Jennifer Lee, better known as TOKiMONSTA, has definitely made her place within the world of EDM. First off, let's thank the Heavens, because the more women in EDM, the better the sound. At least in my opinion that is. There is no doubt that TOKiMONSTA has contributed to the new sounds in the EDM world, and, at the very least, she has embraced these new sounds and made them into her own. The interesting aspect of her music is not that she has a consistent, steady sound with each track that she releases, but that it’s a sound that is recognizably hers.
Her fans and avid listeners may have been a little surprised when her latest album, Half Shadows, dropped back in April. It is TOKiMONSTA’s first full-length album since signing with Ultra Records, and it differs greatly from the traditional TOKiMONSTA sound of melodic, chill, and exotic instrumentals full of piano-like vibes. Half Shadows brings forth that traditional TOKiMONSTA sound and pairs it with some new age beats layered on top of smooth and inspirational rhythms. Beats and rhythms that keep me moving in the way that TNGHT’s self-titled EP does. Beats and rhythms that stick with me.
When listening in to TOKiMONSTA’s tracks, I can’t describe my experience any other way than “challenging.” Not challenging in a negative sense, but challenging in the fact that you have to truly listen and experience what you are hearing, and you will walk away feeling lifted in return. Her sound is not traditional. Her sound is not what you expect. Her sound is not that tune that is extremely catchy but later forgotten. TOKiMONSTA’s sound is representative of what I think EDM is: an experience. EDM is meant to take you into a new world, an unfamiliar place that is possibly even uncomfortable.
TOKiMONSTA is currently touring her way through Europe for the month of August, but if you can’t make it out to one of her shows, tune in to EDJ today at noon, 6pm, and 12am CDT on SXSWfm!
Photo by Bradley E. Dugdale III