Tokky Horror – Simulate Me (Alcopop! Records)

Tokky Horror – Simulate Me (Alcopop! Records)

Tokky Horror – new project featuring ex-Queen Zee vocalist Zee Davine – return with second single Simulate Me and continue to stun with their updated take on digital hardcore.

Tokky HorrorArtist: Tokky Horror
Track: Simulate Me
Label: Alcopop! Records
Released: 14 October 2020
Find it: Spotify | Bandcamp

In the fast-pace-slow-build of Tokky Horror‘s new single Simulate Me there is something old skool as rave-step synths are peppered by the beats and the whole is lit with stellar laser beams and vocals are consumed rather than sit above. And yet, there is nothing retro about this sound at all as it reflects the blue-light we’ve narrowed our focus onto, strobes for our attention, and without being industrial deconstructs any established electronic sound and gives off a fully future dystopian vibe.

It’s the second single from collective Tokky Horror, formed of ex-Queen Zee vocalist Zee Davine, Ava Akira and Mollie Rush, and as with debut Girlracer they are continuing to push at boundaries, and riff off what’s come before while remaining steadfastly future-focused.

About the track and the approach to writing, recording and the band’s overall sound on this track they explained how they had updated Atari Teenage Riot’s digital hardcore approach for the current times. Zee Davine said, “ATR were showing punk must always be at the forefront of innovation. It might look backwards to do that, but culturally, politically, and musically it must move forward. Simulate Me was about creating an aggressive sound in a modern, virtual way. If punk is about back to basics, it doesn’t get any more basic than just me and a synthesiser.

“I saw a piece recently that said there have been two great ages in technology, the mechanical and the digital, and we are now entering the third: the virtual. The lockdowns that have been a result of the Coronavirus pandemic have pushed all our lives, including relationships, into a more virtual space. That’s what Tokky Horror is; a virtual band. With Simulate Me we wanted to ask what the virtual age will look like for love and sex.”

They continued, “We all know this isn’t how an organic process like love works and that this sort of power would be abused, creating little fulfilment or happiness. Most of us don’t truly know what we want, most of us definitely don’t know what we need. Your ‘perfect partner’ may be someone you never expected, and I feel that the virtual world of love is moving more and more away from organic romance towards a checklist of idealistic criteria.”

Tokky Horror are managing to look back at the ideology of punk, of digital hardcore, the pessimistic and solitary dystopias and the euphoric gathering of dance, and borrow from that myriad of moments from a spent past to create something which is truly future looking, and future sounding.

Music is a weapon, as ATR’s Alex Empire said, and it’s one which Tokky Horror are wielding confidently and powerfully while innovating on the established conventions of punk and dance.

Simulate Me from Tokky Horror is out digitally now. Read our review of debut single Girlracer.

*Warning: video contains bare flashing lights*

Find Tokky Horror: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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