Todd Tobias

Todd Tobias“it’s tribute to Todd Tobias’s skill as a producer and arranger that the pace never slackens and that he’s quite effectively produced the audio equivalent of a graphic novel, one that will keep you listening right up until its cataclysmic final moments.” DOA

After years of producing Guided By Voices and playing in Circus Devils with Robert Pollard, Todd Tobias struck out on his own with his debut solo album Medicine Show. His music is defiantly unique and vividly realised across his evolving discography.

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Discography

 

Gila Man


18 October 2015

Each Todd Tobias solo album presents its own discrete, surreal world – and Gila Man is no exception. A wordless musical novella that merges a psychedelic Western with shadowy science fiction, Gila Man simultaneously evokes the wide-eyed wonder of discovery and the creeping dread of what horrors may lurk around the next corner. Featuring the stunning wordless vocals of English songwriter and fellow Hidden Shoal artist Chloë March, the album is at once beautiful and unsettling – and a wonderful distillation of the magical qualities of Tobias’s previous musical outings.

Gila Man’s individual songs vividly evoke characters and scenes within the album’s imaginary narrative, casting dusty projections onto the mind’s eye. Breezily meditative single ‘Pollen Path’ shimmers with acoustic fingerpicking and Chloë March’s celestial voice. ‘Howler’s Hill’ breaks out of its haunted intro into an agitated, fuzzy churn, while ‘Queen Mab’ circles around synth and chime motifs to create a delicate, melancholic dirge. ‘Tularosa’, again featuring Chloë March, is woozy, French-sounding atmos-pop. ‘Highlake’s Last Stand’ pits dreamy guitar wanderings against ritualistic sludge rock. Wherever this music ventures, the listener is compelled to follow.

Tristes Tropiques


June 2015

While best known for producing Guided By Voices and collaborating with Robert Pollard (Circus Devils, Ricked Wicky and Pollard’s solo material), Tobias has also crafted an innovative body of instrumental solo work, of which Tristes Tropique is the latest chapter. Hypnotic and melancholy-soaked, Tristes Tropique presents a luxuriant yet downcast tone, drawing comparisons to the eerie, transportive work of The Fun Years, The Gentleman Losers and Ian William Craig. This is no better exemplified than on single ‘Suvarnabhumi’, in which sparse, yearning guitar figures are subsumed by ethereal synths. Sinister yet alluring, these musical environments throb with sensuality, danger and promise. Tristes Tropique takes its title from the book by French anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss, which literally translates as “sad tropics”. Tobias sought to evoke far-flung places where indigenous cultures have either vanished or are in the process of being swallowed up by an ever-expanding global civilization.

Moorea


June 2015

Moorea is the stunning companion EP to Todd Tobias’s brilliant 2015 album Tristes Tropiques.

Impossible Cities


October 2014

Impossible Cities is the latest visionary chapter in Todd Tobias’s ongoing exploration of rock’s darkest and most hypnotic realms. Inspired by the Ital Calvino book Invisible Cities, each track is named after an imaginary city, from the glistening exoticism of ‘Lamura’ via the seething murk of ‘Gorgum Reeth’ and ‘Smazbaal’ to the eerie, shimmering grandeur of ‘Akrova’, Tobias’s latest musical universe is vividly rendered, scary, beautiful and utterly immersive. The album comes with the companion mini-album Impossible Cities 2, which comprises 10 haunting vignettes.

Impossible Cities 2


October 2014

Impossible Cities 2, comprising 10 haunting vignettes, is the free companion mini-album to Todd Tobias’s Impossible Cities.

I Razor (featuring Circus Devils)


May 2013

I Razor, by Todd Tobias and Circus Devils, is the soundtrack to the no-budget experimental feature film of the same name directed by Todd Tobias. The I Razor soundtrack comprises challenging, playful, twisted, murky and downright beautiful pieces of music by Todd Tobias and Circus Devils, featuring vocals from Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices) as well as instrumental versions of some of the Devil’s existing songs. The album is a cinematic feast within itself, uncompromising, redemptive and always engaging. It weaves lo-fi keyboards through shimmering guitar textures, scatters unsettling rhythms across ethereal synthscapes, and unveils kaleidoscopic new treasures among its 30+ tracks with each listen. Told from the perspective of a former scientist turned wandering telepathic man-child, I Razor is the story of one man’s quest to regain his lost humanity.  I Razor presents its world in hallucinatory visions, reflecting the state of mind of its main character.  The story is told with minimal dialog and an open plot structure, relying instead on visuals and music to carry it’s narratives.

Night Above Ground


November 2012

In contrast to Medicine Show‘s serpentine construction and intense atmosphere, Night Above Ground is more airy, accessible and playful, bursting into vivid life with the crowd chatter and tumbling noisescapes of ‘Invocation’. Immersive, hypnotic tracks such as ‘Crystal Palace People’ alternate with brief, impressionistic pieces such as ‘Workshop of Spears’ and ‘Ashes and Cream’. The EP’s 17 minutes flow past your third eye like a Dali-esque dream.

Medicine Show


April 2012

After years of producing Guided By Voices, playing in Circus Devils with Robert Pollard, and helping to create the music for Pollard’s solo albums, Todd Tobias is striking out on his own with his debut solo album. Defiantly unique and vividly realised, Medicine Show is a multi-faceted instrumental opus, evoking a shadowy steampunk dystopia. By turns nightmarish and hauntingly beautiful, the three-dimensional musical universe that Tobias conjures across 40 minutes is totally addictive. From the dark GBV-esque groove of ‘Night of the Club Foot’, through the gaseous synths of ‘Pre-Dawn Visitation’, evoking a hallucinogen-fuelled walk among a misty moon-lit forest, to the visceral lurch of single ‘Manatoc Enters The City / The Long Fall’, Medicine Show plays out like the soundtrack to a Terry Gilliam movie starring Tom Waits, each song a totally immersive scene, leading inexorably into the next.

Biography

Todd Tobias grew up in Northeast Ohio, USA, where he played in a string of bands, culminating in Circus Devils, alongside fellow Ohioan, Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices. In 2002, Todd began producing albums with Pollard, beginning with Guided by Voices’ Matador release Universal Truths and Cycles. Todd has also produced many other indie-rock projects over the years, including fellow Hidden Shoal artist Kramies.  While playing in bands as a drummer or bassist, he continued work on his own with a cassette 4-track, creating soundscapes and his own brand of exotic rock, as showcased in his prolific work with Circus Devils.  In 2012, Todd finally birthed his first solo work for Hidden Shoal, titled Medicine Show, followed by Impossible Cities (2014) and Tristes Tropiques (2015), each of which has been accompanied by a companion EP.

 

News

  • Eat Your Friends: A Hidden Shoal 10th Anniversary Compilation

    Eat Your FriendsHidden Shoal is excited to end the celebration of its 10th year of existence with the new compilation album Eat Your Friends, comprising remixes and covers of Hidden Shoal artists, by Hidden Shoal artists. This freely downloadable album not only showcases the wealth of original music released through Hidden Shoal, but also the creative ingenuity and deft musical touch of the remixers and cover artists.

    From searing solar-flared adaptations to delicately reconstructed covers, deep space jam reworkings, and shimmering ambient tapestries, Eat Your Friends reimagines the Hidden Shoal discography in new and beautiful ways, playing to all the strengths of the roster’s dizzying array of talent.

    Includes remixes and covers by: Antonymes, Arc Lab, Glanko, Wayne Harriss, Liminal Drifter, Makee, Chloe March, Markus Mehr, Erik Nilsson, REW<<, Slow Dancing Society, Tin Manzano, Willem Gator, and Zealous Chang  of music by: Arc Lab, Brother Earth, Cheekbone, City of Satellites, Medard Fischer, Gilded, Glanko & Daniel Bailey, Kryshe, Memorybell, Erik Nilsson, perth, Slow Dancing Society, Tangled Star, Umpire, and Zealous Chang.

    Eat Your Friends is available now as a free download via Bandcamp and is also streamable via SoundCloud. Listen and then throw yourself into the wormhole as you explore the originals and more work by the remixers and cover artists.  For all the filmmakers, games designers and others in need of engaging music, don’t forget that all tracks in our catalogue are available for licensing (film, tv, games, compilations etc).

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  • Todd Tobias “Gila Man” Out Now!

    Todd Tobias - Gila ManWe’re excited to announce the release of Gila Man, the brilliant new album by American instrumental soundscaper Todd Tobias. The album is available now on CD via Tiny Room Records (Europe/UK/Australia) and via Todd Tobias (USA) and digital formats via BandCamp as well as the usual digital outlets. Read more on the album below and listen to further Todd Tobias releases here.

    Each Todd Tobias solo album presents its own discrete, surreal world – and Gila Man is no exception. A wordless musical novella that merges a psychedelic Western with shadowy science fiction, Gila Man simultaneously evokes the wide-eyed wonder of discovery and the creeping dread of what horrors may lurk around the next corner. Featuring the stunning wordless vocals of English songwriter and fellow Hidden Shoal artist Chloë March, the album is at once beautiful and unsettling – and a wonderful distillation of the magical qualities of Tobias’s previous musical outings.

    Gila Man’s individual songs vividly evoke characters and scenes within the album’s imaginary narrative, casting dusty projections onto the mind’s eye. Breezily meditative single ‘Pollen Path’ shimmers with acoustic fingerpicking and Chloë March’s celestial voice. ‘Howler’s Hill’ breaks out of its haunted intro into an agitated, fuzzy churn, while ‘Queen Mab’ circles around synth and chime motifs to create a delicate, melancholic dirge. ‘Tularosa’, again featuring Chloë March, is woozy, French-sounding atmos-pop. ‘Highlake’s Last Stand’ pits dreamy guitar wanderings against ritualistic sludge rock. Wherever this music ventures, the listener is compelled to follow.

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  • New Todd Tobias Single and Video (feat. Chloe March)

    Todd Tobias - Gila ManWe’re excited to present the first single and accompanying music video from Gila Man, the new album by American instrumental soundscaper Todd Tobias. The breezily meditative ‘Pollen Path’ shimmers with acoustic fingerpicking and Chloë March’s celestial voice. Along with it’s accompanying music video by Hidden Shoal’s Cam Merton it provides the perfect intro to Gila Man‘s psychedelic sci-fi western landscape.

    ‘Pollen Path’ is available as a free download from Todd Tobias’s Bandcamp as well as streaming on SoundCloud. Head to YouTube to watch the accompanying music video. Gila Man is available for CD pre-order via Tiny Room Records (Europe/UK/Australia) and via Todd Tobias (USA). More on Todd Tobias here.

     

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  • Joe Sampson, Craig Hallsworth, Todd Tobias on Sonofmarketing Compilations

    MY AWESOME PREVIEW 3.0 – VOL. 3Our friends at the excellent music zine Sonofmarketing have put together their annual new music compilations and we’re lucky enough to have three of our artists featured! The My Awesome Preview 3.0 compilations for 2016 feature new and forthcoming releases dropping over the next three months.

    My Awesome Preview 3.0 Vol. 1 features the first taste of the new Todd Tobias album, Gila Man (18th Oct). The track ‘Pollen Path’ features the gorgeous vocals of Chloe March and drops next week along with it’s accompanying music video. My Awesome Preview 3.0 Vol. 3 features the new single from Joe Sampson, ‘My Love’, from his brilliant soon to be released EP Songs of Delay (12th Sept).  My Awesome Preview 3.0 Vol. 3 also includes the soon to be released first single, ‘We’re Too Far Away (My Other Future, My Other Youth)’, from Craig Hallsworth‘s new album What’s The Story With This Hole? (24th Oct).

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  • Forthcoming Todd Tobias Album – Video Teaser

    Todd TobiasHidden Shoal and Tiny Room Records is proud to announce the forthcoming release of Gila Man, the new album by American instrumental soundscaper Todd Tobias (Guided by Voices producer, Circus Devils), which includes new single ‘Pollen Path’ (featuring Chloë March). The album will see daylight on the 18th of October 2016 preceded by the first single ‘Pollen Path’ on September 6.

    Gila Man is a discrete, surreal world – a wordless musical novella that merges a psychedelic Western with shadowy science fiction. It simultaneously evokes the wide-eyed wonder of discovery and the creeping dread of what horrors may lurk around the next corner. Featuring the stunning voice of English songwriter Chloë March, the album is at once beautiful and unsettling. Gila Man’s individual songs vividly evoke characters and scenes within the album’s imaginary narrative, casting dusty projections onto the mind’s eye. Wherever this music ventures, the listener is compelled to follow.

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  • Hidden Shoal is 10!

    Hidden ShoalHidden Shoal is extremely excited to be celebrating its 10th birthday this month. It’s hard to believe that back in May 2006, Perth-based musicians Cam Merton, Stuart Medley and Malcolm Riddoch began Hidden Shoal Recordings as a means to put out releases by local artists. Tim Clarke, based in Melbourne, joined the team in 2007. Hidden Shoal has since gone on to become a much-loved independent label and publisher, releasing over 120 albums from a diverse range of international artists and licensing music from its catalogue across film, tv, web and compilation.

    Stay tuned for special anniversary announcements in the coming months!

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  • “Long Range Transmissions” MixTape Edition

    Long Range TransmissionsHere we present the MixTape version of Long Range Transmissions, the first in a new series of themed compilations from Hidden Shoal. The album showcases the ambient and neo-classical side of the catalogue, bringing together beautiful tracks from artists as diverse as Robert Pollard collaborator Todd Tobias, British chamber-pop songwriter Chloe March, and American ambient nostalgist Slow Dancing Society. From the delicate piano of Antonymes, Kryshe, Gilded and Medard Fischer, and the celestial experimentalism of Elisa Luu, Markus Mehr and Cheekbone, to the expansive guitarscapes of My Majestic Star, Erik Nilsson and Sleeping Me, Long Range Transmissions is an essential introduction to just one of the many facets of the Hidden Shoal label and licensing catalogue.

    Long Range Transmissions is also available as a free downloadable album via BandCamp.

    “Long Range Transmissions” – A Hidden Shoal Compilation by Hidden Shoal on Mixcloud

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  • “Long Range Transmissions” – Free Hidden Shoal Compilation

    Long Range TransmissionsWe’re excited to announce the release of Long Range Transmissions, the first in a new series of themed, freely downloadable compilations. Long Range Transmissions showcases the ambient and neo-classical side of the Hidden Shoal catalogue, bringing together beautiful tracks from artists as diverse as Robert Pollard collaborator Todd Tobias, British chamber-pop songwriter Chloe March, and American ambient nostalgist Slow Dancing Society. From the delicate piano of Antonymes, Kryshe, Gilded and Medard Fischer, and the celestial experimentalism of Elisa Luu, Markus Mehr and Cheekbone, to the expansive guitarscapes of My Majestic Star, Erik Nilsson and Sleeping Me, Long Range Transmissions is an essential introduction to just one of the many facets of the Hidden Shoal label and licensing catalogue.

    The albums is freely downloadable via BandCamp and can also be streamed at SoundCloud and MixCloud. The album also features gorgeous artwork by Gabrielle Harcourt, with the Bandcamp download coming with a bundled PDF booklet.

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  • Todd Tobias Interview at Tape Op

    Todd Tobias & Robert PollardCheck out this wonderful interview with the venerable Todd Tobias over at Tape Op. Todd talks about his role as Guided by Voices and Robert Pollard producer, his process as a producer and engineer and also his expansive solo work and collaborations as part of Brother Earth and Circus Devils.

    Don’t forget to check out his latest solo masterpiece Tristes Tropiques and it’s accompanying EP Moorea.

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  • “Melody Makers” A MixTape by Todd Tobias

    Todd TobiasThe latest installment in our mixtape series finds the wonderful Todd Tobias curating a deliciously melodic time capsule. The mix features tracks from across a 30 year period starting in the 40’s and featuring artists such as Nat Cole, Sam Cooke, Neil Young, Nick Drake, David Bowie and even some Andrew Lloyd Webber! Let’s hand it over to Todd to explain,

    “Here is a collection of 13 melody-driven songs written in a wide time range (1947-1977). Melody is the one element I struggle with in my own music, so I have an appreciation for it as a listener. In many of these songs the writers and performers convey a melancholy mood without being cute, maudlin or sentimental – something I admire because I know it’s not easy to achieve.

    Many of the artist names will be familiar, but in a few cases perhaps not the names of the songwriters or vice-versa. Where it applies, the name of the writer is included alongside the performer. Thanks to Cam at Hidden Shoal for asking me to share this mixtape.”Todd Tobias

    “Melody Makers” A MixTape by Todd Tobias by Hidden Shoal on Mixcloud

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More News

Reviews

  • Todd Tobias “Gila Man” Reviewed at Festival Info

    [Translated from the Dutch via Google. Read the original here.]

    “Was his previous album, Tristes Tropiques, though mysterious, now Todd Tobias throws at Gila Man still just a little extra. The ever prolific Tobias addition to his work as a producer also include solo underway, and not the least pace. His albums are also very diverse. Tobias picks an overarching theme, but varies within the boards a lot.

    As the cover suggests, Gila Man contains a lot of music that is inspired by the ‘Wild West’. The song ‘Howler’s Hill “is an example. The song begins with a constructive mix of guitar and electronics, and eventually degenerates into an explosion of psychedelics. The whole brings tension with it, certainly show through the dark electronic being performed. A guitar accompanies the whole with different tones and rhythms. Next song ‘High Lake’s Last Stand’ sounds correct again very hopeful and very diverse. The different ways in which guitar, tempos, and synthesizers are used, making the original number. Something quite different compared to previous records, is the fact that Tobias has contributed vocals. The English songwriter Chloe March brings soft and melodic vocals played and that’s all certainly benefit. The song is also something Gila Man distinguishes positive towards Tobias’ previous records.

    The plate is nowhere the same, and it shows. “Popskull Kid ‘plays, for example a lot of strange electronic sounds, making it sound as if the aliens suddenly the’ Wild West ‘invaded. For that matter does the sound of the album is also very reminiscent of the atmosphere of the thriller part of the new series Westworld. The board picks actually perfect the exciting and airy moments together, by building occasionally correct voltage, but also by passing quiet (ambient) elements. “Pollen Path ‘is an example in which the listener exactly what more rest will be awarded.

    The conclusion is therefore that on this album shines diversity. Tobias throws so many elements in the mix, it’s impossible to get bored. Throws it a good dose of fantasy in, then this album is at its best.”

    Festival Info

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  • Todd Tobias “Gila Man” Reviewed at Music Won’t Save You

    [Translated via Google. Read the original here.]

    “With each new disc, Todd Tobias is a narrative context and a landscaped horizon to fill with their sound visions. In “Gila Man” is not, as in the two previous albums, the conceptual track originated from a novel, but a well-defined geographical and in some respects cultural reference, similar to that in the recent ” Tristes Tropiques ” (2015) he had projected toward deep feeling environmental nostalgia.

    This time the chosen reference by the context of Ohio is less exotic, but no less fascinating: it is the boundless spaces of the West, observed with film director eyes and rendered in music in a hybrid between a substantive approach based dusty epic and one of the all fantastic, fully consistent with the imaginative ambience usually created by Tobias.

    But there is more in the fourteen short fragments that form “Gila Man”, defined from the usual blanket of layers, pulses and synthetic trails, at which occasion are associated acoustic fragments, derailments foley artists and, above all, the dreamy vocals of Chloë March . The result is an unprecedented insight into the theme as normally understood, its declination well away from the clichés and fit, rather, in a spaghetti western totally surreal.

    Music Won’t Save You

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  • Todd Tobias “Gila Man” Reviewed at Indebanvan

    [Poorly Translated via the Google Machine]

    “Gila Man” by Todd Tobias is an almost instrumental album. On some songs the British Chloe March lent her voice, but she does in wordless sounds. The compositions awaken the desire to return to the days of cowboys and Indians. The covering letter calls for creating your own stories, and that is what we will do. You can every few days, expect a chapter of the story that we hear in this music. The wild west of Todd Tobias and the Gila Man calls us.
    1. Down from Sky Island

    “Few people know the area where I come from, and thus the story that I was not yet widespread in the telling am about.” The old cowboy paused as he tried a little to stir the fire with his cramped hands . “The Guadalupe Mountains are there,” he pointed into the distance, “and that’s what happened.” His voice seemed to be halfway floating in a sentence but was not completed.

    “It was a night like this. Not hot, but really cold you could not call it. But now I’m old. “There appeared a grin on his face. ‘It was a huge uproar. The sky was lit up brightly. But that was up to it. The cows were beaten on hollow and I had to look. Another lucky that I slept with my boots on. ”

    Todd walked to his horse, faster than he would have liked. The cows seemed to be flying as fast as they went. Something or someone seemed to be a huge attraction for them to exercise, so strong that even the earthly laws concerning seemed to defy gravity. The closer the mountains, the greater were the distance from the cows seemed to be. Todd reluctantly began to climb over the path that the cows had prepared for him.

    It was not his first and would certainly not be his last Sky Island climb, but he was somewhat less eager become since his encounter with a snake. Certainly in the middle of the night. The point at which it would be too steep for his loyal dog was already in his mind. Todd clung to the fact that snakes did not like cold.

    His hand dropped down to his hip and he clutched the cold steel of his Colt. Bowed over his horse Todd evaded the low-hanging branches. He did not understand why his cows had still not in sight. He had never seen a cow ran faster than a horse and certainly not if they ran into a herd and so long!

    The sky lit up, but it was not dawn. So much time was not passed again. A huge roar was heard. Clouds of dust rose and enveloped the mountain. Todd could not believe his eyes. Since his beloved cows came, but they came straight toward him. He moved his hands up and hugged the sturdy branch above him. It was now just every man for himself. Sorry horse. As a snake he curled around the branch and saw the stampede raging below him past gaan.Weer down. Away from Sky Island.
    2. Race to the Barrens

    Todd slowly dropped back to the branch. He pulled his hat still deeper over his ears. There took place a grin on his face. How could he not know, but his horse was still exactly as before the arrival of the raging Bertha’s. She had not really moved hoof and seemed completely untouched. A weird issue where However, Todd now had no time to delve further and if there was it he had probably also left with. You shoot Indeed nothing to waste your time on such matters. Todd blew on his fingers. His horse turned around its axis walked and came toward him. Her ears cocked in the direction that the cows were run through. You had to get it for free have to secure your sandwich.

    It was a hard trip over the loose surface. Todd had not anticipated that he would be working so long to get his flock. On the one hand advantageous for his horse because they have traveled very lightly packed. On the other hand, they are also thirsty. Todd stopped at a stream. It would for a long time the only drinking option are so they had it but take it. The following flow that you could be called the water content was far beyond the Barrens.

    After their stop he dropped back considerably the momentum but Todd noticed that his horse had trouble. But he had better not linger too much. Several neighbors because he had understood from the vicinity that cattle thieves were active and there was nothing to steal simpler than a stray herd. The thought had hardly occurred to him that he had several dark shapes in his sights. They were also on horseback. Black hats, black blouses and the lower half of their faces they seemed to have tied a black cloth.

    Todd tipped his hat in greeting. “Good night. Particular time for a ride. Is there some escape? “Denial was useless. “Can we help?” Todd waved off the request. “Lucky for them this way very few directions on can. How many have escaped? “It was always the same man who was speaking. Todd made short work of the conversation. “Sorry guys, but I have to make as sails.” And he urged his horse.

    Nocturnal rest again turned back by, but it did not guarantee that he lost the group of men. As they continued to be at an appropriate distance. Todd had to somehow make sure he arrived well before them in the Barrens. He did not challenge the illusion before that again his flock. Maybe they were even at Howler’s Hill. It could easily be seen how quickly he had seen move.

    Todd was now fully convinced that he had with cattle rustlers to do. How it was with the condition of their horses was difficult to estimate. However, Todd saw that they were considerably heavier packed. He gave his horse the spurs. She seemed again to have meaning. He looked behind him. The distance was smaller. Possibilities for cutting were not there and Todd did not dare to gamble that the horses of his pursuers on would eventually get tired off. So far it was no longer in the Barrens.

    His hand grabbed all his Colt when his eye fell on something else. A natural weapon with which he could create confusion and save bullets. He overcame his natural fear it, tilted down and grabbed the venomous rattlesnake just behind its head. With one stroke, he dazed him for a moment. Todd twirling his horse and her so hard she could trot in the opposite direction.

    Before the cattle thieves were by what befell them Rattlesnake had already put his teeth in the cheek of the most talkative of the three. With the Colt in his left Todd fired a shot. One of the three horses sank to her hooves, its rider crashed to the ground. There was a cracking sound. The rocky barren land where nothing grew for decades did not budge. The only somewhat conscious veedief met Todd’s elbow, almost as hard as the ground on which Todd again rushed toward the Barrens, chasing his flock. The race was won.

    Indebanvan

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  • Todd Tobias “Gila Man” Reviewed at De Subjectivisten

    [Translated from the original Dutch via the Google machine.]

    “American composer and multi-instrumentalist Todd Tobias perhaps you can already come from bands like Coyotes 4, Clouds Forming Crowns, Circus Devils of Psycho And The Birds. The latter two with Robert Pollard (Guided By Voice). Since 2012 he also makes solo themselves heard and then the storyteller in him upstairs, even though his music mainly instrumental. For his latest work Gila Man has a psychedelic Western adventure in his head. Imaginary soundtrack should there being, with the advantage that he made the film without music and listen to it also as such. The music certainly captures the imagination and is an idiosyncratic blend of neoclassical, krautrock, dark ambient and avant-rock. Now you have some really an idea that you are in a Western, tuimelgras including, but many times you get the impression that you have arrived at a deserted place on another planet. There are no cowboys but those crooks of the Residents that draw their futuristic weapons against Popul Vuh and Cocteau Twins. Villains! The latter association is due to the wonderful wordless vocals of Chloe March. Also Ennio Morricone, David Lynch, Stereolab and Broadcast pass through this surreal scene of battle. Tobias draws from a lot of sources, but manages to create an intriguing and coherent. One time hushed and dreamy, sometimes strange and unreal and at other times abrasive, exciting and obscure. A wonderful adventure.”

    De Subjectivisten

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  • Todd Tobias “Gila Man” Reviewed at Here Comes The Flood

    “Ohio experimentalist Todd Tobias goes back to the old school soundtracks of Western and Sci-fi movies on his new album Gila Man. Like the undisputed master of the genre, Ennio Morricone, he enlisted the aid of a female singer to add wordless vocals. Cloe March’s dreamy approach is a nice contrast for the dark nnd foreboding ambient mood of the tracks.

    Don’t count on the good guys to win and the villains can’t be indentified by wearing a black hat. This is a soundtrack for a movie without clear winners or losers, but the imaginary travelogue of people trying to survive in an unforgiving environment. Gila Man is an ambiguous tale, in the vein of the works of author Philip K. Dick. Tobias used his compositions as pointers for the scenes for the drama to unfold.

    Tipping his toe in psychedelic post-rock he created a labyrinth in which it’s east to get lost. Press repeat the find another route to the maze of possibilities. Since Stanly Kubrick is no longer with us, it would be up to Ridley Scott or Duncan Jones to turn Gila Man into a movie.”

    Here Comes The Flood

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  • Todd Tobias “Gila Man” Reviewed at A Closer Listen

    “Hidden Shoal and Tiny Room Records promise a “psychedelic sci-fi western adventure”, and that’s what they deliver.  Arriving at around the same time as HBO’s remake of Westworld, the timing couldn’t be better.

    The album starts with electronic horse trotting, and proceeds to run through a variety of styles, referencing everything from Morricone to Wakeman.  At times, the tracks shift mid-piece; “Race to the Barrens” starts off sounding like a large band of outlaws and ends up like a small family of snakes.  But whenever the timbres turn foreboding, Chloe March’s wordless vocals center the listener like a comfortable couch.  “Howler’s Hill” seems to launch into space, or at least the space one might encounter in “Cowboys and Aliens”, the clash apparent in the jangly guitars and theremin-esque vox.  When the dark chants crash into a whirlpool of galactic wind, the album’s hybrid nature is exposed.

    Todd Tobias seems to be having a lot of fun on this album, playing all of the instruments and exposing a love for classic B movies of multiple genres.  One imagines a childhood sprawled in front of a cathode tube TV, popcorn in one hand, pop gun in another.  Some of the tracks are mere sketches, shorter than a commercial break, but each manages to contribute a mood: for example, the attacking percussion of “Talon” tumbling into the hypno-ray opening of “Doctor of Mars”.  There’s even time for an excursion into ambience, the wisely-titled “Mirage”, which shimmers like a heat puddle in the noonday sun.

    Yet more than anything, the album is about action.  As the distorted bells toll on “Dowser’s Leap”, one imagines the townspeople gathering to witness the final shootout.  After vanquishing the enemy and returning to his original trot pace for the closer, Tobias blasts off on his supercharged, bionic horse.  Shane!  Come back!  But it’s too late; he’s already left orbit.”

    A Closer Listen

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  • Todd Tobias “Gila Man” Reviewed at AfterGlow

    “As Tiny Room Records calls the music on it, I think, the fifth album ‘Gila Man “from the Ohio based producer, musician and composer Todd Tobias. A psychedelic ode to Ennio Morricone. I agree with these characterizations. The 14 tracks indeed the brooding atmosphere of Morricone.

    Tobias is also on this album in an excellent manner capable of visual, cinematic and at times making experimental music that the listener allows to dream of the evil world but that same listener through a musical eruption feet back on sets ground. Encased in a beautiful sound. This time, occasionally with wordless vocals of Chloe March. The track ‘Mirage’, referring to Brian Eno, makes me much emotion loose by the melancholic sounds. But lasts too short, only two minutes.
    To apply shortly for the whole ‘Gila Man. That half hour was in my opinion may be an hour or more. The beneficent dream would have lasted even longer. An album without a doubt the “Peak Experience” title worthy.”

    AfterGlow

    [Translated via Google. Read the original here.]

     

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  • Todd Tobias ‘Pollen Path (feat. Chloe March)’ Reviewed at The Sunday Experience

    “Now isn’t this just the ticket, lead out single heralding the incoming arrival of a new Todd Tobias full length via hidden shoal records entitled ‘gila man’, this one going by the name ‘pollen path’ features guest fluttering vocals from Chloe March. Rightly noted by the label press gubbins as being shimmered in the kind of outer worldly ethereal majesty that one might be more accustomed to encountering on outings by the Grails, that said scratch just a little beneath the dream dazed tones and a bewitching folk spectral entrances away all softly smouldered in surrendering rustics and the spellcrafting lull of prettified pastorals that hint of the yearning murmuring free spirited innocence of the ‘wicker man’ as though recast by Tunng.”

    The Sunday Experience

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  • Todd Tobias “Tristes Tropiques” Reviewed at Der Krenten Uit De Pop

    [Translated via Google. Read the original here.]

    It is just half a year ago, Todd Tobias first solo record here fell to the mat. The musician I at that time is mainly known as a producer of quite a few plates of lo-fi pioneers Guided By Voices and solo albums by Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard, made after a long period of habituation impressed with the totally elusive Impossible Cities.

    With Impossible Cities Todd Tobias took emphatic goodbye to the lo-fi; the genre which he was strongly considering his past associated. Impossible Cities was full of hypnotic soundscapes full of surprises, where you could come up with the images themselves.

    I propose immediately that it took some time before I could make chocolate from the special music of Todd Tobias, but ultimately Impossible Cities was the perfect soundtrack for many dreamy moments.

    Todd Tobias has now perhaps renounced the lo-fi, but the almost unreal productivity that sticks to the genre, the American musician is not lost yet. In Tristes Tropiques Todd Tobias Indeed supplies already on a new album and it is one that manages to surpass its predecessor in terms of beauty.

    Tristes Tropiques is based on the book by the French ethnographer and anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. That will be the average reader of my BLOG probably not say much, but during my studies was one of the important books and also one of my favorite books. Moreover, it is a book that reads like a novel, and it is also a book that asked exactly 60 years ago, highlighting the way in which Indian tribes the pinch in the Amazon region by advancing industrialization and urbanization; still a topical issue.

    Todd Tobias has now provided the masterpiece of Claude Lévi-Strauss music and the music is full of magic. Tristes Tropiques is more accessible and less eclectic than Impossible Cities, but equally dreamy and mysterious.

    Let the beautiful sounds of Todd Tobias coming from the speakers and you get complete rest. Our hectic society is suddenly far away and there is plenty of time for daydreaming. Given the background of the plate dream myself about the fascinating exploration of Claude Lévi-Strauss in the tropics, but like Impossible Cities, you can invent this time the images in the languid and dreamy sounds of Todd Tobias.

    Of course Tristes Tropiques no record that will be embraced at all widespread, but more than Impossible Cities is a record that deserves attention and above all time. Superficial listening atmospheric sounds in Tristes Tropiques will likely evaporate quickly, but dive deep into this album and you can hear sounds of an almost unreal beauty.

    Impossible Cities I finally found mainly a special plate. Tristes Tropiques is even more special and another stunning. Now two palm trees and a hammock between them to get lost even longer and more intense in this unique album. Erwin Zijleman

    Der Krenten Uit De Pop

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  • Todd Tobias “Tristes Tropiques” Reviewed at SpaceRockMountain

    “Had this album laying on the hard drive for a stretch and would have the worse of luck trying to sit down and hear it. My life seems much busier and I feel like I spend much more it waiting in lines and behind bad drivers than ever before. But seeing as it is unbearably hot the night I’m writing this and I cannot even pretend to try to sleep in my un-air-conditioned apartment I finally found myself with little recourse than to slip into the ambient with Todd Tobias.

    Todd Tobias isn’t new to SRM, I have very fond memories of listening to his Calvino-inspired album, Impossible Cities. Therefore, I entered listening to this album with some rather high expectations, which I am glad to report were not dashed in the slightest. The long, winding songs are all sublimely amorphous soundscapes. It is astounding how much weight is packed into every one of them despite their relatively sparse composition. It causes a transformative affect to occur in the diligent listener, altering mundane happenings into something absolutely poetic. For my second listen I sat on my balcony on a cloudy morning, watching birds peck around for food. With the help of Tobias’s music, it was pretty damn epic.

    Tristes Tropiques was released by Tiny Room Records and Hidden Shoal. Each label’s worth worrying about to say the least.”

    SpaceRockMountain

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Licensing

Todd Tobias’s music is  available for licensing (master & sync cleared) through Hidden Shoal. Please contact us with some basic details about your project and the track(s) you wish to use and we’ll be sure to get back to you straight away.

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