REVIEW Toto Chiavetta ‘Sounds Between Colours EP’ [Innervisions]

Retuning back into the inner-visions quest, Toto Chiavetta blends his spectrum of soundscapes to shed light on the ‘Sounds Between Colours’ with IV88. Distributing with pertinent friends on their revered labels, Toto Chiavetta shades-in electronica music’s blindspots with visionary Osunlade’s Yoruba Records and fuses soul-binding rhythms via savant trio: Steffen Berkhahn, Kristian Raedle, and Frank Wiedemann on their Innervisions label. Merely a month ago, Rampa’s EP ‘They Will’ was released on the Berlin-based label, securing a (rampa)nt round of applause and raising yet another weighty bar for the production perfectionist – Toto Chiavetta – to bench. Thus, he had to dig deeper underground to frack frequencies that upheld the freshest of standards, previously set forth by his world-acclaimed predecessors. The Catanian DJ/producer steers technical virtues alongside his roaming imagination, cautioning not to let one yield or bypass the other. ‘Sounds Between Colours’ EP features Toto’s signature thunderous bass line while melodically skipping between House/Techno and Afro-House; of course, holding space for clarity and asperity to coexist.

Some of the most breathtaking minutes of the EP, ‘Sound Between Colours’ whispers melancholic secrets, so soft, yet so visibly produced. Toto Chiavetta sets the stage with a battle- scene saga, scoring-in an epic cutting-edge. Crusting over a winding texture, sound and color frequencies scab on top of one another. The airy pitches squirm downward into a quintessential reunion with the bass line; while sublime chords magnetically resonate images in the brain’s safe-keeper of (housed) memories. Melting over a butter-smooth progression, the melodic tones blissfully saturate aural senses and spiral in salty facial expressions. Revolving percussive elements spin a color-wheel of misfortune, pinpointing opportunities – missed or unfulfilled. The meditative rhythm basks and wallows in the nostalgic beauty of despair, transmuting into an addictive and isolate decadence.

Down the vortex of eccentricity Toto fosters a confrontation where cringing apprehensions and darkened manifestations –– seemingly –– began. Confronting a spit of fire, the warmth of ‘This Does Not Happen Where the Sun Rises’ burns a singed-edge around the EP, with a guarantee that you have sourced once concealed and long forgotten bruises. This wicked settlement offers up a pristine foundation and a foolproof set-opener; equipped with plenty of dance-floor anticipation, the down-tempo permits a controllable build. Lazarus’ spooky ride clicks along the track into a narrow crevice –– child-like –– full of wonderment and vulnerability. Fastened into this unstable (emotional) rollercoaster, sharp and psychedelic synths embed their claws into foam seatbelts, while Pink Floyd-esque spoken-word entrancingly ‘Speak to Me’. The east-bound dawn is full of youthful innocence and rebirthing potential; contrarily, the sun’s absence conjures lurking demons – bound and rooted within the wreaths of thicketed hardship. The track’s vocalic temptress, settled with toxicity, purges murky pollutants while leaving reminisce of fragmented fear and excitement.

Toto Chiavetta buffs over calloused spirits, sliding-in his direct incentive to rekindle dance-floor stamina and intensify neck jerks. Revived from the dark edge of consciousness in the previous track, ‘Metrica’s triumphant rhythm rejoices with hurdles of writhing elements. The feminine conversion of “metric”: ‘Metrica’, pristinely lays down bricks of reassurance, moreover paving the way for a peak-time track. Dancing impulsions brim pressure points, but when the drop heaves over a lions breath, a flag-waving arm is surrendered to the sky. In the eye of the storm at 3:20, a dark synth breakdown dynamically elevates and alleviates the combustion of the cyclonic tornado. Blustering a footloose atmosphere, ‘Metrica’s structure remodels cemented constructions of thought, thereby building its sequence into Dixon’s recent sets. Relentless thrusts of the bass line and rivets of percussion assimilate an industrial fever, catapulting sound waves around the steamy perimeters of an underground warehouse party.

Optimistically priming a glossy transition, the current track’s rattling synths weave and bob their way throughout texturized hair strands. Toto re-enlists a Senegalese vocalist, Mbissane Ngom — non-coincidentally — with the same last name as vocalist Moby Ngom, featured on ‘Nagnu Jubo’. Both vocalists’ potent and soulful dispositions compensate bass-heavy instrumentals. This sunset-vibe track beats over dewy brows and twirls around torsos; strumming crisp ngoni strings and drumming along vivacious grins. The celestial vacuums spit out shock waves of rumbling sounds, furthermore enlivening the Afro-House vibration. African culture places a high importance on the moon’s phases of borrowed light; her waxing and waning cycle parallels (mother) nature’s course. Although rarely given the time of day, the moon’s religious rotation exposes her two-facedness, ubiquitous and absent.

Although it’s been a year since the Catanian DJ/Producer released ‘Harmony Somewhere’ on the Innervisions label, Toto has consistently remained in the loop with his ‘Institute of Peace’ recently released earlier this year. Taking a more yin route, ‘Sound Between Colours’ displays a dark almost feminine sensuality; mysteriously angelic and bewitchingly feisty. ‘This Doesn’t Happen Where the Sun Rises’ plummets passengers deep underground and in due time is saved with ‘Metrica’s victorious growth spurt. Cohesively concluding the EP ‘Dedicated to all the Mothers and Their Moons’ stabilizes a happy Áfro dance-floor vibe. Toto Chiavetta’s EP nimbly transmits contemporary sounds; delicately stroking the nape of vulnerability, as if it was the first time you had felt his electricity shiver down your spine. Overall metabolizing a neural transience, Toto showcases his mental color palette to compliment the perfected vibrations permeating out of fortunate speakers.

Toto Chiavetta’s EP ‘Sounds Between Colours’ was released on Innervisions on July 19th, 2019.

Review by Isabella Gadinis