Kapote is the head of Berlin’s future disco – neo funk – nastyhouse label Toy Tonics.
His album came out in june and caused quite some euphory around the world. You can hear his tracks in the sets of all kind of quality DJs currently. From Moodymann to Artwork, Call Super, Disclosure to Black Madonna and Auntie Flo. And you always recognize his vibe… that mix of live played keyboards and basses combined with rare samples cutted on a MPC. (Before Kapote got into dancemusic he studied jazz piano and plays several instruments). Here now you you get 3 remixes from his album material. Banger all the way.
This is a fresh cocktail for the summer. Sano from Medellín, Colombia (who released on Cómeme and Public Possession) and Toy Tonics head honcho Kapote created these 4 latin percussion tools for balearic DJ sets.
The guys met in Sevilla where they were booked as DJs and had a good time: Talking about Narco books, puertorican rhythm culture, their salsa heroes and favorite descargas. In fact Kapote has a heavy addiction for latin american music and collects salsa vinyl since a long time.
The vibe was set after a few bocadillos and spanish wines and they planned to do something together. So here you get the result: The music was made half in Kapote’s Berlin studio and half in Sano’s Barcelona home. Rhythm section on Wawanko courtesy of Phran from Venezuela (Sano’s studio partner in Barcelona).
Fun fact: Sano made three records on Public Possession. The Munich label made by Marvin & Valentino. Before starting Public Possession Valentino used to work for Gomma/Toy Tonics and he started to dj at the early days Gomma/Toy Tonics partys. The world is small.
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.
Toy Tonics label heads Mathias Munk Modica and Kapote present “Teutonik Disaster”, a very special compilation with 8 edits and reworks of rare German New Wave Funk and Disco Punk from 1979 to 1983.
There have been millions of typical disco edits in the last years. But there is so much more interesting music from the late 1970s and early 80s yet to bubble its way to the surface. One of those lesser explored fields is the crazy funky side of Germany’s underground disco and new wave from that period. At the time, many German bands were trying to make their own version of English and American styles. After Kraftwerk and Can had started to use the German language in a cool, new way, many bands that followed in their steps experimented with German new wave. Most of these bands didn’t reach a bigger audience. Their records never got pressed to more than 300 – 500 copies as they were a number of years ahead of the huge commercial explosion of German pop in 1984: The NDW aka “Neue Deutsche Welle”, with Nena’s humongous hit 99 Red Balloons. The bands featured on the compilation released their music before the NDW hype and later broke up. Plenty of these early bands are best forgotten but if you dig deeper you’ll find the gems, bursting with style and attitude. And that’s just what Toy Tonics heads Mathias Munk Modica & Kapote did. They hit gold.
Most of these tracks have already been released on the original “Teutonik Disaster” compilation in 2003 on Gomma Records. Gomma was the label that Mathias Munk Modica started before Toy Tonics 15 years ago, where he released records with James Murphy, WhoMadeWho, Asia Argento… Gomma is not active anymore, but it felt like the right time to re-release this compilation in 2019. Munk and Toy Tonics partner Kapote made new versions of these rare songs, adding drum machines and extended them. The result is unbelievable music, heavy funk basslines, soulful vibes, cool vocals that you would be hard pressed to expect from Germans and a vibe that slots in perfectly in 2019’s post-techno and post-deep house scenario.
Camilla Motor, Die Heteros and Exkurs: These bands were inspired by New York’s proto disco bands like ESG or Liquid Liquid. Basslines that could come from a 1975 disco dancefloor and white boy funk drums which would bring to mind the music released on ZE Records during that period. Exkurs’ “Fakten sind Terror” was discovered by Munk in an old vintage shop in Munich. It was first released on Gomma’s original compilation in 2003, then re-released on Optimo’s JD Twitch compilation “Kreaturen der Nacht” on Strut in 2018. Most of these musicians had connections to art academies in Cologne, Mannheim and Hamburg. They would often be dilettantes with their instruments, but with an unfailable passion for black music and new wave as well as dadaistic, ironic and scandalous lyrics: Take for example Die Heteros: “Monogamy, cannibalism of our days!” from the album “Romantik Ist Tot” (Cologne 1982). The title says it all.
Carmen’s “Schlaraffenland”, like most of these songs this track also came out in 1982. Two years before the commercially successful Neue Deutsche Welle exploded. Carmen’s amazingly sensual German vocals stand out and the groove could easily have been on a Blondie or Talking Heads album. It’s certain that these musicians tried to imitated the New York art funk vibe. The song was co-produced by Piet Klocke, who was part of another white boy funk group called Die Tanzdiele and later became a comedy star on German TV.
Die Chefs’ “Frauenkörper” is a track from a band that deliberately flirted with controversy during its existence. Released in 1982, their album was took off the market by their label and their concerts were cancelled after protests. The track itself sounds like it could have been on a Prince record, with a weirdly funky beat and pan-asian indebted synth melodies
Roter Mund and B.B.B. are straight up disco vibes with German dada slogans, cold new wave drums but with a funky feel underpinning everything. You’re guaranteed to rock any forward thinking disco dancefloor of 2019 with these. The two guys behind Hamburg’s Roter Mund where inspired by American breakdance music when producing their debut LP in 1982. They pose with old school sneakers and imitate NY breakers poses on the back cover of the album. Later the guys became successful producers of German schlager (Germany’s answer to mainstream pop). Munk & Kapote changed quite a bit here from the original versions, adding bass drums and hi hats, cutting out and repeating certain parts to make it sound fresher. The same process happened with B.B.B. where large sections of the original track were edited out.
Explorer’s track comes from an album that was originally sonic experiments with early sequencers and synthesizers by Tony Carey, a legendary Californian musician who was part of Rainbow. He later moved to Germany where he worked with Peter Hauke but ended up producing schlager, TV commercials and pop. But his first album “Yellow Power” is cult. It’s crazy to hear how these jams sound like early proto techno or electro funk. They could have been made in Detroit 15 years later. The original LP was cult between the late 80ies Cosmic and balearic scene. This is Robotic Funk.
New KAPOTE EP. With remixes by magic BYRON THE AQUARIUS (Sound Signature) and GIOVANNI DAMICO (Lumberjacks in Hell). Toy Tonics founder & main producer Kapote comes back after eight months with a 2 track EP.
Somebody called it Jazz Funk House – and that fits. Crazy flute and rhodespiano solos played by Mathias „Munk“ Modica on Kapote’s heavy funk basslines and rolling drum patterns. It’s house, it’s broken beat.
This is a pre-release to the KAPOTE ALBUM that will be released on Toy Tonics in April.
The music reminds the early 2000 West London sound of Archive Records & Seji as well as the original NYC jazz house from the Kenny Dope and Joe Claussell school. It’s not far from the vibe Gilles Peterson and Bradley Zero have been spreading for years, but the music adds new elements to it. Especially the complex way Toy Tonics co-founder Mathias Munk Modica plays his solos, influenced by the school of Hard Bob and Fusion jazz makes these music special. In fact Modica has been studying Jazzpiano at the Manhattan School of Music before getting into club culture. And Kapote is a big love for the Brazilian Funk sound of the 1970ies. You can hear that.
Kapote comes back with a new EP!
Kapote = Toy Tonics head honcho, maniac record collector, A&R with special Jazzfunk taste, producer of lotta TT records, excellent DJ (with great dedication and knowledge of no border ecclectic selectorism) and last but not least: founder of Toy Tonic records with magic Mr. Munk (who plays additional keyboards on this EP).
Remix comes courtesy of MANGABEY! New kid on the Toy Tonics boat. Check him out!
The new Toy Tonics EP features four remixes of Kapote – tracks. New and exclusive works by FYI Chris (Rhythm Section Intl), Marvin & Guy (Life & Death), Art Alfie (Studio Barnhus) and French newcomer Real J.