The line between dance music and R&B has always been thinner than anyone had ever given it credit. But maybe Tim Mosley’s new work-out plan convinced people that the barriers between the two were more bulky. Burial’s 2007 revelation that you could transmute Ray J into a two-step influenced dubstep artist changed the way a generation perceived both dubstep and Brandy’s philandering brother. Over the last year, Shlohmo’s seamless sheepish collaboration with Jeremih proved that there was scant daylight between the worlds of Low End Theory-ish beats and swooning steal-your-girl soul. There are innumerable others I could list, but this is a blog post so breath easier.
An artist like Toy Light exists in this space, but he’s stealthily been carving out notches on his own bedpost. I’ve written about him twice, but everyone forgets everything, so do some reconnaissance (here or here). This summer, he dropped his Sign of Life EP that scrambled up soul, Warp Records IDM, and Radiohead into an melancholy brew that sounded best between the hours of 12 and 4 a.m. It’s not amphetamine club music, but red wine, weed, and prescription pills downer soul. The sort of thing you hear and become unsure whether you should immediately seduce someone or slit your wrists. His latest song is named after a Greek goddess forced to live in the underworld for eating the forbidden fruit. That about sums it up.
But it’s beautiful and sad and evidence that he’s arguably the most gifted producer that everyone outside of LA is ignoring. I implore you to stop and I usually only use the word “implore” to recommend secret fish taco hot spots. I believe this is where you know it is real.