‘DEEP UNDERNEATH THE OCEAN FLOOR, SOMEWHERE BELOW THE RAINBOW SCALED FISH, OCTAGON StarSquid & BIOLUMINESCENT SHRIMP, TWO OCTOPUS ARE MAKING SWEET LOVE, PRODUCING A BABY THAT WILL ONE DAY LEAVE THE OCEAN, CRAWL INTO YOUR HOUSE AND KILL YOU.’
That is the absolute totality of Tako Tomago’s ‘Biography’ section on Facebook, thus far. Quite an introduction to the world of online social media (a vital component to any comprehensive assault on planet music these days), and with such fluorescent, oceanic but overwhelmingly ambiguous imagery, it is quite a fitting one too.
It is the sense of ambiguity that is most striking in his first release, a six track E.P entitled ‘Hydro’. It can be considered broadly chill-wave, but incorporates such an eclectic and versatile mix of sounds, from seemingly disparate musical genres, that often switch and intertwine in a brush of strokes to ultimately leave you a little perplexed as to what exactly you have just listened to. He explains, ‘my brother is a classical & jazz composer, so those influences are coming back in as fast as they fade away, it’s definitely a good thing.’
It is psychadelic in places, but by no means as experimentally left-field as its aesthetic may first lead you to believe. It is still firmly placed on an accessible platform of electronica, with songs that are loose and feel seamless but never run away from you and are actually largely sharp, disciplined and polished in their delivery. There is still a sense of accomplished immediacy to the songs, they are well structured and instinctively gratifying. The final assessment is difficult to make at this early stage, there is lack of a singular overarching theme to pick up on. The balance of influences, styles and indeed external contributions are so far spread it is difficult to say he has achieved any one thing particularly well.
At the end of it all, I am drawn back to that ominous biography, that baby octopus again, that will ‘CRAWL INTO YOUR HOUSE AND KILL YOU’. It seems to allude to an inner tension and danger that lies at the heart of the music, and points to a repressed but very intriguing sort of edge to it all. This is difficult to distinctly grasp, root out, hold up or dissect in his work so far, but this short E.P does more than enough to engage any listener broadly keen on electronic and dance music. We can only wait to see this play itself out with more pertinent detail in the full-length record that is set to follow later this year.