Tomu DJ explores some of her formative influences and inspirations while looking ahead to the next chapter of her sound.
Tomu DJ learnt to DJ by listening to the late DJ Rashad, DJ Earl, DJ Manny and the rest of the pioneering footwork artists of the foundational Teklife label. In fact, she can pinpoint 2015 as the year she officially fell for electronic music, when she and a friend booked DJ Spinn to play a party at her college in Portland, Oregon. Inspired by the irresistible blend of furious percussion and R&B vocal samples deployed by Spinn to devastating effect, Tomu immediately began making her own pop edits to play during her own sets. “I learned to DJ from Teklife, so my mixes are always influenced by footwork regardless of the selection,” she explains.
“For this mix I chose to play mostly house and juke, with a little bit of footwork and some club made by producers who inspire me, as well as a selection of my own tracks both released and from my upcoming record, Crazy Trip.” Veering away from the vocal pop stylings of her recent sets and mixes, Tomu DJ threads featherweight house and atmospheric club through some tongue-in-cheek slammers and a few classics from the likes of Larry Heard, Paul Johnson and Drexciya, set against the tumbling cadences and ankle-snapping speed of some of footwork and juke’s shining lights, including the aforementioned DJ Manny, RP Boo, Traxman, DJ Tre and, of course, DJ Rashad.
Rashad’s head-scrambling collaboration with Addison Groove, ‘Acid Bit,’ opens the mix up into a gauzy coda of Tomu’s own productions, pulled from her 2021 debut FEMINISTA, last year’s beloved drifting juke daydream Half Moon Bay, as well as the title track from her upcoming album. Serving as an aural amuse bouche for her new sound, ‘Crazy Trip’ sees Tomu breaking new ground with her next strain of unorthodox genre fusion. New Age synth swell and Drain Gang-adjacent melancholy euphoria float over undulating sound design, lilting, digital music box tones that are abruptly snapped shut with tactile percussion and muted snarls of breakbeats. It’s an exciting glimpse into a new dreamscape and the next chapter of Tomu DJ.
You can find Tomu DJ on Instagram, Bandcamp and her website.
Omar-S – ‘Just Ask The Lonely’
Larry Heard – ‘Free’
Omar-S – ‘Tongue Pecker’
Traxman – ‘Spinning My Mind’
RITCHRD – ‘About You’
LSDXOXO – ‘The Devil’
Skrillex, Four Tet, Fred again.. – ‘Baby again..’
Tomu DJ – ‘New Body’ [Feat. DJ Manny & SUCIA!]DJ Manny – ‘You All I Need’
SUCIA! – ‘Piscean Dreams’
Paul Johnson – ‘Flange Beats’
Tomu DJ – ‘Gold 4 Salt’
Drexciya – ‘Aqua Worm Hole’
DJ J Heat – ‘Derailed Moments’
Tomu DJ – ‘Bedroom DJ’ [Feat. Petty Getty]Darian – ‘Some More Music’
DJ Marfox – ‘Cobra Preta’
Tomu DJ – ‘Orange’
DJ Rashad – ‘House Juke Tool’
RP Boo – ‘Finally Here’ [Feat. Afiya]Traxman – ‘Tone Deaf’
DJ Rashad – ‘Somethin’ Bout The Things You Do’ [Feat. Gant-Man]Tomu DJ – ‘Turn Up The Music’
DJ Orange Julius – ‘Out On The Floor’
DJ Tre – ‘It’s House Hybrid’
DJ Rashad – ‘Acid Bit’ [Feat. Addison Groove]Tomu DJ – ‘Crazy Trip’
Tomu DJ – ‘Half Moon’
Tomu DJ – ‘Lost Feeling’
Tomu DJ – ‘Cali / Florida’
Tomu DJ, kimdollars1 – ‘Bumpville’
Listen next: Fact Mix – DJ Pacifier