Tag Archives: Symbiosis Gathering

[TMN Interview] Ta-ku & Wafia Discuss their Joint EP, (m)edian


International fame and critical acclaim have attached themselves to everything Ta-Ku has released for an unprecedented amount of time. With a stacked resume of late containing the release of Songs to Break Up To in late 2013, the foundation of Create & Explore, releases under the moniker HWLS, collaborative efforts with HW&W and Street Dreams Magazine, while also having a hand in the success of Australia-based Weston’s Barbershop, the Perth trendsetter has been hard at work creating a multimedia empire off of his many talents. Your favorite Music Ninja writers has covered multiple Ta-ku releases over the years: FrogsI Miss YouDown For YouLong Time No SeeLove AgainNo Reason, and Help Me Lose My Mind. His June 2015 release – appropriately titled Songs To Make Up To – exceeded all expectations in its depth and composition. As impressive as his catalog has been up to this point however, the recently released EP may overshadow them all in complexity – thanks to the lyrical infusion.

Median, stylized as (m)edian, is a concept album in the form of an EP; it’s short, succinct and tell a formative story of the dual protagonists Ta-ku and Wafia. Starting in 2015 and after much collaboration, the duo, Regan Matthews and Wafia Al-Rikabi, released their breakout take on Estelle’s “American Boy” with their aptly titled “American Girl, along with a collaboration with Charles Murdoch on “Frongs”. Shortly after, they debuted their joint live act during Ta-ku’s MoMA PS1 show. This spawned the duo’s (m)edian EP sessions in early 2016 that also included Wafia’s trusted collaborators Thomston and Ben Abraham. After solidifying a bond around their experiences with their fathers, they poured those feelings into (m)edian, which resulted in a raw confessional that unearthed a bedrock of complicated emotions.

Lyrically, the album focuses on several themes: strength in the face of adversity, maintaining a balance emotionally, and the space between familial love and forgiveness. As one of our first glimpses at Ta-ku the vocalist, the dynamic range of his singing is a welcome addition to the repertoire. While listeners are processing the limitless talents of Ta-Ku, Wafia comes into the fold, seductively harmonizing her lines intermittently throughout Median. On the introductory track, “Treading Water” a sparingly light sequence of piano keys sets the scene, before a dynamic lyric-infused ballad takes hold and finishes painting this masterpiece. Tracks two and four act as instrumental bridges between one, three, and five – accentuating the storytelling vibe of the album. Taku and Wafia sat down with TMN to discuss their experiences putting the album together, as well as inspirations behind the project, in great detail: Continue reading

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[Festival Preview] Symbiosis Gathering 2015: Tone of Arc’s Prep Playlist, 09/17-20

Particularly during this time of year, there seems to be a music festival every weekend. Although we, of course, value the lineups as much as anyone, it’s equally important to think about the experience as a 360 one–not just a place to watch your favorite artists perform but also one to celebrate and enjoy the culture that surrounds it. With every event, the vibe and crowd are different, but few have done a better job of cultivating an all-encompassing, yet laid-back, atmosphere than Northern California’s Symbiosis Gathering.

Nestled on the Woodward Reservoir in Northern California, Symbiosis has the immediate appeal of a scenic camping location with beautiful wilderness sitting on a lake that festival goers are free to enjoy. In its tenth year now, Symbiosis has created a culture outside of just the music and backdrop that brings workshops, yoga courses and art installations to the event. This year, they’ll even be introducing the concept of ‘Art Boats,’ which will allow attendees to bring their own creativity with them by creating amphibious vehicles that can roam the grounds.

Aside from the diverse experience, the festival’s lineup this year may be their best yet with artists including Nicolas JaarFour TetGriZ and Sylvan Esso serving as headliners but a strong bill from top to bottom. For those of you who will be in attendance tomorrow, we asked San Francisco’s own Tone of Arc to put together a playlist to prepare you for their set, which you can check out below. If you haven’t gotten a ticket yet, and are feeling like you need an escape this weekend, they are still for sale here.

’Shiny Objects – The Velvet Slide’
’Tone of Arc – Run Rabbit Run (Eric Volta Running With The White Rabbit Mix)’
’Paul McCartney & Wings Vs. Timo Maas & James Teej – 1985 /// BBC Radio 1 /// Essential New Tune’
’Navid Izadi – Lost in the Fold Pt. 2’
’Always (Brett Johnson’s House Bump Mix (Vocal Version)’
’Tone of Arc – Chant No. 1’
’If I Try (Tone Of Arc Remix)’
’Leonard Cohen – Nevermind (PillowTalk Rerub)’
’Kenny Glasgow – Open Your Mind’
’Signal Flow, Navid Izadi, Jonny Cruz, Pattern Drama – Colours Feat. Gretz’
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