Delaware-raised, Washington DC area-based Andrew Toy uses percussion as a starting point for soundscapes that are rife with seemingly opposing characteristics: intense and atmospheric, sparse and lush, grooving and abstract. By re-imagining the role of drums and percussion, Toy has crafted a sound that blends post-rock, minimalism, world music, and electronica with the energy and spontaneity that is best represented by live drums.
Andrew is a sought-after drummer whose versatile style has allowed him to travel the world and back up musical acts across the musical spectrum. His own music began as a creative outlet for unexplored musical ideas and as a personal challenge to create engaging music from behind the drums. In recent years, those ideas have taken on a life of their own, thanks in part to Andrew’s use of live looping, automation, and his love of sounds outside the typical drummers’ arsenal. In the words of the Macrock festival in Harrisonburg, VA, the result is “an army of percussion with a PAC-MAN mastermind of syncopated psychadelia woven between drumbeats.”
Due to the pandemic of 2020 and the resulting time away from other gigs, Andrew was able to focus all his creative energy on the recording of his debut album Guardrails from his home studio in Maryland. According to Andrew, “it would have been impossible to create something in 2020 without being at least subconsciously affected by current events. The uncertainty and isolation of this year surely found their way into these songs, along with the much more positive side effects of introspection and creative meandering.”
Though they take many forms, all of the songs on Guardrails share a similar intensity and sense of urgency, from the quirky “Daytime Raccoon” to the dark but complex “Disaster Pendulum”. The blurred line between electronic and acoustic sounds also pervades the album (along with Andrew’s live shows) as heard on the cinematic “Sneaking Suspicions” and the collapsing grooves of “Asymmetry”.
Guardrails will be released January 15, 2021. More information and pre-sale information available at www.andrewtoy.net.
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