The Many Faces of a TOKiMONSTA

Jennifer Lee is an old school “beatmaker” at heart with nerd-level video game intellect which makes any of her sets as unpredictable as the last Final fantasy. The TOKiMONSTA, (aka Jennifer Lee), studied classical piano growing up in Torrance, CA. and started making beats when a friend gave her a copy of Fruity Loops. After graduating, she took a job as a business development coordinator for a video game publisher. She even managed to feature a track on the 2011 Mortal Kombat video game.

But the social prejudice of the 9–5 work slot didn’t cut it and she discovered that music was her driving force, and that from then on she would quit the daily grind and focus wholeheartedly on music. Captivatingly effortless with a natural flair for detail is one way to describe this ethereal-enigma. She makes head-heaving electronic beats influenced by old-school hip hop and artists like DJ Shadow and DJ Krush.

Her career blew up casually, and times have changed since playing sets at the influential LA club night Low End Theory, yet that is where her heart lies with the small and stingy club world; the only catch is, they gotta’ have good sound. Her release on Flying Lotus’ label Brainfeeder has made her trip to the top progressively vertical for the live performer who toured Australia back in 2010. Since then Lee has released her latest EP ‘Desiderium’ as well as an unforgettable set at this year’s Coachella, further cementing her reputation of combining sweeping-synths with glitchy-beats to create maximalist R&B tinged soundtracks. In 2014, she released Desiderium on her own creative label ‘Young Art Records.’

[“desiderium” Is defined as “an ardent longing, as for something lost,” and was accompanied by a quote from Jonathan Swift: “I think as seldom as I can of what I loved or esteemed in it, to avoid the desiderium which of all things makes life most uneasy.”]

This quote seems so fitting as she mentioned in our interview “I have always felt a little off or uncomfortable. I think that sort of incompleteness is apparent in a lot of my music.”

Listening to her new song, she utilizes heavy grooves with smooth electronic beats from symphonic, dub-like percussion. Through the epic orchestral beat that is both sporadic and grimey, she has is able to fuse vintage sounds with progressive styles.

Making tracks is what she does best and when it comes to dropping a new album you know she’s gonna have you guessing. Releasing somewhat of an anthology that speaks volumes as opposed to track based storytelling, you get the whole fairytale from start to finish.

TOKiMONSTA is known for creating vast textural soundscapes which is made clear in her track Realla Feat. Anderson-Paak. She is the master of combining live instruments, percussion, digital manipulation and vinyl. and is causing a stir in the abyssal deep-sea environment of the online underground. She makes Mortal Kombat-meets-(Moonlight Sonata), disco-inspired, slo-mo club jams.

Catch the blistering return of the Los Angeles native, when she lands on our shores for a full club tour this June.

Kicking off her club tour in Canberra the series of dates take her throughout the country débuting her all new live show. The tour also includes a special performance for The Operatives 11th Birthday.

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