Pick of the weekend:
Various Artists with Momentum (10 Years Of Token) on Token, TOKEN78LP.
Rødhad, Sigha, Ø [Phase], Antigone, Inigo Kennedy, Kr!z, Tadeo, Ctrls and Oscar Mulero.
Over the last 10 years Token Records has grown steadily, both in size and stylistic breadth. The aptly-titled Momentum comes as a celebration of the close-knit family of artists amassed throughout the label’s running. The record is a fitting collaborative project, with every track on the album produced by two longstanding and well-respected artists from the label’s roster and especially commissioned for the release. This type of collaboration is intended to showcase the specific sound of the label, developed through 10 years of careful curation, as well as bringing out the individual identities of the artists involved.
On the development of the label’s sound, Token founder Kr!z comments, “Inigo delivered quite the statement with the first release Identify Yourself. I think identity was and still is key in the development of the label and the artists.”
Inigo Kennedy’s involvement in Token has been profoundly influential and spans its very existence; with three collaborative tracks on the record, it’s easy to hear his trademark cinematic sound throughout. One such offering, Amalgam, is co-produced by Kr!z himself, which is a first step for the label head into releasing his own music after years of taking the back seat, focusing instead on DJing while keeping the label ticking over and the releases coming out.
Token’s identity has been clarified through its curation over the years as each new artist has joined the label family. Ø [Phase] has been a staple since 2007, providing cerebral sustenance for the most discerning of listeners. To date, he has produced two successful albums and a string of notable EPs for Token, Binary Opposition being perhaps the best-known; a pulsating, mesmerising project on both sides that played a serious role in pushing the label to a larger audience. Rødhåd’s trademark composure was a similarly early addition, and although his Spomeniks release was a step aside from his own on-going Dystopian project, he has remained an important member of the Token collective.
Ctrls was a Token affiliate from early in his career, and has to date provided nine solo EPs. His class of jarring, inorganic techno adds an atypical feel to the label’s output, while Antigone’s 2015 double EP Cantor Dust paved the way for another strong artist/label relationship. This bond has resulted series of adventurous releases over past two years, with the most recent Ostinato EP esteemed as a tasteful antidote to the techno status quo.
There are some artists who, although better known for long releasing careers with other respected outlets, have become important in bolstering the label’s character in particular. Oscar Mulero’s reputation as an institution of electronic music precedes him, and Tadeo has been releasing his Detroit-leaning and avant- garde sounds since 2004. Sigha’s involvement with Token came after a varied discography, his Metabolism album from this year marking an integral progression in the label’s direction, providing a firm expression of complex musicality and contemplative form.
Tracklist: VA – Momentum (10 Years Of Token) (Token, TOKEN78LP)
A1 / 01. Rødhåd & Sigha – Bloom
A2 / 02. Ø [Phase] & Rødhåd – Detonation Vertex
B / 03. Antigone & Ø [Phase] – Icosahedron Flood
C / 04. Inigo Kennedy & Kr!z – Amalgam
D1 / 05. Tadeo & Ctrls – Dropout
D2 / 06. Ctrls & Antigone – The Hardest Part
E1 / 07. Kr!z & Ctrls – Comets
E2 / 08. Inigo Kennedy & Sigha – Minor Ascent
F / 09. Oscar Mulero & Inigo Kennedy – Catharsis