Toby Tune (a.k.a., Harley Toberman), has been writing and composing music since he was 12 years old. If you’re from the Midwestern US, specifically the Minneapolis area, you may be familiar with one of his many bands, such as: The H.T.3, Blue Sandelwood Soap (for which he had a song selected to appear on the TV series, Mad Men), The Client Brothers, or Interval of Silence.
Tired of shoveling snow, Tune moved to Costa Rica in 2000. Since then, he has composed and recorded 5 solo albums crossing many style-lines in the process. His 2010 release, the ambient and mystical, Coming Attractions, currently has our attention. True to its name, the body of work could easily be the score to the next Daniel Craig picture.
Here’s what we dug most…
Opening with Round and Round, I was immediately reminded of electronica veterans Zero 7, and their song Destiny. If you’ve not heard of either one, trust me when I tell you that this is a complement to Toby Tune. With this track’s layer upon layer of synth, strings, keys and subtle percussion, the listener is left ensconced in soothing, yet vibrant sound.
Our Favorite Track:
Ironically, Dark Sunshine was originally a simple experiment, whereby Tune simply wanted to find out if he could compose an entire orchestration in a single key: Am. Rich with multiple layers of ambient synth and flute, it’s a lovely composition that immediately made me feel as if I’d stepped inside a Tim Burton film.
Angels Of Mercy…wow. Choir singers, gongs, harps, strings, synth, and a gentle rhythm all come together in perfect balance to create this rather epic number…a truly inspired—and inspiring—piece of music.
Transitioning from a deeply mysterious oceanic vibe, into something structured, orderly and rhythmic, and then back again to the depths, The Path comes full-circle. (I love the digital delay on the percussion in the beginning and end…total magic.)
Songs like The Fog of Rain, and Journey, contain atmospheric elements. The primal nature of which makes them very enjoyable and creatively stimulating.
Concluding with the album’s title track, Coming Attractions is a focused and determined melody. The track is briefly highlighted—near the beginning, middle and end—by the limited addition of a tribal-sounding drum riff, which pounds just long enough to build excitement and tension, and then sends you on your way. It’s a very cool album closer.
Overall, Coming Attractions is unique, wise, and luxurious in its composition. One part new-age, one part electronica, and one part classical, the album somehow finds a way to calm the spirit, while—at the same time—exciting the mind and imagination. As a one-man-show, Toby Tune’s intuitive talent for music creation is as high as anyone we’ve ever reviewed, as he seems to possess the ability to simultaneously create—while still allowing the music to lead the way (a sign of mastery). And, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, as this album is certainly one of our most compelling listens to date…and all without a single lyric being uttered.
A collaboration of Yanni and Zero 7.
BELOW, you can listen to Toby Tune’s album Coming Attractions, check out our interview with him, connect with his website, streaming and download platforms, and find his booking & contact information. Please support Toby Tune by visiting him online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing his music. And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!
Listen to Toby Tune’s album, Coming Attractions:
Read our artist interview with Toby Tune:
Follow, stream, download & connect with Toby Tune online:
Booking & contact information for Toby Tune:
Contact: Toby Tune
Email: tobytune (at) mac.com