Bok Bok & Tom Trago – Tool kit Vol. 2

Although Bok Bok and Tom Trago may look like an odd pairing, the pair’s biographies walk along similar paths. Both found their way onto the dance floor through House and Techno via bassier exploits in the style of Dubstep and Hip Hop. Their third outing together is a follow up to their memorableTool Kit of 2011, but where Tool Kit might denote a functional device for the nightclub scenario, Bok Bok and Tom Trago’s tools are deep-rooted in one component, fun. This is obvious in the last stages of Need This (Radio Mix) as a Lo-Fi synth bangs out the fundamental notes of Chaka Kahn’s Aint Nobody. It is evident what Tool Kit Vol 2 is, is a couple of friends caught up in an amusing creative malaise in search of a functional objective.

The “tracks” that make up the fundamental pieces in this tool kit are comprised of very steady loops that offer no real development in terms of composition. Instead, they present a sample bank with a very distinct voice as both artists lend something of his identity to each piece. The Night Slugs influence is obvious as most of the works are stripped back minimalist beat affairs. Silent G Safari is little more than percussion track with sequential synth motif that only moves up an octave occasionally. At times these minimalists exploits do hint at forming fully-fledged compositions, with a harmonic motif or melody that moves out of a homogenous chrodal structure. I suspect this is Tom Trago showing his hand, but just before it can move into any real compositional development the percussion quashes its advances like a heavy fist in the form of a kick drum. Get me what you Want stumbles this way through its entirety as a synth hook only intermittently cuts through the underlying, and often solitary, beat.

Pussy Trak is one of the more surprising entities. It’s made up of a relentless vocal sample anchored by a barely-moveable regular percussive rhythm and on paper, it would fall short of garnering any praise aside from the crass lyric. The way Trago and Bok Bok manipulate the sample however, gives the track a pleasurable evolution. Who would have thought that the line “Work This Pussy” would have more than one dimension? There are moments on Pussy Trak where this manipulation of the vocal sample comes across as a bit of a jam session, but not in a wholly unpleasant way and it only strengthens my reserve in my opinion on the emphasis on enjoyment for Tool Kit Vol 2.

This EP is quite direct in its approach. It’s made up of pleasurable roughly worked loops and samples that offer little in the way of development along their functional lines, but are quite adamant in their objective to keep the beat going. They are in effect a stalemate at which two disparate tracks will eventually find even ground or a foundational beat for an a cappella or loop; a Tool Kit, if you like.