Tokolosh - Shapeshifter - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Tokolosh - Shapeshifter

by Miz DeShannon Rating:7 Release Date:2013-02-18

Welcome to the beautiful beats-led world of Tokolosh: Harmony, clarity, intricacy and depth. Sounds like a fairytale, a dream. Maybe they are a figment of our imagination, with hardly any hype at all, and a very soft and secret dalliance around the country to promote even their existence. But still, they're known of, like a myth already, a natural phenomenon. And they sneaked rather magically into the music scene too, with a fantastic debut show at one of Manchester's greatest buildings last year, the John Rylands Library.

Apparently influenced by everything from the Carlton dance (Fresh Prince) to Michael MacDonald, they're not zombie-gremlin-sprites and don't scare small children, as their namesake would suggest. Championed for making proper music, nothing created by samples and pedals and loops, the band are all accomplished musicians. There's no need for such tomfoolery when such skill is already on board, what with the band being something of a Mancunian indie-supergroup comprising of Liam Frost, Nathan Sudders, Christian and Nicky Madden, and Richard Young. It's not often that you find a handful of unrecognised yet still prolific musicians coming together.

Their first single 'Shapeshifter' is a very catchy but not cheesy entrance to the world of recorded music for the band. With the typically Mancunian lilt of Frost's voice, soaring synth sounds and complimentary vocal harmonies, it's a well turned-out combination of old folk and new indie. And probably lots of things in between, but in their own style - no likeness in particular stands out. It's quite a feat these days, to actually have created a sound that's their own, with no copy-cat retro-ness here. Solid basslines as always come from The Whip's Nathan Sudders. With some beats more atuned to dance tracks scattered throughout, it's a great synthesis of each members' respective bands.

Put out on a beautiful blue vinyl, the 7in is quite a collectable thing already, and Tokolosh have only just started. Everything about them has been rather mysterious, delicate, and yet there's a huge strength and sophistication in this band. No one has any idea what's coming next, but there'll be something as spectacular, undoubtedly. The stuff of legends.

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