The first album on Toy Tonics. The debut album of Toy Tonics labelboss Kapote. And it’s kind of an manifesto of the label’s sound: a perfect blend of Jazzfunk and Slow House.
The album comes in the right moment: It’s a great time for Toy Tonics:
MixMag had the label in their “10 best labels of the year“ list. DJ’s like Harvey, Kerri Chandler, Moodymann, Gerd Janson, Hunee, Black Madonna playing the records. The releases selling out on vinyl constantly. And: Toy Tonics just joined the K7! family. One of the most prestigious electronic music collectives.
After doing one EP per month for the last five years, now here is the first album. Made by Toy Tonics’ head honcho KAPOTE. With a lot of live instruments, solos, clever using of rare samples and a wide range of musical inspirations. Pure quality and freshness for 2019.
But: who is Kapote?
If you are a Toy Tonics follower you know: he is one of the two guys running the label. The mysterious person never showing his face. Always appearing next to Munk – the other Toy Tonic boss. But well, it’s time to solve the little mystery. As it was obvious for many anyway:
Kapote is Munk! It’s the same person. It’s Mathias Modica. The Italo- German music nerd, labelowner, vinyl collector, keybord wizzard, DJ und producer based in Berlin.
Modica is both artists: Munk & Kapote. And he is the creative mind behind Toy Tonics and Gomma. He started Toy Tonics with two friends five years ago. To release music of new talents he met around the world while djing. Before Toy Tonics he was running the (now sleeping) Gomma label.
While Gomma was dedicated to indie disco and weird electronica, Toy Tonics stands for advanced funk inspirated dancemusic.
On Gomma Mathias was producing music under the name of Munk. Doing collabos and singles with James Murphy, Nancy Whang of LCD Soundsystem, Asia Argento, Peaches. He produced albums with WhoMadeWho or New York’s street art legend The Rammellzee. Gomma was something like „the German version of DFA“ (The NME). Dazed & Confused praise it as „Germany’s most interesting record label!“.
But Gomma took a pause and Munk Modica created Toy Tonics. Toy Tonics is influenced by black American dance music, Balearic disco and that West London Sound and here Munk/ Kapote developed the careers of kids like Coeo, Blacks Loops, Rhode & Brown, Mangabey, Jad & The.
The nice thing: The great artists who were the inspiration for the label now are it’s biggest supporters: Moodymann, Gilles Peterson, Kerri Chandler, Master at Work, Cassius, Laurent Garnier, Joe Claussel… all play Toy Tonics.
The label sound is quite defined because Munk Kapote plays instruments on many tracks of the Toy Tonics artists. Now, after 6 Kapote EPs its time to do this album:
On the album he plays basslines that remind the deep funk of the 1970ies. He plays crazy rhodes solos (he used to study jazz piano) and progams heavy funky beats on the drummachines. Modica is music obsessed with a crazy collection of rare vinyl and a jazz piano player with skills on many instruments. And he combines both: Rare samples and live instruments.
The album consists of ten tracks. Jaas Func Haus, Salva Tion and Fusion 79 are broken beat house with a heavy jazz fusion feel. Keyboard solos, funk chords, a Bob James 1970ies vibe. Some crazy saxophone licks switching in from time to time. Delirio Italiano is a stand out track: it’s Italo Disco. But not the obvious 80ies Italodisco. More a funk jam with heavy bassline and a nasty talking italian girl. On Brasiliko Kapote is influenced by the warm old Brazilian disco sounds. Lot of Rhodes and flute solos. No samples at all. (This track was pre-released in Feb 2019 and the vinly sold out in 4 days.)
The followoing tracks (Fuck Music, The Nose, Get Down Brother, L.O.V.E.) were released in different versions before, but have been reworked for the album. Shorter, with new mix and lot of changes. The other two new tracks (Salva Tion, Space Drum) are dirty mid-tempo dirty broken beat jams with a unique funk vibe. Pure quality and individuality.
This is a record made in Berlin. By a Italo-german producer. But it sounds so different to most of the dance sounds you been hearing from Berlin the last years. Instead these tracks have that jazzy feel that is based on the original NY and Detroit house sound and that jazzy London house.
In fact there is a new scene in Berlin that is jazz and disco orientated now. While the city is still seen as the Techno capital, more and more producers are switching to Balearic disco and black American music.
People like the OYE and Money Sex crew, Max Graef, Soundstream and new festivals like XJazz are just a beginning. The Kapote album is a next step. There is much more to come.