TOKiMONSTA

SUNDAY


Over the last decade, the Los Angeles producer and Young Art label boss, TOKiMONSTA has helped define the sound of modern dance and beat music. In the process, she has received the co-signs of the biggest names in electronic and repped for the West Coast underground at the Grammys -- all without sacrificing the purity of her vision or relying on exploding glowstick bombast. The secret is that there is no secret, other than the compositional genius and futuristic melodies embedded into the gleaming, technicolor mandalas of hip-hop instrumentalism, pop, R&B-soul, house, and IDM that encompass the TOKiMONSTA sound.

Her career has been so dynamic and versatile that it’s difficult to even know where to begin. We can focus on the current moment, where breathless anticipation abounds for her fourth full-length, Oasis Nocturno, a nocturnal opus that might be the best thing the producer born Jennifer Lee has ever done. Visualize a neon-lit, till-the-break-of-dawn journey filled with weightless grooves and propulsive funk, featuring assists from Bibi Bourelly, EARTHGANG, Channel Tres, Dumbfoundead, and more.

Maybe it’s best to start at the beginning. After cutting her teeth in the famously competitive Beat Battles at the legendary Leimert Park hip-hop night Project Blowed, the barely out of college TOKi became a rising star, making necks snap as one of the only female producers in the Low End Theory scene. If you were there during the early days of that fabled L.A. beat music mecca, her performances are indelibly stamped in your hippocampus. A classically trained pianist, TOKi synthesized DJ Krush, DJ Shadow, J Dilla and RZA into a singularly innovative form, fluorescent and astral-minded, but girded by a heavy Richter-shaking hip-hop thump.