release on hymen records could be described as a concept album, because it manages to tell a hidden and very personal story, one that can only be found between the lines. after successfully completing her european tour in 2009, rachel maloney felt she lost the bridge between herself and her music which resulted in a spell of creative inactivity which lasted for two years. fortunately, she was able to break this vicious circle by breaking through the emotional blocks and rediscovering everything she identified with in the emotional makeup of this project.
on 'found and lost', tonikom continues to defy genres and explore various styles of contemporary electronic music, pulling inspiration from a variety of sources. idm, techno, electro, trance, ambient and breakbeat all find a well-paced balance to perpetuate and build further on this one-of-a-kind project's evolution, complemented with a dark, atmospheric drum'n'bass remix by angina p and haujobb's impulsive and powerfully orchestrated version of 'detector'.
this is music with atmosphere and depth, mixing the beautiful with the raw. a wonderful album that merges rhythms with emotions between the disturbing and the melancholy, pointing tonikom's serious artistic need to express, to compete, to be.
it’s been two years for this third release for hymen records to appear from rachel maloney’s tonikom. two long years of contemplation, regarding her creative output under this banner and rediscovering her emotional building blocks of this project. ‘across its glassy surface’, represents an essential catharsis. understated rhythmical programming allowing for a wash of soulful, breathing pads and gentle harmonies that travel gently through the speakers like the waking from a long uninterrupted slumber. once more we have wonderful collection of tracks that cover a wide range of electronic music as a whole. light spangles of wiry blips and chimes whirl and sporadically spit out over random, yet intentional percussion encompassing the basic key factors of idm, break-beat and modern ambient dub sensibilities; never more so evident than on the fantastic chamber echoes of ‘stumble’. what we have with ‘found and lost’ is a slight deviation from the norm more often than not. the tendency to side step into different territories provides a welcome change in form, with light dance sub-plots evolving into the core structure of tonikom, with the wonderfully modern ‘lost to the flames’, providing the listener with a possible future avenue that this venture may take form and evolve within. angina p and haujobb end this latest release with standard but effective remixes that befit the styles they individually bring to the table. i am always a bit wary of remixes closing the show, but these do not detract from what is, all in all, an outstanding resurgence of an act that has taken a well deserved break. (tony young)
eine geschichte erzählen, ohne die geschichte zu erzählen? klingt komisch, ist aber so. zumindest auf dem neuen album von tonikom. found and lost erzählt versteckt eine geschichte, bleibt dabei aber auf ganzer länge instrumental. das dann musikalisch einzuordnen, fällt schwer. was man aber definitiv sagen kann: es ist etwas dunklerer elektro mit frickel-anteil, aber auch vielen sehr eingängigen passagen. wenn man dazu erwähnt, dass das album auf hymen records erscheint und ein remix von haujobb darauf enthalten ist, kann man zumindest eine grobe einordnung des albums geben. auf elf stücken und zwei remixen wird viel abwechslung geboten. hört man den opener across it’s glassy surface, wird man an eine instrumentale version von haujobb erinnert. druckvolle elektroklänge mit synthesizer-flächen und einem knarzenden unterton dahinter. along the rail hingegen begibt sich dann gar in die nähe eines aphex twin. es entwickelt zwar auch harmonischere anteile, hat aber auch seine hektischen momente, die einen entfernt an windowlicker erinnern. dass es aber auch mal wirklich eingängig zugehen kann, beweist das hypnotisch stampfende hope, während orbit mit ruhigen piano-harmonien glänzt. insgesamt ist es aber dann vor allem doch ein album für die freunde des zwar überwiegend eingängigen, aber eben auch experimentierfreudigen elektros, was auch lost to the flames noch einmal beweist. abgerundet durch zwei remixe, einen wie schon erwähnt durch haujobb, den anderen durch angina p., hat man es hier mit einem gelungenen album zu tun. (marius meyer)
at first i thought "found and lost" was a compilation of older and never released tracks, but apparently that's not the case. three years after "the sniper's veil", rachel maloney emerges again to the musical surface. the reason it took a while was that after her tour in 2009, she got stuck in a two year spell of inactivity. thankfully she came through so we can enjoy her trademark drum n bass again. hopefully we will also get a chance of seeing her live again!i only have "epoch" to fall back on, and it has become a very different album then that one. less tempo, less drum n bass, more idm with heaps of atmosphere. sometimes hopeful and dreamy, with subtle yet distinctive piano melodies that remind me of ab ovo. "hope" and "detector" come into mind... darker moods are also present, i love the heavy samples guitar sounds and gregorian background vocals in "eternal internal". a moody drum n bass version of enigma... "incense redux" as similar sounds but feels more like downtempo postrock.all those songs are quite slow in pace, so you can think her fans might miss some action packed superfast drum n bass... but there's still plenty for them too, the first two songs bring exactly that!rachel went through difficult times so most songs are very introspective, she brings these feelings across in a striking way. if you listen to the piano on "orbit", it sounds like she studied the works of wim mertens and gave her own glitchy swing to it. on this album she brings a lot more then she ever did! angina p's "29 degrees" remix is great, eerie female howls sounding like zola jesus that support a frightening story filled with good old drum n bass breaks and beats. wonderful! haujobb has altered the mood of "detector" from hopeful to tense and machinal. a break (even if it wasn't a planned one) has proved positive for rachel, i really like the new directions she has explored. welcome back rachel!!! (chris konings)
as some may know, tonikom is the project moniker of new york city based electronic music artist rachel maloney, and 'found and lost' is her most recent release since 2009's 'the sniper's veil' also on hymen records. apparently the 2009 european tour for that album knocked the wind out of her creative sails for a while, but there's no question she got it back for 'found and lost' released in september of 2012. yeah, i know, this review comes very late, nearly a year after the album came out but we're mega-backlogged here and we get to 'em as soon as we can; to put it in the faux-latin ' 'beta laten evah'. on first listen i didn't much care for this album at all, so i put it away for and worked on other reviews. coming back to it though after a while with fresh ears and a new perspective, i found myself hearing the album in a whole new light. another thing i noticed is that the cd contains a haujobb remix (how on earth did i miss that??) i think the reason i didn't care for it much the first time was that it seemed scattershot and too diverse. 'found and lost' is really hard to pin down. there are all sorts of things going on here, with the music staying in no one (or two, or three, or even four) particular electronic music genre. for the opener, 'across its glass surface,' you've got percolating electronics, syncopated tap-dancing percussion, and a cute little melody with icy background ambience. break-beating drum programming with gated and effected snare and wild synth electronics is the modus operandi of 'along the rail,' but even that's not a complete description. 'stumble' is a slower number that changes tempo and time signature within the framework of the rhythm track while spacey streaking synth pads hold down the ambience. 'detector' opens with old-school modulated electronic oscillations, ethereal synth piano (and other supporting synth-work) before it hits its percussive stride with some snazzy breakbeat programming and heavily processed drum track. this track in particular is reminiscent of artists from the tympanik audio label. 'eternal internal' sounds like what you might get if you threw kraftwerk, knife party, delerium and massive attack into a blender ' simple melody, wobbling dub-steppy bass, ethereal chorus and a lot of moodiness. 'hope' harkens back to early (but not too) early kraftwerk for the simple melody line and electronics but the percussion is straight-ahead drumkit. rhythm-wise it has a clockwork feel. 'interlude' is a mish-mosh of all sorts of electronic weirdness and sonic effluvia in the beginning, but becomes dark, dense and lower frequency dwelling by the middle. an echoed brief spoken word sample shakes you out of your complacency toward the end. 'orbit' is one of two pieces that employs a (broken, beat-up) piano rachel found in the greenroom of a club in rostock, germany on the 2009 european tour. it sets the mood with its wistful melody. 'lost to the flames' reminded me somewhat of haujobb once it got going, in form, progression and style. 'insense' (redux) once again reminds me of instrumental delerium, more for its feel and pacing than anything else. 'this is what she felt' is the other track that uses that rostock club broken piano but not until the middle where it changes the entire mood of the piece from a pleasantly melodic mid-tempo piece with full rhythm to something more melancholy sans rhythm. i have no basis of comparison for angina p's remix of '29 degrees' (32 degree remix) not having heard the original, but it's rather rapid percussion programming (approximately 172 bpm) with wailing, moaning, slow pitch-shifting synth in the background, some brief sampled (female) dialogue phrases and a subtle bass and chord progression. it was okay, but nothing thrilling. haujobb's remix of 'detector' is a radical departure from the original turning it trance-techno with a pulsing fast sequenced synth pattern, a slower repetitive sequenced synth pattern and other electronic sounds out of the haujobb tool box. the melodic theme is altered in both melody and instrument, from piano (in the original) to string synth. also, the rhythm is accented with tr-808 cowbell, a sound i don't particularly care for. although i liked some sonic elements of the remix, i liked the original better. (sorry mr. myer.) overall though, 'found and lost' is an interesting addition to tonikom's oeuvre despite its unevenness, and idm enthusiasts are sure to find worthy material here. (steve mecca)
found and lost. cd. hymen records ¥800. 2012
the sniper's veil. cd. hymen records ¥774. 2009
epoch. cd. hymen records ¥761. 2007
ocular pitch. cd. cold world records cwr002. 2006
tonikom killed tonik. cd-r. cold world records cwr001. 2006
distraction (as tonik). cd-r. self-released valo 002. 2002
angina p www.anginap.com