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Thursday 17th November 2011
Words & Pictures by James Kendall
For years Los Angeles has been much too interested in making films to produce much of an impression of the music industry. Apart from the Laurel Canyon folk scene of the 60s and the hair metal nonsense of the 80s, LA hasn’t really made an imprint into the culture, especially in electronic dance music. But that’s all changing. Mary Anne Hobbs, who knows about this sort of thing, called LA the home of "the most exciting electronic music on the planet" and the reason for that is Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder collective, of which Tokimonsta is a key member.
Seemingly on a constant tour, this is the second time Miss Jennifer Lee has visited Brighton and after blowing us away last time expectations are high. Why? Well, Tokimonsta is all about the beats and that’s something Brighton (and now LA) can really get behind. As she takes to her simple set up it’s obvious that’s she’s all about the music. Sure, she’s super cute and may well be he coolest girl in the whole world. But as stylish as she in her trademark hat, she’s dressed simply and smilingly stays locked in the groove throughout her set. Actually it’s the girls down the front not the boys that are transfixed, seeming in sexual ecstasy. Perhaps it’s the bass heavy nature of the much, but it’s not that throbbing bottom end we hear so often, this is this is more aggressive, teeth-rattling than that.
Wandering through the through the infinite streets of Ableton, Tokimonsta’s set is so layered that it could fall apart at any moment. This is so important – it’s easy to play too safe in digital mixing but Tokimonsta keeps things a hair’s breadth away from chaos as she picks up the pace with the flick of a wrist. A lick of Jimi Hendrix here, a sliver of Beyonce there, things to and fro, never staying still for a moment. But this is no 2manyDJs pop magpie set – this is heavy. Her last track is just rumble and glitch. Serious bass music, if LA ever drops the ball again Tokimonsta could find a second home in Brighton.
Date: Monday 19th December 2011