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Toby Marks The Spot

Banco De Gaia
Big Men Cry
(Planet Dog)

Toby Marks (the man behind Banco De Gaia) has been on the electronic scene for quite awhile, and like many others he has yet to receive the attention he deserves. Through the years, he's still managed to build up a sizeable fan base, though, through his very consistently strong releases and live shows. He even has a nicely designed website at which you can write the artist himself.

The music on this album picks up where his last one left off. There are seven tracks on the disc, and brevity isn't a factor as usual as they sprawl out to almost 70 minutes worth of music (including one track that is less that 1 minute). While it's repetitive at some points, the slowly building and winding down of the tracks fits in perfectly with the music style of Banco De Gaia. Ranging from ambient to straight-up techno, the songs are spacious and emit less of a cold feeling than most electronic music. This is mostly because of the great use of organic sounds in construction. As one might guess, the backbone of the song "Drippy," is formed around the sound of water dripping and other tracks capture this sound as well. Whether you describe it as "ethno-techno" (for use of chants and other tribal beats in the songs) or simply a more organic form of electronic music, it defitinitely gives it a different feel. It's smooth, and although it doesn't rock a hard beat, it's well-constructed nonetheless and very good to listen to.

Rating: 7.25