Toby TomTom’s music sounded otherworldly surreal on my first spin of ‘Black Swan’, the latest release of his. This acidic rollercoaster of styles, colors, and feels, is a must-have musical experience that boggles the mind while grooving like actual crazy.
Hailing from Long Island, Toby TomTom is a musician who lives on the experimental fringes of a number of genres, finding a way to somehow bring those fringes together in his music, and ‘Black Swan’ is a crystal-clear display that TomTom possesses a really rare talent. This producer and multi-instrumentalist, on top of playing all the instruments in his recordings for total creative control, is quite creative.
‘Black Swan’ sits somewhere between acid jazz, electronica, soul, and funk. Everywhere and nowhere at once, this unique offering is a multi-faceted, often shapeshifting piece that never relinquishes its element of surprise or its venomous mystique. Starting with Toby’s soulful hollering of the lyrics, to the stunning, jazzy saxophone solo, to the near constant jumping back and forth between tonal centers, and the continuous introduction of new layers of instrumentation, vocals, or effects, ‘Black Swan’ is a truly colossal arrangement that sounds at once fragile and delicate, and endlessly nuanced.
Never veering away from being inviting and simply beautiful, ‘Black Swan’ managed to feel strangely accessible, given all its weirdness. And it is here that TomTom’s most stark talent lies. It has been a long time since I felt this compelled and entertained by a decidedly experimental piece of music, without feeling particularly challenged by its obscurity. ‘Black Swan’ is a terrific creative output from an obviously passionate musician.