THE UG FACTOR. This is the essential spice that Tony Thomas adds to the pot for that that extra bite. Its a mysterious injection of funk and drive that reverberates to the heart of the dancefloor. Tony is the big chief of tribal house and caveman congos, his debut album 21st Century Dub is forthcoming on Soma Records. Tony makes music for the club and 21st Century Dub is a trip to the core. His unique style of pulsating tribal enchantment is punctuated with seriously dubbed out effects and primal screams, a thick, potent mix of rhythms are embedded with some spooked out bongo business. Future jungle funk.
Tony has been making dance music for years. With house, techno and progressive spinners picking up on his productions you are very likely to find at least one of his tracks rooted in the box of any self respecting DJ. His list of fans runs longer than the Serengeti, counting the likes of Pete Tong, Carl Cox, Slam and Darren Emerson among them. With over one hundred and fifty productions he is the hardest working man in house, appearing on labels such as End Recordings, Tango, Honchos, Serious, Hooj, Subliminal, Loaded, Jamayka and of course SOMA. For Soma he has released Beginnings, Get High and Tightrope. He has collaborated with Alan Barratt as The Producers, releasing the very successful twelve Flying The Funky Path on End Recordings and the album Lucky on Surround Sounds. Red Moon is the project he does with DJ Hal on the labels Eukahouse, Surround Sounds and Rennaissance. His current release on End Recordings, Tony Thomas & Access 58 "People of the World Unite" is receiving fantastic reviews and widespread DJ play, Jon Carter has also remixed this.
21st Century Dub is crammed full of chugging grooves with popping bongo funk. The double vinyl LP is a DJs delight. The CD version is sequenced as a mix, giving the listener the full Tony Thomas experience. Tony used to be in a dub band and is still heavily influenced by the sound, using deft echo effects to enhance the trip. Vocal snippets and African chants are principal elements in his sound, seriously dubbed out for delirium on the dancefloor.
Good Fortune is the first track on the album and we are instantly thrown into the heady tribal vibe. Jungle chants lead us into a swirling summer expedition straight to the heart of the African undergrowth. Trademark drums and percussion are segued with flute, piano and sax for a cool house track that shimmers and sends shivers down the spine of the listener. This melts into the familiar favourite Beginnings, Tonys first track to be released on Soma builds up the tempo in the mix then drops the bassline bomb and sends us to tech-house heaven.
The driving house continues like a possessed savage with Medicine Child, Tony gets brutal with some serious African rhythms and throws in some old school riffs for a maximum druggy house impact. Dark beats aplenty. What Comes Around maintains the groove but lightens the mood, tingly percussion and more mad vocal snatches break down to some tranquil pads. With Feel Me he strips back the groove and builds an eastern extravaganza. Tony is half Greek and goes back to his roots with the muted sax and feel me female vocals. The burning bassline guarantees another floor buster.
The pace is slowed with the appropriately named Lovely, downtempo beats are washed with soothing sounds, an ethereal moment that displays another side to his musical output. The African mood is retained with tribal chants. From the calmness comes Growth with pounding drums and shaking rhythms, the ferocity factor increases with stabs of grunts, shrieks and robotic voices. The rolling funk train continues with the recent Soma track Tightrope, this was a big favourite upon its release in 2002.
Jackoff is Tonys favourite track on the album, again muted sax riffs are layered with intense thick beats, tribal style. The breakdown is a weird spaced out hypnotic frenzy with filthy percussion. The final track on the album is his forthcoming single on Soma, the mighty Cannibals, which finishes off 21st Century Dub in fine carnival style, injecting a little Tony Thomas razzamatazz.
Tony Thomas is one of the most consistent and respected House producers in the scene and this album is sure to find him a whole new set of fans.
He is also a fantastic DJ and regularly plays in the UK and throughout Europe.