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tokee – Quintuplet

Tokee - Quintuplet

CD, DOPE Records, 2009

With “Quintuplet” tokee not only delivers five fresh tracks, but also a sizeable selection of top-notch remixes; a limited release (1000 copies) that, thankfully, plays like a brand new full-length. Although this bundle of delectable industrial/rave genre-benders may sound familiar to those acquainted with tokee’s “PLUS” (2009), in general the remix treatments are varied enough to warrant appreciation as stand-alone tracks. From 4/4 thumpers splattered with breaks and glitch to coasting and fluid downtempo groovers, tokee’s flawless production and innate sense of tempo render “Quintuplet” a powerhouse of swirling layers and solid beats.
Titled and ordered after the first books of the Hebrew Bible, the core sequence of “Quintuplet” begins with “Genesis” and ends with “Deuteronomy”. The succession of these tracks in terms of sound and feel is impeccable. Each blends with the next in an on/off dichotomy – driving versus downtempo – launched with the kinetic melody and interwoven breaks of “Genesis” and encompassing everything from plaintive piano and sparse percussion (“Exodus”) to stuttering beats and marching synth fanfares (“Leviticus”); from prickling ambience and soft, filling bass tones (“Numbers”) to the playfully modulated yet sinister sounds of abstract industrial/glitch (“Deuteronomy”).
Following the Pentateuch are eleven remixes, of which five happen to be derivations of the ‘quintuplet’ (“Exodus”, however, is absent, while “Deuteronomy” gets redone twice). The prickling in “Numbers (Research Version)” becomes more ornate, “Deuteronomy (Yahweh on Speed Edit)” is amped-up and jittery, pushing its BPM toward heart failure territory, and all hell breaks loose in “Genesis (Punishment Edit)”, where a calm start ends in runaway old school bouncing breakbeats.
“Quintuplet” is darkly pressing, yet never claustrophobic, as repetitive loops combine with transforming passages to accent that tokee has hit upon a very primal formula here, hard-wired into music’s essential movement. In “Pa (Decay Version”) the synths growl, stretch and yawn under melancholy and bubbling atmospherics, whereas “U (Radio-Activity Edit)” employs a balance of melodic and dirty elements, full bass and poignant tones, to achieve particular effect. “Ac (Emanium Version)” is an admirable treatment of a unsatisfactory original; clicky and sticky, with warped tones no doubt run through a gravitational blender – industrial splashed with metal and re-imagined in glitch.
The mastery of layering demonstrated here is underscored by the (assumedly self-executed) remixes, where synth lines, simple melodies and glitched-out, high-energy rhythms weave over, behind and through each other in impressive conundrums, making for an engaging experience. While the layered treats on “Quintuplet” compound each other in complexity, head-bobbing tensions intensifying and pausing in turns, one still finds whistling along – even long after the disc has played out – to be an unavoidable consequence.


— Dutton Hauhart

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