- When you only have a (possibly incomplete) Discogs entry to work from, the imagination runs wild when you see a long gap between release dates. What exactly was Tonka doing from 2005 to 2008? Taking stock of his career thus far? Caring for a newborn child? Going to the bottom of the ocean to record whale sounds?
The latter may be more likely than you'd think, considering his latest track is called "Orca." When I first heard the tune, I have to admit I misjudged it as an elephant's trumpet, but a killer whale's squeal works just fine too. Whatever you decide to go with, it's the sound that vaults this already-banging track into highlight territory. A comically out-of-place beach guitar intro opens things up into a merciless groove, and soon comes Orca, braying away. Uuuuuup. Uuuuuup. Dooooown. Uuuuuup. Rinse. Wash. Repeat. Anthem.
Elsewhere, things don't quite reach the same lofty heights: Tonka turns in a shuddering tech house stop-start fest called "Freeze" that, on any other release, would be worthy of attention. John Evans whistles his way to novelty on "Scary Beats (Horror Mix)," which is a laughable title given how goofy you feel when you listen to it in the privacy of your home, and District One turns in a remix of Klovn's "I Want You" that is every writer's worst nightmare. It's solid, surely, but its contents only seem to yield these three thoughts: functional, well-produced and absolutely unremarkable. It's tech house that'll keep the night moving and little else. (Perhaps District One or Klovn should join Tonka for some deep-sea diving?)
A1 Tonka - Orca
A2 Tonka - Freeze
B1 John Evans - Scary Beats (Horror Mix)
B2 Klovn - I Want You (District One Remix)