Toby Tobias very much operates on feeling. Like a whirling dervish channeling the spirit of the rave through his archaic machines, his life is essentially an extended jam session. Releases such as this, on Dave Harvey's Futureboogie imprint, serve as insights into his ongoing creative process.
Nevertheless, everyone, however instinctual, can become jaded. Over time we can second guess ourselves, become cautious about what others may think and, whilst our technical abilities develop, we lose our naivety, some of that sheer mad passion that got us started in the first instance. Arthur Russell spoke of the Buddhist concept of 'first thought, best thought', very often the musicians first take is the 'one' and there's a reason beginners' luck is a thing. To which end this record takes us back to some of Toby's earlier works, salvaged from DAT tapes, given a little TLC and sounding mightily fresh indeed in 2020.
'Trippy Steve' (you had me at the name) is first off the blocks with a rough and ready, ramshackle and ravey vibe that isn't a million miles from the work of one of Mr. Tobias' pseudonyms. It's driven along by a particularly rude bassline with those trippy, natch, synths atop. Antipodean homeboy Fantastic Man comes at us with a remix that toughens and tightens things up for a direct to the dancefloor banger.
Flip the record over and we're confronted with 'Comic Slang' that hints at (whisper it) Toby's more disco-oriented days. The whole thing is carried by a charmingly upbeat rising chord sequence that tugs at the heartstrings. That peaking feeling! Trailing at the rear, although actually my favourite of the quartet, we have 'Deo Mort'. Once again we're in deep rave territory. THAT laughter sample, rolling breaks; this is one irrepressible head-nodder that seems to have struck a chord with all sorts of DJs upon its promo release.
So there we go, a brief look back in the ever-expanding discography of Toby Tobias. He's probably whopped out another killer in the time it took me to write this. Go on son! TIP!!!
'Trippy Steve' is out now on Futureboogie Recordings