PRICE: $13.00
Top Dollar


"The first psychedelic percussion album since Hal Blaine!"Mavens of The Good Life unite! Toby Dammit is a master percussionist who has here made one of the most compelling albums in recent memory. Layered, melodic, insane music where Hal Blaine meets trance, where Martin Denny blends with Ennio Morricone, where symphonic percussion instruments are filtered through 1960's spy movie soundtrack sensibilities and rubbed up against Vampyros Lesbos. Is he the unfathomable link between Edgar Varese and Senor Coconut? Between Harry Partch and Harry The Bastard? Between the deep mysteries of Swedish sexcrime and psychedelic Krautrock sambas?! You have to feel the weight of his tympani storage facility to understand the glimmer of his glockenspiel. Currently a U.S. Resident, he travels the world in an ever-changing magical orchestra pit. His beats collide, and the children unanimously scream in the ecstasy. Throughout the history of late twentieth-century popular music, the cries have been heard in song titles: 'Hear the Drummer Get Wicked', 'Give the Drummer Some', 'Bring that Beat Back'. Perhaps these are all responses to jazz drummer Max Roach's enigmatic question: does the beat lie in the drum beats or between them? Musical provocateur Toby Dammit, whose work at the fringes of U.S. popular music, leaves unanswered that question. But in doing so, insists on the central role of percussion and drums, making a path-breaking record in the process. Drums and percussion are too often consigned to the background, as drum fills or a 4-4 kick drum installed to keep metronomic time. But there are few artists who bring percussion to the foreground, and Toby Dammit's music occupies that rare position of the artist who works solely with percussion to create extraordinarily complex yet deceptively simple tracks. Think of this record also as the perfect DJ tool. Those in search of often-redundant breaks, beats, and loops records will find this album perfectly suited to heavy turntable rotation. The opening track, 'Number One Famous', and 'Roadblocks Here and Here' see Dammit picking up the gauntlet thrown down by Adrian Sherwood's stunning On-U Sound ventures with Creation Rebel, Tackhead, and Mark Stewart. Dammit's work also immediately brings to mind the hard, crisp techno of contemporary artists such as Surgeon, Ben Sims, Oliver Ho, Adam Beyer, and Regis, who never permit a bass line anywhere near their music. 'Jolly Coppers on Parade' is a dense, glowering piece with decaying, percussive fragments buzzing around the mix like an agitated hummingbird. Even when the percussion is attenuated to the point of a click track and hi-hat, Dammit keeps the sense of space and suspense intact. The uneasy 'Malmo Nocturne (Mansson's Theme)' is the record's moment of relative serenity, wherein North African motifs and drumming slow the pace of this fast moving record. But even here, the tough sound of the drum machine returns to interrupt the calm. You can pretend to ignore the call of the drum. But, finally, it is the rhythmic force which drives all records which utilize it. Most drummers are competent at best; able to use the kit to keep the beat moving. And then there are percussive artists like Toby Dammit who understand that the place of the drum is so much more than simply keeping time. It is the stepping off point for a vast range of compelling musical adventures. It is the latter that the listener will find on Top Dollar." --Tim Haslett