Widely regarded as one of the dopest tracksmiths and DJs in Japan, DJ Tonk has been helping build the foundation of the Japanese hip-hop scene since the early 1990's. Kajmere Sound is proud to present his long-awaited, international debut release, the "Beautiful" EP.
Tonk's artful blend of jazz, soul, and latin influences with classic hip-hop, live instruments and a touch of traditional Japanese taste, make Tonk's tracks acoustically rich and sophisticated. But don't be fooled, his beats have the bang, bounce and nod to make his records golden on the dancefloor.
On this EP, Tonk pairs with a couple of the most dynamic and gifted MC's in the biz; Raashan Ahmad of Crown City Rockers and Pismo. Melodic, musical and brimming with positivity, each of cuts are at home on either your hip hop or soul music playlists. "Somewhere" with it's sweet Rhodes chords and deep Herbie Hancock piano sample, and the title cut "Beautiful" with it's gritty jazz samples and drums coupled with the inspiring prose of Raashan, make this EP an aptly titled gem.
DJ Tonk first emerged in 1994 as a member of Naked Artz, based in Tokyo. The crew released their first album Penetration in 1997, and it became an underground sensation in Japan. After they split up in the late 1990's, Tonk's solo career took off. He worked on various remix projects with Japan's major hip-hop and R&B artists. In 2000, Tonk released his first solo album in Japan entitled Reincarnation, which featured Sadat X and Alamo of Brand Nubian, 5FT of Black Moon, getting down over Tonk's funky-ass organic beats.
During 2002 and 2003, Tonk spent most of his time in the San Francisco Bay Area, DJ touring the West Coast. He worked with DJ Shortkut, J-Boogie, Rasco and Crown City Rockers. He produced tracks for various MC's including Afu-Ra, Zion I, Cocoa Brovaz, Insight and Pismo. Some of those projects eventually appeared on Tonk's 2nd album in Japan, Aquarian Soul (2002) and the following album, Love (2004). During his time in Frisco, one of his tracks "118th Hustle (a.k.a. "Upper Haight Hustle")" was licensed to OM Records' "Deep Concentration 4". XLR8R described this track as "a genre-crossing sure-shot, that club DJs will wear out." We're proud to include this dance floor classic as the bonus cut on this EP.
Since his return to Tokyo in 2004, the tireless Tonk put together a series of successful Japanese tours featuring Othello, Braille and Ohmega Watts of Lightheaded, provided tracks for Japanese MCs, and dropped a couple of sold-out mix tapes. In October 2005, he released his 4th album, Sweet, in Japan, which is his first full-length release, since his Naked Artz years, produced entirely with Japanese artists.
The 5th solo album "FREQUENT FLYERS" is a highly-anticipated worldwide debut full length album, which will feature Tonk's choicest beats and some of the illest underground MCs and singers including The Procussions, Lightheaded, and Noelle of The Rebirth.