Tonedeff’s Long Awaited ‘POLYMER’ Drops Today
Part 4 of the Polymer Series released by Tonedeff on QN5 Music, Phantom, dropped today, along with the complete ‘POLYMER‘ album in it’s entirety. ‘POLYMER’ is the best of the prior 3 EPs (Glutton, Demon & Hunter) + all of Phantom which ties it all together.
Sound confusing? According to the man himself, Tonedeff says:
The EPs are their own experiences. Polymer is the culmination, a self-contained unit built on the bones of the EPs. Phantom is the soul of the record.
On top of that, QN5 released the first video off the album Use Me, which is the first Tonedeff video in 13 years, last month. Directed by Norway’s Daniel McStay, Use Me features intricate shadow puppets, a Fincher-esque atmosphere and rope work with a free-fall drop that had to be reset multiple times to get the shot.
There are multiple packages for sale, including enhanced CD’s, Limitted edition Vinyl, coffee table books of album art and other goodies. Need more explanation than that? Read the Full Interview below.
Interviewer: Graeme “GMS” Sibirsky
‘POLYMER’ comes out with the last installment of the 4 part series. Explain a little about how that worked, what each part is and how they fit together.
I broke the album into 4 EPs, each with it’s own style and theme, each tied to a different portion of my personality. Glutton was about addiction and excess, Demon was about anxiety and stress, Hunter was about delusion and competitive nature and Phantom is about love, family and self-sabotage. All of them come together to create a complete picture of one person – in this case, myself.
How do the 4 EP’s differ musically?
Musically, each part reaches different areas. A big motivating factor for this album was to show my full range of versatility as a multimedia artist and musician, so it was important to push myself into new terrain, sonically. Glutton was rooted in EDM, Demon was based on trap tempos, Hunter was synth-based boom-bap and Phantom was inspired by shoegaze and dreampop. Hearing it all together paints a solid representation of how all of my tastes combined forged something new through this LP.
You just dropped this new video, Use Me, which has you hanging by ropes like a marionette. That was crazy. How was it filming that?
It was actually pretty painful. It was super low-budget, so we used an extremely unsafe set up, where 4 people were literally pulling manilla ropes by hand to make me hover. We found a spot with an aerialist team in Bushwick that had the know how to make it happen and they were amazing. Still, I had rope rashes for weeks as well as a bruised groin. It hurt like a muffucka, but was worth it.
I have so much more appreciation for that video now! I would have been fine with everything except the rope around the neck. Do you know how much your music would be worth if you had died in an accident? Lol.
Word! Trust me… I was conscious of the risk the whole time. But as they say … feel the fear and do it anyway.
You dropped a preview from the forthcoming art book POLYCHROME, shot by Chad Griffith. Tell us some more about that.
Word! Basically, I’ve always wanted to put together a coffee table book, or a tour book of original artwork. It’s not something you see in the hip hop space, really. I had all this amazing illustration by Becky Cloonan (who’s won Eisner Awards) and Brian Christopher, so I paired it thematically with photography by Chad Griffith (The Wizard) and Scut36. It’s all printed to 12×12 cardstock, and ships with the deluxe edition. I’m real excited to get it out to folks.
So you had help with the covers of the EP’s and the final Polymer artwork? I know you are a noted graphic artist yourself, responsible for most of the QN5 logos and branding.
I normally do everything myself, but I was so broken when I started this record I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to tackle the visuals the way I envisioned without the help of people far better than me at their crafts. Becky Cloonan did the covers for Glutton, Demon & Hunter and Brian Christopher stepped in last minute to do Phantom. I did all of the design and layout of all the packaging, as well as the layout of the collector’s Vinyl cover, where I had to combine all the elements for all the covers.
I’ve noticed you recently referring to the label as Quintic. Is this just the long name of QN5 (as in ‘Quintic Nickelism to the 5th Power’) or is this a new manifestation, a separate entity?
QUINTIC is an entirely new alternative music label. QN5 is an indie hip hop label, but QUINTIC is without genre will focus on boutique artists with unique sounds. We currently have Fjer – a singer/songwriter/producer from Denmark and Lucy Camp, an 18-year old rhyme prodigy from San Jose. I’m basically learning from my history running an indie for 18 years and applying it here without being stuck to one genre. It’s freeing.
For Digital, CD/DVD and Limitted Edition Vinyl packages of POLYMER and the Glutton, Hunter EP’s, visit Tonedeff.com
All Social Media: @Tonedeff | @MCMIreport | @GMS_MCMI
Tonedeff’s Long Awaited ‘POLYMER’ Drops Today