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Tonedeff [POLYBLOG #1]: Stepping Into The Darkness of Change…

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What’s good people!

This is the first of my Polyblogs series, I will basically be debriefing y’all on the thought process behind the work for each EP, responses to the responses and other tidbits that you might find noteworthy.

Firstly, I just wanted to say thank you for the TREMENDOUS amount of positive feedback I’ve received from y’all since the release of Glutton. 8 years between records might as well be two-eternities sandwiched together these days, and the fact that y’all came through to show your support (ie. spreading the word, tweeting/sharing/linking, pre-ordering) for the kid after all this time - means the world to me. Especially seeing how your refined your understanding of my work has become over the years - the way you break it down - it’s truly a blessing and I love y’all for it.

Granted, what I’m doing is an insane idea - no one’s ever done this before, and it was a big gamble to split the album into 4 parts and deliver them the way I’m doing - different styles, etc. I was bound to piss off some people in the process - but that’s the price for change.

Releasing Glutton first, of all the EPs, was a conscious decision I made with the consequences in plain view laid out head of me. Yes, this was going to throw some people off - ESPECIALLY the stereotypical “hip hop head” (And people from Australia for some reason haha) - those that haven’t been following my music consistently over the years. People that have only heard me on “Love Ain’t” or “Peruvian Coke”. They haven’t heard “Bring It”. They haven’t heard “Fast”. They haven’t heard “Punk”. Hell, there’s 2 drum & bass songs on efamm’s HFYS. My point is… I’ve ALWAYS incorporated electronic music into my work. Cause I love it.

I mean, look… the hip hop audience has an extremely hard time dealing with the idea of change. I’ve been dealing with that kind of resistance since Day 1. Considering that the press has never understood me - it’s little wonder that the sheep don’t either. So, any broadsided negativity was expected.

A QUICK STORY
Before I released Archetype, I had to choose the first single. My gut told me - “Porcelain” & “Pervert”. It was the perfect combo for an A/B side. I showed the album to folks I respect on the scene, etc and was basically told to go with the most straight-forward hip hop cuts on the album “Politics” & “Disappointed”. That single came and went without much fanfare, (Although Fubz’s amazing photography lives on) , but my original gut call - “Porcelain” & “Pervert” have since gone on to be my biggest solo songs - without question.

The lesson here? Trust my gut.

GENRE IS DEAD
Fuck Genre. Forreal. It’s dead. Has been. Genre-specific music is paint by numbers to me at this point. This is the approach I have to all my music. Hell, from Peter Anthony Red to Tonedeff to my past projects (KGK, etc)... I love music too much to stick to any one style. But my native language is hip hop - so it all gets filtered through that when I produce Tonedeff work. The only difference is… I’m mainly rhyming on it.

In that regard - I’m extremely proud of Glutton - on the pure basis that, frankly, no Emcee has ever tackled EDM intelligently the way that I have on Glutton. People generally write dance music off as just this thing you get fucked up and try to get laid to. Which is like saying “Rap music is only for smoking weed and pissing people off soccer moms with your subwoofers in the suburbs”. It goes both ways. It’s the verbal diarrhea of small-minded folks trying to stuff things into neat little boxes, because they don’t understand them.

As a long-time student of all electronic music - (I basically was listening to Kraftwerk at the same time I was listening to Sugar Hill Gang) - I did my best to present a smattering of the genuine articles - not bullshit or “wannabe” versions of the real shit. Dubstep, like any other genre, can be limiting and repetitive - but I feel like we broke open a wall with the title track. NumberNin6 did the goddamn thing and he took what I did vocally to another level with his production work. Of all the songs, this is a watershed moment - the usage of the proverbial DROP in a dramatically logical way - it makes absolute sense within the song and it’s the farthest thing from gratuitous.

To further drive home the point, a song like “Centerfold” is not an ATTEMPT at a dance record - it IS a dance record. Chew Fu has been spinning the instrumental for a month before this even dropped and it was lighting up the dancefloor every time. This is AUTHENTIC club music produced by a world-renowned club producer, DJ & Remixer (If he’s good enough for Rihanna & Lady Gaga - he’s good enough for Tonedeff).

Dinosaurs seem to have the biggest problem with this song, because House is so prevalent on the radio right now - so be it. I can’t help but dance to this song when I hear it, still. And I’m ON it. haha The responses I find most humorous to this particular track is that I’m trying to “go commercial” - which is hilarious in the sole fact that I have the promotional budget of your local Churro vendor. If by some miracle my music ended up on commercial radio, it certainly wasn’t because I was trying to. Cause I sure as fuck can’t afford to. haha They seem to overlook the nifty photography metaphors I laced throughout it. Wink

“Filthy” is literally me at my rock-bottom of sexual excess. This isn’t a joke record - although it might be seen as that by some. I’ve been hiding this song for years - nervous about what people would think of me for the content - until my closest friends encouraged me to just put it out. Fuck it. At this point? I don’t have a filter - this song is proof. Although, the easy-acceptance of this song says more about the mental health of my audience than it does about me. haha Sick fucks - A2M Porn is far too prevalent these days. Not that I’m complaining anymore.

The last verse on “Never” is the most personal verse on the record. I’ve learned from my songwriting idols to bare my soul, scars and all, in my music. It makes for the best material. I love the juxtaposition of bouncy dance music with somber content. It’s an extremely tricky line to walk, but when you can pull it off - it becomes far more subversive that way. And this track is the epitome of that approach on Glutton.

“Sunrise has been on the backburner since 2009 when I debuted it with a live string-quartet at the 2009 QN5 Megashow. I was waiting for the right time to release it.. and when I brainstormed the idea for Polymer… I knew immediately it was going to be the last song - the light - on the darkest of the EPs. Musically, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to flip this style of beat as an homage to the Late-80’s freestyle I grew up with in Miami. 808’s, galloping high-hats, dramatic synth-strings - check. (I’ll be delving into the influences to tracks like this later). But this time, I added a little glitch-break in the middle to underscore the rhyming. The chord change at the end really solidifies this joint for me. And it really sets up what’s to come.

THE COMFORT OF FAMILIARITY
As many of you know, I’m a LIFELONG Tori Amos fan (ie. EWF). I worship the ground that woman walks on, simply for the change she’s brought about in my life and music. With that being said…Her first 2 albums were so mind-blowing to me, that I absolutely HATED her third album Boys For Pele when it came out. It was SO DIFFERENT from her previous two albums that I couldn’t stand it. Over time, I continued to listen. And I found new things in it. The nuances, the wonder in it. The innovations - and now? I can harmonize the entire album front to back and it’s easily one of my top 3 Tori albums.

My point is… it’s been 8 years since Archetype. The world has changed and so have I. This is where I am now - what I’ve evolved into. Give it time, let the music breathe… you’ll hear it differently later. Trust me.

IN CLOSING
Overall, I’m tired of sugar-coating things for people or censoring my output based off what I feel the response will be. If folks can’t appreciate what I’m doing on a musical level with ALL of my work - literally disregarding GENRE and all it’s tropes entirely - then it’s not worth trying to explain. Because either you get it, or you don’t.

Those of you who are here…the true baby blue Auralarians....GET IT. Y’all understand that I’m not making music to fit in, or to trend-hop, or to be cool or get attention - I’m doing this as an honestly genuine self-expression. Consequences be damned. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Fortunately for me, y’all have my back and spread the word. Thank you again for letting me be me. Just wait till you see what I do on EP’s 2-4.

I’m back, motherfuckers.
- Tonedeff


POLYBLOG SERIES [PART 1] [PART 2] [PART 3]

Thanks Tone. Glutton is amazing. About to buy polymorph with this weeks paycheck.

Can’t wait for whats to come.

It is great to have you back Tonedeff and I know how you feel. I think its sad that hip hop music has turned into Underground/Old School Vs Mainstream/New School. I say who gives a fuck. If it is good it is good, if it is bad then its bad and you NEVER EVER make bad music. From the time I have started listening to your music Tone I was like “This dude is something else” I mean a lot of my other favorite artists do music that isn’t them or have lost their creative touch but honestly, I feel like with each passing year, you improve more and more. Your lyricism is Top Notch, your production gets beastier, your flow is beyond sick(best in the scene IMO), and your Delivery is off the hook (not sure if people use this phrase anymore but whatever).

When it comes to all the artists that I listen to/inspire me/etc. I feel like you are the most honest out of them all because you do music because you truly love it and you truly express yourself on it. You pull no punches and you’re not afraid to work outside of the box. You take it to a path that no one has ever thought of and you do it well. You take music seriously and you show it in your work ethic and output.

I know this all sounds like groupie/Stan kinda talking but fucking I don’t care. Do you man. Always do you. And You got the support of me and your other fans cause we love your music man!

So keep it on man till the sunrise! I can’t wait for you next EP! And I will be ordering polymer as soon as I get some money transferred to my account (cause being a broke college student sucks :/)

Can’t wait yo!!!!!!!! Very Happy

When I first heard “Sunrise” it reminded me of my childhood listening to TKA, Stevie B., Lil Suzie, etc. It’s awesome that you can “borrow” so many different styles and blend them together flawlessly. Thanks for making great music. Can’t wait to hear 2-4.

I love these blogs, and I’m ecstatic you’ll be doing one for each ep. Thank you for releasing honest music and being yourself, and you’ll always have my support. I haven’t been waiting for your return as long as most of the people here, but I just wanna say that glutton was well worth the wait, and that I’m really looking forward to hearing the other eps.

Great read Tone glad to have you back.

Dubstep, EDM & house etc have never been my thing but this EP changed that for me. Been playing it straight since release.

Cant wait to see what you do with the following EPs

I don’t think I could handle an entire 15-20 song project at once with the quality and ferociousness displayed on Glutton, lol. It’s pretty wild and experimental. I typically kinda blindly despise Dubstep as a one dimensional art form and have never really gotten into electronic music too much, but you’ve (as you eluded to) managed to actually take Dubstep and use it as a tool to amplify insanity/insatiability instead of just as a catchy beat that people will dance to - and I can totally feel that and respect it. I can’t wait to get the Polymorph and hear the other parts of Polymer. It’s good to have you back, Tone!

Great blog post.

Tone truly expressing himself and experimenting with music is perfect for me as a selfish listener. I’m sick and tired of how limited people choose to be when it comes to assessing value of music. I’ve always been a huge fan of different (and often conflicting) genres and yet have felt so restricted about who I can discuss what with. By being more open minded and explorative - I feel segregated from the majority and that just seems wrong.

Fuck people and their fleeting attention spans. I am so excited for the new wave of Tonedeff music. I can’t imagine how exhilarating it’s going to be to start every new track and have no goddamn idea what to expect. You are a true artist Tone and I am so proud of you. Your career is only just beginning in my eyes.

Thank you for your honesty Tone and for letting your audience see the true ‘you’. It is very inspiring and encouraging to hear an artist express themselves in such an honest and cathartic way, which at the end of the day is what ‘art’ is meant to do.

Very much excited for your future releases!

And just so you know, not all Australians have been thrown off - I fucking LOVE it! Congratulations Smile

“All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it.”
Jean Cocteau

Thanks for the post Tone! Polymorph is the most unique project I have every come across.

I like what houstonz said about not being able to handle the full 15-20 song album. I think my brain would explode. I like having a few months or whatever long it takes for the next EP to fully understand, digest, and reflect on Glutton. There’s more content and things to understand in Glutton then a lot of musicians full catalog. Epic, if there was a like button I’d press it for the “fuck people and their fleeting attention spans.” There are so many people out there that I know that say “I love music so much, it’s such a part of my life, it completes me… Blah blah”, and they absolutely REFUSE to listen to music outside of their preferred genre, and experience something different. I even had someone tell me I must be a lost soul because I listen to so many different genres and content… Tha fuck?!

Anyway, I’m so glad that I found Qn5 music a couple years ago, and that I’m along for the ride!

Welcome back Tonedeff, Glad to have you

Great blog post glad to have you back Tone.

This post needs to be back at the top, great read and welcome back.

I totally agree that sometimes you need to know to go with your gut, and your original choice for the 1st single for Archetype is a great example. In that situation you were the best consultant for yourself. I also agree about genre, they are only useful as colors in your canvas at this point.

Nice read. Wonderful to see you fully lose yourself in creating something like this.

tbag22 said:And just so you know, not all Australians have been thrown off - I fucking LOVE it! Congratulations Smile

Yeah, what? I’m from Australia too and though it did have to grow on me (this synthetic-sounding shit is generally not what I fucks with) I was more than won over in the end. Nothing I’ve ever listened too sounds remotely like this. Hot flames.

I was a little late to the pre-order party but so glad to see Polymorph was still available! That will definitely be the best addition to my collection and pop my QN5 vinyl cherry.

I’d have to say my favorite surprise after listening to the EP multiple times today at work was to see a Chew Fu track. His previous work with Substantial has been some of my favorite “recent” qn5 tracks. Uncontrollable along with Punk are my go-to songs to if coffee isn’t doing the trick in the morning and I can now add Centerfold to this list.

Seeing tone write about 8 years since Archetype blows my mind and brings back great memories of experiencing those songs for the first time.

On a side note great to see my username still works after some inactivity!

On a side note great to see my username still works after some inactivity!

Welcome back!

Time for volume 2?

Epic Aesthetic said:Time for volume 2?

Yes!... Please!

SCRATCHINlikeDJS said:

Epic Aesthetic said:Time for volume 2?

Yes!... Please!

^^^

JTX said:

SCRATCHINlikeDJS said:

Epic Aesthetic said:Time for volume 2?

Yes!... Please!

^^^

This.

Porsborg said:

JTX said:

SCRATCHINlikeDJS said:

Epic Aesthetic said:Time for volume 2?

Yes!... Please!

^^^

This.

That.

(I am sure Tone is just testing our persistence)

Friis said:

Porsborg said:

JTX said:

SCRATCHINlikeDJS said:

Epic Aesthetic said:Time for volume 2?

Yes!... Please!

^^^

This.

That.

(I am sure Tone is just testing our persistence)

I would also be VERY interested in a second polyblog.