Once Somebody's Baby Boy
Once Somebody's Baby Boy is documentation of an unspecified slice of life, visuals transformed to sound—an audio road journey. Like most journeys, some common themes run throughout, and the mood shits from sombre repetition to upbeat euphoria, laced with occasional bursts of excited energy.
It begins with the slight Prelude and copper rooftop, built around piano stabs, initially seemingly acting as a showcase for the number of sounds Toucaen has at his disposal rather than an engaging piece of audio in its own right. Toucaen is a master of sneakily seeping into your brain, though, and the piece soon gives way to bubbly rhythmic passage of repetition, akin to his Swim Team #2 track, Lecci on the Grande Jatte.
Springs under Halle has a rather more energetic beginning, and more diverse sounds are in evidence, reverberating around the mix, pulsating rhythmic backing flickering around your head like musical bluebottles. Building to an exquisite looping melody, the track ebbs and flows, its clattering rhythmic sounds and organic textures drawing you in.
The flavour shifts slightly when Sunset drinks in little Havana arrives. It begins with appropriately Caribbean sounds and rhythm, segueing into the smooth sound of a calm sunset, pierced by the comings and goings of everyday life. The beginnings of glittering nightlife emerge as the track ends, leading to 09:20pm car ride. Far from this album's Autobahn, this track plays against the constant hum of the background and regular flashes of light by offering us occasional pauses and stabs of sound—the audio equivalent of sights half-glimpsed out of the windows.
The vaguely industrial Thinking whilst aligning bridges reprises an earlier melody, surrounding it with the flurries of activity of night workers, before Making their way back home documents a later, quieter time, the tired and weary ending their day. It's a fitting conclusion to this appealing synesthetic experience, an engaging and rhythmic soundtrack formed in a highly observational and analytical mind.
Craig Grannell (December, 2004)