Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist Robin Hatch has released a new, full-length album, T.O.N.T.O., inspired by and recorded on the synth of the same name.
The Original New Timbral Orchestra (T.O.N.T.O.) is a massive multitimbral modular analog synthesizer, created by synthesists and producers Malcolm Cecil and Robert Margouleff.
The duo, working as Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, created a seminal synth album with it, Zero Time. This led to them collaborating with Stevie Wonder on arguably his most important albums, including: Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions & Fulfillingness’ First Finale.
The massive modular was also featured in later work with the likes of Quincy Jones, The Isley Brothers, Steve Hillage, Billy Preston, Weather Report, The Doobie Brothers and others.
T.O.N.T.O. also made an appearance in the 1974 cult film Phantom of the Paradise, a rock opera take on Phantom of the Opera.
It’s now at the National Music Gallery in Calgary, where Hatch recorded the album over 4 days in the studio.
Here’s Hatch at the NMC, performing live and telling the story of how she met Cecil and ended up recording with T.O.N.T.O.:
In addition to Hatch, the album also features Eric Slick (Dr. Dog) and Leland Whitty (BadBadNotGood) on Brazil, doom metal violinist Laura Bates (Volur) on Airplane, drummer Lowell Whitty on Inspector, Nick Thorburn (Islands) on Mockingbird, and saxophonist Joseph Shabason on The Standoff.
The album was mixed by Carlin Nicholson (Zeus, Bahamas), and mastered by Robert Margouleff. The album is dedicated to the late Malcolm Cecil.
The album is available now via Bandcamp. You can preview it below:
Synths featured include: T.O.N.T.O., Yamaha CS-80, Oberheim Four Voice, Linn Drum, RMI Explorer & ARP Solina.
via Aaron Isgar