Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Day Job” by TOKiMONSTA from the 2011 Creature Dreams EP on Brainfeeder.
The title of today’s featured song is somewhat ironic considering that Jennifer Lee, a.k.a. TOKiMONSTA, prefers to compose strictly during the hours most people sleep. The Los Angeles based producer has been a participant in the weekly Low End Theory showcases and part of Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder crew for several years, though her previous album, Midnight Menu, was released by Listen Up, a subsidiary of Japanese label Art Union. Like Flying Lotus, Daedelus, Gaslamp Killer, Nosaj Thing and others on Brainfeeder, Lee experiments with beats and electronic sounds to create her own brand of instrumental beat-driven music. Part hip-hop, part psychedelia, part glitchy pastiche, TOKiMONSTA’s music is also informed by her previous background in classical piano. Synths are just as likely to sit beside orchestrated strings as with electronic squawks and borrowed samples. Whether they incorporate jazz tempos, dubstep rhythms, or big Zeppelin-eque beats like today’s featured song, “Day Job,” the songs on the new Creature Dreams EP maintain vibe that can only come from staying up too late when you know you just can’t or won’t get to sleep.
While there no live dates currently scheduled on TOKiMONSTA’s blog or Facebook page, she did recently tour with Bonobo (read the show review of first performance ever in Seattle last November), so hopefully she’ll be hitting the road solo or with some of the other Brainfeeder performers soon. For now, here’s a quick clip of TOKiMONSTA at the Brainfeeder showcase last year at Fabric in London: