Consultation 009 : Toadface ‘Tides’ EP Review
Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
Toadface’s Philanthropic 'Tides' EP for Global Awareness of the Experiences at Sea
Ian Urbina (writer from the NY Times) has written a book detailing the crime and extralegal activity that transpires in international waters. Through in person field reporting he captured real life experiences / recordings of the horrors that occur at sea, and explains why change needs to occur in order to resolve the issues at hand.
What we’ve done is pair two types of creators -- a journalist (Ian Urbina) and a musician (Toadface) -- around content that is urgent, dramatic, and global. The result is music that is tied to something much deeper: a set of stories, a collection of issues, powerful visuals, all seasoned with sounds from the reported footage itself. As such, the songs Toadface created have great backstories and depth to them.
The EP starts off with a beautiful melody that includes hints of a synthesized japanese harp. As the melody continues, we can hear a voice coming in saying “The Elders would tell me..” leaving a mystery for the listener. A slow build up begins with a fusion of chimes at different octaves all mixing together until they collide into a head banging, bass hitting, melody driven first drop. Toadface grips it and rips it with his mastery of production and fusion of sounds. Painting a picture as colorful as the EP artwork. The second drop comes in with a reverberated melody and head knocking trap beat. Continuing the listener's journey to a foreign language explaining what “The Elders have told him..”
This song starts off with a somewhat frightening in nature riff that grabs the listeners attention immediately. Some lyrics from what sounds like a recording is played on top of this mysterious and ominous build up. There is a high build up with a synthesized violin background that takes center of stage and is packed up by deep 808s and procussions. The melody seems to change in character and form every 16 bars, taking the listener’s mind and ears through the sea like a buoy. The second drop comes in much stronger and adds a lot of personality and boldness to this track. Clearly Toadface has warmed up and is ready to dive deep into the international waters that lay ahead. The song ends with the same recording that was played in the beginning. A recurring motif of this EP.
A series of clapping is heard and then a very distinct voice is played noting that “across the fishing nets, man and peaceful beast are again rivals..” The contrast in this song is apparent from the get go and is not to be taken lightly as it builds up to the first drop. This drop has a vibrant and synthesized character to it that sets it apart from the previous tracks. Toadface does a beatmash of the voice we hear in the beginning of the track with a grimey bass melody. He doubles down on the grimey nature of the track as he takes us through The Way of man and peaceful beast. The real question is, who is in bigger trouble? Man or the beast.
The Grand Canaries
There is no denying that this track starts off with a series of ominous and human samples. Sounds like there is struggle with not only humans but with the ocean. There is sadness in the melodies of the string instruments that only build more and more. “The Grand Canary” starts off the build up into a fast progressive beat. That is at twice the speed of the previous drops. A “Christopher Columbus” soundbite is heard and repeated throughout the next series of beats. Giving the listener a sense of consequences of man’s travel across the ocean. The second drop seems to be an entirely different song or perhaps the alter ego of what Toadface created in the first half of this song. Much deeper, heavier and in some ways, darker. Perhaps, alluding to the travesties that have followed from man’s discovery of the planet and other peoples.
The last track of the EP starts off like all the others with a collision of sounds, beats and melodies. Mirroring the complexity of the ocean and how much we do not know about it and what goes on in it. The first drop is kicked off by “down…”. There seems to be a shed of light in the drop as it takes the form of a new edition of what we heard in Elders. The soundbite “down” is mixed around throughout the second drop and mirrors the same technique that we heard in Big Trouble. This last track seems to be a mesh of all the previous tracks in the EP with a special spicy thrown in. The track ends with an elegant outro.. closing the book on this masterfully put together piece of art.
Check out the EP below: