Too often we tend to think of EDM as a worldwide phenomenon, where every continent contributes equally towards the greater scene. And while that notion may be true, the fact of the matter is that many music from certain countries and continents often take precedence in the type of music that media outlets cover. It is no secret that Europe is a hot spot for a majority of EDM music, from countries like Sweden to Holland to England and more. However, this does not mean that there isn’t talent in other areas of the world. Enter Mitomi Tokoto. He might not be a household name here in America, but he has quite the following in Japan. He currently is number one in terms of Beatport sales from a Japanese producer, with 4 tracks in the Top 100 and 2 tracks featured in the Top 10 during his continuing tenure. Additionally, he has been an official remixer from the likes of David Guetta and Axwell, which is not an easy task to accomplish. In 2011, Mitomi was assigned to create a remix to Nic Chagall‘s This Moment featuring the gorgeous vocals of Jonathan Mendelsohn.
Rather than just changing around different sounds and bringing on an arrangement, Tokoto does something unexpected: he drops everything except the breaks and vocals and instead inserts what he calls a ‘grand orchestra‘ into the breakdown. In case people don’t understand this concept, this is a musical design choice where the composer decides to utilize actual instruments instead of computer generated instruments. Strings are the main aspect of this orchestra, as his extra work and care truly pays off in one of the most astounding Progressive House releases up to date. Tokoto has crafted a beautiful piece of work, carefully having this ‘grand orchestra‘ respond to the heartfelt, emotional vocals to provide an amazing soundscape to envelop the listener. This is what truly makes the unique sound with his project of Limited Express (which includes the great Japanese artist, Daishi Dance). Even Jonathan Mendelsohn himself quoted as only saying ‘Amazeballs‘ [sic] on his official Soundcloud page.
The beginning starts at a single point, with simple, slightly reverbed arpeggios permeating the space and nothing else. This stillness of the beginning is an amazing start through a musical journey, which starts into motion when the kick comes in. However, it is not the beginning that is the focal point, but rather the breakdown. As Jonathan sings the lyrics, ‘I’ve been runnin’ on, runnin’ on empty‘, the stillness of anticipated energy returns, with relaxed synths and lone high strings to heighten the emotional tension. As the cellos move in, the bass section brings forth a wondrous melody, sweeping and flowing throughout the radiant words of Mendelsohn‘s lyrics. Each piece works together in harmonious succession, as the Classical percussion add a certain elegance throughout the piece, a trait that is not often found in many Progressive House tracks these days. As the beat comes in at ‘All that I seek is this moment‘, a stunning mixture between Classical and Electronic comes alive as the buildup pushes into a marvelous Progressive House drop that reminds us back to Avicii‘s heyday in 2008-10. The percussion and synths are top notch at the drop and the production value of this piece is nothing short of astounding. All of these sounds work together to give us something truly special; a piece that has broken expectations and gathered an amazing experience all at the same time.
We am happy to announce, (after some careful searching around), that we happened to come across a free, legal download of the piece through Soundcloud. So head on up towards the link and pick up Mitomi Tokoto‘s Limited Express remix of Nic Chagall‘s This Moment today.
Keep the music alive. -Q
Unsung Heroes is a weekly segment where we take a look back at an amazing production and bring it back into the light for older and newer fans alike. These tracks were often overlooked, overshadowed by a huge release or are just not that well known to the public here in America. Here, you can find all the hidden gems in many genres and find a new favorite track (or another tool/weapon for aspiring DJ’s).