Eye of the Storm
an 80s inspired anthem of hope, a barnstorming dose of electro-synth retro-wave to raise people up, after the stress, the worry, the fear and the pain of 2020. Sampling President John F Kennedy’s famous inauguration speech with vocals & words from London-based Hip Hop Artist Costi (ft. on BBC Intro Mixtape, Radio 6), “Eye of the Storm” is Tobi’s first collaboration in what he refers to as “the year of collaboration”, with three more projects planned for 2021.
"it sounds like a revolution, and one for the better"
Tobisonics employs a powerful thumping synth bass beat, accompanied by ominous swirling industrial synths that seem to mimic bombs dropping from the skies, while Costi raps the biting lyrics with an impressive and commanding flow.
Very well constructed and highly listenable, it has an unmistakably filmic aura. Imagine dark stormy scenes as the credits roll on a giant-size screen. Costi’s vocal performance is incisive and compelling
The track’s production presents powerful and hopeful energy while Costi’s vocals bring an element of hype.
the sampling of Kennedy’s speech (as well as its message) was a masterstroke.
Wednesday, January 20th 2021. Tobisonics announces the release of “Eye of the Storm”; an 80s inspired anthem of hope, a barnstorming dose of electro-synth retro-wave to raise people up, after the stress, the worry, the fear and the pain of 2020. Sampling President John F Kennedy’s famous inauguration speech with vocals & words from London-based Hip Hop Artist Costi (ft. on BBC Intro Mixtape, Radio 6), “Eye of the Storm” is Tobi’s first collaboration in what he refers to as “the year of collaboration”, with three more projects planned for 2021.
Costi’s rap works off the changing rhythms of production with impressive finesse; delivering a storming beat-based mantra in the chorus, “The futures bright that’s the neon lights, Demolition man put your dreams on ice.”; while switching-up at the beginning of the 2nd verse to a rapid-fire bassline-based onslaught, “We ride all the way to the eye of the storm, Can’t keep up the pace as race as chase, The greats to the place where the fire is born, Raise again just to die for the cause”.
Although intimidated by the idea of using one of the most famous speeches of the 20th Century, Kennedy’s words struck Tobi as resonating with the times. “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.” In the shadow of Brexit, Trump, and the rise of populist nationalism/jingoism across the western world, we are facing the greatest threat to our democracy since fascism spread across Europe in the 1920s.
“I feel ‘Military Industrial Complex’ was artistically successful but, in terms of its application, it failed. I wanted to engage with traditional voters on the right, instead, I just ended up just preaching to the choir”.
The divisive ideology of populist nationalism is ultimately fatalistic and can not offer hope. Tobi decided he needed to inspire people.
“I wanted to remind people of a time when we believed we could be one race of humans. When we believed we could be a great people; a global people.”
The often-overlooked second part to Kennedy’s most famous quote was the perfect note on which to end the track, “My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man”.
"Eye of the Storm” is due to be released on Wednesday, 20th January in recognition of Joe Biden’s Inauguration.