Alt-Indie Electro POp Grooves
Having spent his increasingly volatile teenage years in a series of awful/awesome indie guitar bands; making music fell away in early his 20s, as Toby struggled with his childhood dream of becoming a filmmaker. He finally recognized defeat in his late 20s. The intervening years passed sleepwalking through the motions of life; Toby becoming evermore socially isolated, as he wrestled with his, as yet undiagnosed, mental health problems. By his mid-30s he felt trapped in a maze, each turn leading to thoughts of suicide.
A last roll-of-the-dice appointment with a Psychiatrist led to regular therapy sessions and, within the year, medication. As the depression began to lift, Toby found himself flooded with years of repressed emotions; picking up his battered-old Telecaster, the songs just fell out of him. Fearful he might forget the songs, Toby set up a rudimentary home recording studio and began recording his music.
Years passed as the slow grind of his recovery and music-making evolved together. Toby changed out his car for a bicycle, moved out to the countryside, and got a dog. He became increasingly involved in supporting the online independent music scene, volunteering to host a hashtag hour [#MusichourUK] on Twitter, and giving his free time to writing music reviews for Brash Magazine Music Blog. At the same time, he started mixing/mastering for other Artists, before ultimately specializing in mastering [Mastering Vadim Bessarab Trio’s EP ‘Differences’ - voted one of the Top 10 releases of 2020 at the Aprize Music Awards, Ukraine]; while, on the side, he began to try his hand at remixing, first under the name ‘Tobi’ and ‘Tobisonics’.
What began as a pseudonym, gradually became a distinction between his depressed self and his recovering self; and so, from 2020 through 2021, it was ‘Tobi’ who released four singles, exploring his sound, spanning a range of electronic genres from his alt-pop debut, “All These Things”, to the politically-charged electro-wave follow-up, “Military Industrial Complex”; electro-hip-hop collaboration with London-based rapper Costi, “Eye of the Storm”, and spoken-word electro-dance groove, “All The Little Things” with spoken-word artist Wee Scots Poet.
Intended as an exploration of the imperative of optimism, Tobi gradually realized his debut LP was, in fact, an acutely personal project about the lessons learned in his ongoing recovery from chronic depression/anxiety and PTSD, and those he was still struggling to learn. Tobi suffered terrible mood swings throughout the production, as memories and feelings he had buried deep inside himself were dredged up and exposed, raw and ever-painful. Unavoidable delays with the project’s mix engineer then held the LP and Tobi’s emotions in an increasingly unbearable state of limbo.
Desperate for a creative and emotional outlet, Tobi began creating short-form unofficial releases, intended only for social platforms; drawing on his filmmaking days, Tobi created short-form videos to accompany the micro productions. One such production lingered in Tobi’s ear; Annoyed by westerners hero-worshipping Vladimir Putin, while he held the threat of Nuclear War over the West, Tobi made “Putin’s Got a Gun against Your Head”; a 16-second short-form production, he had no intention of releasing; but the ongoing horrors in Ukraine, not to mention, having friends in Odesa, compelled Tobi to work up an official release [Out Friday 27th May].
Tobi continues to support the online Independent Music scene by volunteering as a moderator for Fresh on the Net [run by Tom Robinson, Tom Robison Band/BBC Radio6Music] while running his weekly New Independent Music Friday playlist, and writing articles & interviews on the subject of Independent Music.
Tobi’s debut LP is out this Summer.
"I rarely write about electronic music. Because it's rare, you know that when I do it's something truly special."
"a slick but lo-fi electro-disco spoken-word masterpiece."
"it sounds like a revolution, and one for the better"
“Tobisonics skillfully employs a colorful kaleidoscope of sultry keyboards, mesmerizing beats and a mix of glittery and spacey looped synths to create a lush and captivating soundscape"
"Highly experimental and intelligent as it is unique."
"Every time you hear it, you hear something new almost. I couldn’t get enough of it..."