TOTWM - EP1
It’s a little unclear as to why one of the tags for TOTWM’s first multi-song release is listed as “breakbeat”. There are 12 tracks on his debut EP, aptly named EP1, and not one of them is a breakbeat track in the classical sense. The first single off the album, “24 Hours”, has a bit of a breaky interlude, but it’s definitely not breaks by any recognizable standard. Another track, “Epic” has a sort of rolling broken beat, but that’s more electro (that one’s labeled a trip hop). It makes things a mite confusing for the old music critic. That said, labels might not be his strong suit, but this young EDM fan from Stamford, Connecticut is certainly making some interesting and unique sounds on EP1.
TOTWM, given name Peter Markham, admits that labels aren’t his thing. "I have no rule of thumb when it comes to making a track, I could go in set on making an edm song and it could turn into an even better hip/hop beat. The point is, producing music is like making a puzzle but you piece it together how you want. More or less you're a conductor of sound, introducing new layers bit by bit, creating something people can enjoy listening to,” he said in an interview with IMP PR Agency. This make sense, because many of the songs on EP1 have a sort of transcending genres quality. “24 Hours”, for example, is not quite breaks but has a bit of a breakbeat, which could also be mistaken for a jazzy drum beat from a Stone Roses song. It has some big room trance melodies, a lot of weird breaks and even a trance beat. It might be correct to call this a “kitchen soup track” as far as EDM goes, which kind of makes it almost experimental.
The other songs on EP1 are all over the place as well, in the best possible way. Even the EP is all over the place: though it has 12 songs, it’s EP length time-wise at only 32 minutes. Some of the tracks are very short, but not really like interludes. In general it’s a really interesting way to produce an album; very Dadaist. The afore-mentioned “Epic” is a good example of this chaotic composition style. It opens with an 80s electro feel, then transitions, sort of out of nowhere, to more emo electro a’la Depeche Mode. Just as quickly, a sort of hip hop break comes in with – wait for it – a cowbell sample. The tempos also change in this track, so obviously it’s not rave-ready but still a really cool interpretation of electronic music and its potential to merge with things like jazz, R&B and even classical music.
There are plenty more classic rave tracks on EP1. The opening track, “123”, was pretty much tailor-made for a chill house set break while the next track, “203” could slide into any big room house set. “1121” is trance to the max, as is “HoverIt”. Tracks like “Perpetual Motion” straddle genres in a more controlled way, going from hip hop to trance and mixing the two in a charming way. The upshot is there’s no lack of variety on EP1, with a little something for everyone.
With the way he produces, it’s no wonder TOTWM has a hard time labeling his work. Each track, if done honestly, would have about 10 tags per song on Soundcloud. There are so many genre overlaps, changes and flips, it almost seems chaotic, but that’s not the case. In the end, each song is just how it should be and ends up making sense and giving the listener a rare view into the mind of a composer. Experimental, EDM, electronic, whatever you want to call it, EP1 is an interesting and exciting debut from this young and obviously feisty producer. It will be interesting to see which djs take on the challenge of mixing TOTWM’s tracks.
Oct 28 2016
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance
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