TOTONOKO

by TOTONOKO

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04:34
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03:42
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05:32
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about

These songs were recorded over the space of a few summer and winter months in Silverlake, Los Angeles, by Oakland-based duo TOTONOKO and engineer/co-producer Daniel Wright. This was a period of time characterized by long drives, great attention to birdsong, various nights spent on various floors and various bright mornings thereafter, and a good amount of laughter. What resulted is traveling music, bird music, night music, new music, joyful music.
Deeply informed by the inhertance of a world made increasingly smaller (Mateo Lugo was born in Venezuela and Nika Aila States spent her childhood in Germany) and by a shared love of both traditional and non-traditional music forms, the duo cites a heady range of influences, from Neil Young and Nina Simone to Radiohead and Sigur Ros, all the way over to Iannis Xenakis and John Cage. Armed also with a profound appreciation for the words of Woody Guthrie, Octavio Paz, and Marcel Proust, with an eye to the brilliant spectacle of everyday life, the pair have written and performed a collection of music that is as rich lyrically as it is sonically. Enduring harmonies are backed by strong guitars and a host of vivid sounds collected from the studio and from the streets. Present here are not just two strong voices, but also the intermittent hiss of a tape-recorder, the chatter both of Venice Beach and Silverlake birds, the hard work of roofers in the canyon, and childhood encounters with the ocean.
In a thoughtful but sweeping debut, TOTONOKO have excavated a striking landscape populated by cherished ghosts, curious dreams, and the promise both of rich toil and well-earned warmth. A simple folk song asks a difficult question, and a stranger tune boils down just to this: the noise we make.

credits

released August 16, 2014

WORDS AND MUSIC by TOTONOKO, except Mulberry Hurricane (TOTONOKO & Daniel Wright).
PERFORMED by TOTONOKO, Daniel Wright, the sea and the sounds of Los Angeles, and Rudi Schmidt (Charango) and Clinton Patterson (Trumpet) on OLD MEXICO, and Michael Calabrese (Drums) on WAKE UP, KIND WATER.
CO-PRODUCED by TOTONOKO and Daniel Wright.
ENGINEERED by Daniel Wright.
MASTERED by Manuel Jimenez (Arimaka).

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about

TOTONOKO Oakland, California

TOTONOKO is the partnership of Mateo Lugo and Nika Aila States. Drawing on international and interdisciplinary influences (Venezuelan-born Lugo is heavily involved in dance and German-raised States splits her time between music and photography), their sounds are about hope regained, underwater currents, and the search for home ... more

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Track Name: Zebediah
With Eureka caught up in your arms
Nothing calling you on
Quick, to the water
This boat is to sink
not a trace to be seen

On the highlands
invisible hand
there's an orchard
(invisible hand)
with good harvest
(invisible hand)
all through winter
Aisles of great, wide yonder

When you wake up
gathering thoughts
with your cornering wings
caught in the hinges
covered in dust
take yourself to the sun

On the highlands
Invisible hand
there's an orchard
(invisible hand)
with good harvest
(invisible hand)
all through winter
Aisles of great, wide yonder

A fine boy, with fine eyes
Oh, Zebediah
Don't lose faith

You're given enough people to follow you home
You're given enough people to follow you home
You're given enough good people to follow you home
Track Name: Overgrown
Overgrown trees and branches
hope that I can find you with open arms
coming back home

Cut 'em down
Giants shake the ground
Tell me, is the fire burning worth tomorrow
I'm coming back home

When you come down
You come down
Come down
down

Drink it up
from an empty drum
All the doors are paper
all the walls invisible
I'm coming back home

So long, great arnica
Who will keep your brothers
gathered up together?
I'm coming back home

When you come down
You come down
Come down
Down

Down to the rails
Down to the noise we make
Down to the rails
Down to the noise we make
Down to the rail
Down to the noise we make
Track Name: Mulberry Hurricane
She takes time slipping off her dress
She keeps unopened letters for me
She keeps an open bed

No-one stays up
and nobody is at the door
The poster of the writer watches
but doesn't know what for

Mulberry hurricane
coming round the bend
knocks me off my feet again
moving upwards, towards a marking in the sky

An atom meets an atom
A body meets the mud
A thought becomes a pattern
A man needs another one

She takes care crossing Sunday highways
She climbs the crooked tiling,
bare feet folding on the rafters

Without caution
With no ground to kneel upon
an offering to sparrows earns her
a blue egg for blue yarn

Mulberry hurricane
coming round the bend
knocks me off my feet again
moving upwards, towards a marking in the sky

How do I know you?
I can barely tell
Motion in a photograph
waving from St. Peter's hill

Far from her, she travels
Far from her, she travels
Far from her, she travels

Mulberry hurricane
coming round the bend
knocks me off my feet again
moving upwards, towards a marking in the sky

In a dream I saw you
palms cracked like a shell
inside a map of origins
your features etched into the silk

Mulberry Hurricane
coming round the bend
knocks me off my feet again
moving upwards, towards a marking in the sky
Track Name: Old Mexico
For five or six miles
we held our breath
we were four guys
trying to get somewhere

a mile or two more
good sound to our ears
of that little engine
to the piny covered mountain

Get out on top!
You can see old Mexico
Get out on top!
You can see old Mexico

You be a bug man
gone wandering
with a lost voice
with enough to buy your summer

Get out on top!
You can see old Mexico
Get out on top!
You can see old Mexico
Track Name: Wake Up, Kind Water
I saw the crack of the capitol dome
the crashing swallows
oh, how they were quiet

and you
You were there in the crowd
all of the lights floating up
they're cheating innocence

Somewhere, wide eyed
I'll be your
wake up, kind water

And we were bare as the bodies of birds
all falling down in that curtain
We were giants
and you

You were right all along:
Nobody's not on the run
They're chasing innocence

Somewhere, wide eyed
I'll be your
wake up, kind water

I turned away and it was brighter
I turned away and it was brighter
I turned away and it was brighter
I turned away and it was brighter

The wind will rise as we try to reach out
and it'll ring every tower
'til the sound bring you

back to where you began
where all the good thing belong
I'm choosing innocence

Somewhere, wide eyed
I'll be your
wake up, kind water
Track Name: Rest Your Legs
Rest your legs on my pillow
your head in birdsong
Your room is so nice
What will you put on the shelves?

Just a picture of my dog
a pendulum beside the clock
but is wanting to love to love?

Come back
Come back again

In your story you've been gone
through the pines, through the pines
like a ghost hoping to find
just a body, anybody

and all the words you have within
shaking, waiting to come in
but is wanting to love to love?

Come back
Come back again