there is music everywhere
|the narrowing path||*.mp3|
|under the mirrored surface||*.mp3|
release date: 27.10.2014
'seeking that lost mind, to be inside what i do, and out of my head.'
with 'seeking the lost mind' rachel maloney a.k.a. tonikom emerges again, presenting a delightful, personal collection of aural explorations of her inner self and covering a wide range of electronic music of its very own.
this album is a perfect, self-contained blend of idm, breakbeat and ambient dub including occasional sidesteps into conterminal territories like trance-influenced techno, complementing the core structure of tonikom. soulful, breathing abstract pads interwoven with lovely harmonies carried by constant beats with interlaced syncopated percussion programming add up to melancholic, but also hopeful, dreamy vibes.
'seeking the lost mind' is an outstanding release, pleasantly melodic and enthralling at the same time, whereat a subliminal variety of hidden treasures and shallows unfold after repeated and intense listening.
tonikom (aka rachel maloney) returns to hymen, this being her fourth album for the enduring german imprint and seventh overall. this time focused on a plethora of sonic invasion including but not limited to bass, glitch, ambient, industrial and idm, seeking the lost mind is a cataclysmic foray which seeks to extract rather than infuse itself to the subconscious. whether or not tonikom’s mission during the fabrication of this album has been unveiled is anyone’s guess, but we’re confident the results based on these dozen tracks is on point and well constructed. “dark hand” sheds pretty electrical fields of a data which streams by like toytronic-era music from early 00s. “nocturnal” reveals industrial bass and beat morphed with involved glitch electro forms and a rhythmic swirling fuzz. breaks spew from all sides on “the narrowing path” as melodic sheets broken up by throbbing harmonic low-end mesh together. “spinning away” opens a crackling technoid outer shell of minimal downtempo constructs, layers of dust settling in the background. it all comes to a head on the contagious “kokoro,” a menacing yet tantalizing cascade of chilled electronics blended into a molten soup. “motomero” unveils a shimmering tone, voices tucked away, its eerie broken beat and synths snaking its way through the haze. a hardy percussive sand-blasting is on display with “the cavern” as the bass-smudged electro tinge on “dug down” offers subtle nostalgic voices blending into a cold mesh of bass heavy bliss. a thoroughly satisfying electronic smorgasbord of muddy beats and distortion that exhibits tonikom’s vast musical tapestry.
conversations overheard through a paper thin wall, the sensation of interactions felt but not seen. in tonikom’s world, there are no boundaries between what is discernible and what isn’t. her new album is akin to going from visible light to infrared; there is a realm you and i cannot ever hope to inhabit or survive in but thanks to ‘seeking the lost mind’ we get to visit for a bit. these reflections of tone and time are quite literally going to overtake whatever else you’re listening to and render it irrelevant. going from what she’d done before to this is a gigantic leap into the unknown, it’s the closest maloney has yet gotten to perfecting her cinema for the mind. drink this in slowly, coming at her latest is a delicate process. as much as the compositions she’s wrought are beautiful in their intricate design they are also resilient and more iron-willed than even the angriest noise record. all outside influences have been minimized and the focus brought to bear fully on the melodic nether world she wants to show us where it is all too easy to just lose yourself… and drift forever. wrapped in the warmth of oblivion it’s tempting to just let it go and vanish; tonikom must know how that feels, she’s gone in search of what has been forgotten and left to the corrosive embrace of time’s passage. if you wanted to draw an analogy to a wine glass’ stem holding up the weight of it’s contents to this work, you would not be off the mark. even under the intense pressures and through tremendous forces arrayed in opposition, ‘seeking the lost mind’ does not deviate from it’s objectives. i’ve thrown numerous albums up against it drawn from decades of audio investigation and this one holds up with one hand tied behind. gorgeous yet fiery, dignified but direct. slowly those piano notes demarcate our journey into deeper and deeper reflection; tonikom casts aside the bombast and groove her previous releases have explored for a quieter and far more graceful study drawing from the endless well of the subconscious. magnificent strings swell across the subdued rhythms like capillaries gorged with oxygen directing their cargo throughout the body. one for the head and the heart, without a single word being uttered i might add. there’s no need to obfuscate. i’d only hope that she gets a bit more notice for her efforts with this one, i don’t read as much about her as i’d like. perhaps she prefers it this way, though. it’s a fine set of songs she graces us with, they can do all the talking my prose is incapable of. for you other fans reading this, as with everything she’s done this won’t grab you immediately. you’ll just have to keep playing it for the picture to fully develop, similar to a butterfly being unable to take flight after emerging from the chrysalis. breathe it in long enough and your patience will be rewarded, tonikom’s persistence and determination is unrivaled. (peter marks)
man freut sich, wenn alles sauber ist, doch sterilität kann auch eines ganz besonders sein: langweilig. wenn kein schmutz, kein fehler, nichts auf der oberfläche ist, verlieren dinge ihren reiz. erst durch stilbrüche und unpassende elemente wird eine sache spannend und es entsteht eine auseinandersetzung. so auch beim mittlerweile siebten album seeking the lost mind des projektes tonikum von rachel maloney, das oberflächlich genau diese art von sterilität präsentiert, beim genaueren hinhören aber ebenso stilbrüche und schmutzige klänge bereithält, die in einem diskursiven verhältnis zum vordergrund stehen. klänge im vordergrund und im hintergrund stehen immer wieder in diesem verhältnis und zeigen eine gelungene klangstruktur auf, die zwischen ambient, glitch, industrial und idm wandelt. zu hören sind immer wieder flirrendes rauschen sowie melodische klänge, aber auch plötzliche breaks oder technoide passagen, die sich mit langsameren abwechseln. alles ineinander gewoben, sodass eine klangarchitektur entsteht, die einerseits transparent und klar ist, gleichzeitig aber in sich so verschachtelt, dass man auch nach mehreren durchgängen noch nicht jedes zusammenspiel komplett erkannt und durchschaut. ein spannendes album, das in sich viele schätze versteckt, die erst nach mehrmaligem hören gehoben werden können. (tristan osterfeld)
seeking the lost mind. cd. hymen records ¥830. 2014
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