You’d be forgiven if the name Toasty (or Toasty Boy) had slipped from your memory and into the mid-noughties dubstep ether. It’s been over a decade since the release of cult track “The Knowledge”, and now Toasty is back, presenting us with the bass-driven “Metal” EP.
Part of the “Metal” collection, created by Circadian Rhythms, borne of the collaboration between Blackwax and Last Japan, the EP is accompanied by both stunning visuals and a clothing line consisting of more than your standard label T. This is more a creative collective than a label, with both designers and producers pushing the boundaries of what a traditional record label stands for.
The title, and stand-out, track delivers a reflection on bass hovering around 130 BPM, where the sparse, reverb heavy percussion allows the space for the low frequencies to flow. The breakdown provides a euphoric reprieve from the doom-laden bass, with a trance-like interlude which soars and rises before plunging back into a bass line that seems even more powerful than before. All punctuated with a flute riff that provides the perfect counterbalance.
The opening of “Bump” is reminiscent of a classic RSD track, with simple, clean percussion and a fluent bass line. However as we move through the track, we are introduced to new sonic elements which keep the listener focussed. Stuttering hats, 80s movie synth lead and tribal drums hold your attention, while the ever distorting and mutating low end glues all the components together.
The closing track returns us to 140 BPM, with Toasty reverting to his classic breaks and growling synth formula. While, “Rebar” does feel more familiar, almost retrospective, it feels no less fresh hearing the definitive sound of Toasty after all these years. Ethereal pads are suspended above an onslaught of 808s and broken beats in a song that conjures memories of first discovering this eclectic artist.
CR001 is hopefully only a taster of what is to come from this London collective. I’d advise keeping one eye out for more from Toasty, and the other on Circadian Rhythms. This collective threaten to break the mould when it comes to a listening and visual experience from the modern day label.