I Ya Toyah - Code Blue
Released off label 2018
I Ya Toyah has been on my radar since as early as May when the title track of her debut album “Code Blue” launched. Though described as an industrial rock group – and there are certainly flavors of both those genres embedded deep within the project – I could not help but group I Ya Toyah under the belt of electro-industrial as I found myself working through a swirling vortex of obscure electronics and pedaled sounds. Nonetheless, genre classification is never meriting to judge a group – but this realization which I used to define her sound in my own head drew me closer to her unique sound.
As time went on, I – and all her other fans - slowly found ourselves being treated to a steady stream of singles which helped cure our anticipation fever. These all found themselves leading up to the official release of “Code Blue” on October 26th. Let me be the first to tell you that it was more than worth the wait.
The previously discussed title song ‘Code Blue’ kicks off the album which perfectly sums up the theme of the album. While focusing on personal tragedies and losses, the song finds its way down a dark path. Doing a quick Google, I found that Code Blue in hospital terms means that someone is in need of immediate resuscitation – and as the lyrics shout out lines such as, “Code blue, Don’t save me, Code blue, Let me go”, anyone with a right head can find themselves dissolved in the emotional chaos of Code Blue.
One of the most outstanding pieces on the album is ‘Glass Eyes’, which is an anarchic showcase of a mind in distress – whether that be through anxiety, depression, or another challenge thereof. The fast paced, angered vocals, as well as the gentle – but far off – voice, all blend to become such a psychotic episode of industrial mechanisms and trauma.
I Ya Toyah is the type of musician that finds herself exploring multiple genres on one album blazing through the likes of rock, electro, industrial, and instances of noise (I’m looking at the walls found on ‘Rebel’ for that bit). But it’s her voice that unifies that album into one whole cohesive piece as when her tongue sings loud and proud, I could easily tell I was amid another I Ya Toyah song.
The only criticism I have for the entirety of the album would be in the production. While everything does sound cohesive and whole, I do have to say that this is not the cleanest sound I’ve heard from similar acts. However, this does not impact my judgment all that much as I Ya Toyah’s “Code Blue” is a joy ride.
I Ya Toyah’s amalgamation of industrial, electro, rock, and a whole other slew of genres intertwined makes for one hell of a thrilling ride. There are many more places for this project to go and I’m sure I Ya Toyah will continue to improve on her craft as time goes. “Cold Blue” is about as solid as a debut release can get, and I’m looking forward to whatever else she produces in the future.Nov 09 2018
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I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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