This is a moment that I have  been personally looking forward to for a long time. Denver’s own Carter Matthews, also known as Toy Box, released his first EP yesterday, simply titled TP EP. Although the EP may be short, it is fierce. The three distinctive tracks impeccably display Matthew’s variety and production capabilities as an artist. Before dissecting the contents of the EP, let’s get to know the man behind the music a little bit better. Matthews is a self taught musician who came to Denver to study music production. He really started gaining recognition and momentum once he started incorporating the Mandolin into his tracks. Have you ever heard of Mandolin-Electronica?  No? I didn’t think so.

Toy Box has been performing live for just over a year. During that span, he’s performed alongside artists both notable and local. Artists such as Vine Street Vibes and Krooked Drivers, super heady burning man artists like Govinda, and even the electronic scene’s bad boys Break Science and Manic Focus. Whether you’re into Dub-step, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Folk, or Down-tempo, Toy Box transcends, produces, and combines all of it. Matthew’s has something feel good for everyone. He utilizes samples minimally, and creates the majority of his tracks with bits and pieces that he either played or recorded himself. Matthews also distinguishes his live sets by jamming the hell out of his electronic mandolin, which we all know is a unique experience to witness in the realm of electronic music.

The best part of TP EP is the track diversity. Please allow me the great pleasure of breaking it down for you… The first track “Lacuna” is simply beautiful. Its actually a remix of one of his own tracks that he released a year ago, increasing the length and adding a bit of an Odesza influence. Matthews also used a sample of some Asian string instrument, giving the track a slight oriental flare. The next track “Kernel Mustard” has s classic Toy Box feeling. When I close my eyes and listen to it, I envision a bunch of Candy Land and Mario Kart characters driving around on psychedelics. There’s something uplifting and nostalgic about the melody. The third and final track “New Dawn,” is a reminder of Matthew’s grime potential. I’ve heard a quite a handful of remixes and versions of the lyrical sample, but have yet to hear one as banging as this. Not only does this track add the perfect amount of contrast to the album, its the catalyst.

Toy Box may be in the initial phase of his career, but this first release is a statement of his talent and potential. As a Denver local myself, best believe that I will be on the lookout for all things Toy Box. If you want to show the kid some love, go give his Facebook a like and his SoundCloud a follow. Don’t forget to download the new EP right here, for the convenient price of Free.99

 

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