Canadian DJ and artist Totemic emerged from Toronto’s eclectic electronic music scene as his reputation for pushing boundaries grew amongst the community. As a performer he is known for his energetic and sensual style and he has performed at respected festival Harvest, All Stars, OM and Solstice, sharing the stage with the likes of Daega Sound, The Funk Hunters, Gremlinz, Whitebear and DJ Madd.
This year Totemic, real name Doug Penny, releases an EP entitled Falling in the midst of his tunes and mixes being played by DJs worldwide. Now is the time to showcase his uniqueness and individuality. This is exactly what this EP sounds like, it’s a calling card, a mantra, a mission statement if you will. Though there are no voices, as in vocal performances, to convey Totemic’s intent, it is clearly evident in the sound he creates.
Take opening track Static Blitz for instance. Penny manages to combine his skills as a violinist with his skills at mixing fast paced rhythms. Totemic’s forte is clearly Drum & Bass but he is able to approach it in a more creative manner which in turn allows his vibe to stand out. Though the violin may be described as Totemic’s unique selling point, a gimmick that has served him well, it doesn’t really feature overall on this release, it in fact takes a passenger seat ride through this soundscape.
Again, this is distinctly evident in Endless Dream which does feature some soft sounding wails of a violin but actually the track’s main impressive points are the soaring synths and the rapid bongo drums. Totemic is good at fusing electronic sounds with a layer of live instrument that gives a beat an organic sound. Lead single Falling is perhaps very popular for that reason, as those clear UK breaks are softened by some punchy piano play, making for a tasteful sonic experience.
Overall, Totemic’s Falling EP is a solid release because it isn’t fanciful, it isn’t looking to sensationalise or even be over dramatic. There are no huge fall off a sky-scraper drops that have been steadily built up and deliberately calculated. It is just sound Drum & Base music with a musicians touch, an electronic essence fused with an organic understanding, and in that case it’s well played.
Totemic’s Falling EP is due for release May 17th 2016. Listen to the lead sing Falling below: