Music Reviews

EP Review: Falling by Totemic


With the summer heat finally showing up and the festival season officially underway, it’s time to shed the layers and shelf the mopey tunes (sorry Radiohead) and get in to something with some groove. For those of us can’t stomach anything remotely EDM, the musical equivalent of hitting yourself over the head with a mallet, there’s Totemic. On this year’s Falling, producer Doug Penny has mostly put down his trademark violin in favour of focussing on a more traditional DnB soundscape. The one man show hailing from Toronto, Canada has crafted a moody piece of Liquid Funk, full of the intrigue and mystery of a hot, summer night.

The title track kicks off with a descending dance of piano hits. The beat settles in nicely with calming chirps passing you by on your smooth flyover. Indian syncopations and avian hallucinations fill your head. ‘Static Blitz’ takes the album to a darker place with the first and only appearance of violin on the record. The lamenting melody is quickly disseminated in to the bits and bites that frantically jitter all over the track.

‘Devil’s Heart’ takes you further in to the belly of the beast with sparse, ominous beasts lurking in the background. To bring you back to the light, ‘Endless Dream’ welcomes you with open arms. Steel drum samples coax you in to this bongo driven number.

Is it possible for lyric-less, electronic music to be “smart”? If so, Totemic is. The textures paint evocative pictures beyond just sweaty bodies on a dance floor (although, it would certainly fit right in there). Falling is worldly and warmly organic. Images from high desert mountains to deep underground chasms come to mind. Those who are familiar with his usual sound may find themselves missing his spacey violin but Falling is a solid EP that should tide them over till he decides to pick up the strings again. This is by no means mainstream party music but for those with psychedelic leanings, this is our party music.

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Jon Ireson
I am a freelance music journalist from Vancouver BC, Canada. After writing concert reviews for 3 years for Scene in the Dark, I shifted my focus to album reviews. I love discovering new music, especially bands that bend genres and take music in to new territory. In addition to writing about it, I mix and produce music for various projects.