Track: TOMÁ – ‘Blind War (feat. Ben LaMar Gay)’: eclectic future soul breaks herald a rising talent sans frontières


TOMÁ, photographed by Alice Matern

ATOM is the forthcoming and wholly anagrammatical album of the Austrian-based, Bulgarian-born leftfield beats investigator Tomá Ivanov, known for the purposes of music as TOMÁ.

His particular thing, he tells us, is “avant-garde lo-fi-jazz-psychedelic-pop”, which sounds appetisingly eclectic; and which eclecticism your ears will be pleased to confirm after taking a dip into his debut single release below: “Blind War”, featuring the similarly sans-frontières mind of Chicago’s composer and clarinettist Ben LaMar Gay.

It’s laidback, sure, leftfield soul-conscious in a way that’ll remind of Leron Thomas and others leading soul down more complex avenues; the tick-tocking of those warm keys layers in with beats which seem ready to break the leash, squelch and skitter, at a moment’s notice – but which remain tamed to the service of the song. And that choir immortal adds such a silky luxury to a track which is absolutely intelligent future soul.

TOMÁ and Ben’s longstanding musical friendship began in 2007 when they met at the Red Bull Music Academy in Toronto, and “Blind War” is just one of the new directions explored on Atom, which is reportedly a sombre splicing of Flying Lotus, Louis Armstrong, JS Bach and some of that classic-era Warp and Ninja Tune willingness to take breaks to new places on the map.

“Blind War”. In the latter track, experimental Chicago jazz-scene multi-instrumentalist, poet, composer and singer, Ben Lamar Gay, conveys a profound statement with his critical lyrics.

Bulgarian-born TOMÁ began experimenting with electronic music production in his youth, only to then take a detour as he pursued an education in jazz. His command of various styles sees him marry Stones Throw, Brainfeeder and the aforementioned classic British breaks imprints – the album is as happy to push out into woodwind instrumentals as it is to encapsulate soundtrack psych, hiphop and even classical elements.

TOMÁ’s ATOM will be released digitally on June 30th; you can order your copy now, over at Bandcamp.

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