This four track EP arrived in my inbox at a serendipitous moment when I had been searching for a tune that had a head-nodding house beat with a hint of Dilla-esque off-timing, an Innervisions-era Stevie Wonder bass sound, jazz funk chords, and P-Funk synth squiggles. Luckily for me, A1 ‘No Requests’ from Toribo contains all these elements. It’s fresh, slick and funky and while the chords have a hint of that supa-smooth soulful house aesthetic, the (don’t say off kilter don’t say off kilter) slightly wonky rhythm track and quality playing/programming keeps things firmly underground. B2 “New House New Home” gathers a few contrasting parts — organ, synth stabs, keys, a bass that isn’t sure what key it should be in, and some tasty 70s retro synth licks — and underpins the whole thing with an irresistibly shuffling house groove. There’s a single musical idea that is rinsed out throughout the track and then, good news, it does a totally unexpected thing in the middle, love it when tunes do that, breaking down and striping things back to showcase the gnarly b-line in a way that I bet will make your floor go off.

A2, the title track is another fresh groove that I was really into, but I’m not feeling the vocal to be honest. A dub or instrumental would be ideal, failing that the final two minutes and first minute are pure fire so you could just edit them together at home or do a nifty little remix when you play it out, or, third option, you could ignore my opinion on the vocal and drop the tune in the normal way like a normal person, totally your call.

There’s a DJ Spinna remix of “Brown Cocoa Skin” too where he glams it up a bit, reduces the vocal volume and turns it into quite a driving jam, but for me it’s the originals on here that really shine.

Toribio: Brown Cocoa Skin EP (Real Feel Records / 12″ Vinyl)
1. Toribio: No Requests (06:27)
2. Toribio: Brown Cocoa Skin (06:50)
3. Toribio: Brown Cocoa Skin (DJ Spinna Remix) (07:17)
4. Toribio: New House, New Home (05:50)

⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo.


Originally published in 5 Mag issue 202 featuring Hugo LX, Worldship Music and the return of the Teflon Dons, Sumsuch meets Cee ElAssaad, the ugly truth of old school Chicago, ravenomics, the rebirth of music industry scams & more. Help support 5 Mag by becoming a member for just $1 per issue.

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