Arthur Russell jamming with The xx…Lovely Stuff. Uncut Magazine
A soulful, organic embodiment of the harvest season, rich with crystalline synths-drops and gauzy layers of wistful vocals. Q Magazine
Like a surreal cousin of Kiasmos, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and SOHN, Tonik Ensemble wreak havoc upon your emotions and kinetic stability. The Line of Best Fit
Beautifully drifting Icelandic electronics… Parallels could include certain Erased Tapes artists, but really Tonik Ensemble are working in a field of their own. Clash Magazine
Tonik Ensemble is the operating handle of Anton Kaldal Ágústsson, an Icelandic producer/musician with a penchant for icily ambient soundscapes, hushed vocals, and orchestral passages. His debut album Snapshots, released in February, will appeal to fans of Sohn and other such new exponents of chilled, subtly emotional electronica. Soulful, spacious, Until We Meet Again offers a delicate, slowed-down dance music, like the long, drawn-out preamble to a Beloved or Pet Shop Boys track. The Guardian
Tonik Ensemble is the musical output of Icelander Anton Kaldal Ágústsson. Exploring the vast expanse of the electronic spectrum, his soundscapes are a mix of electronics and more organic live instruments. It is a strong signature sound of contrasts: rich and stripped-bare, minimalist but intricate, finely crafted and yet very instinctive. Together with an ever-evolving cast of talented collaborators, the output is deep, atmospheric yet soulful pseudo-techno. Anton Kaldal Ágústsson’s new album ‘Snapshots’ is out this week via Atomnation. Tonik Ensemble will perform at Sonar Reykjavík in February, alongside a bevy of brilliant acts including Todd Terje, SBTRKT, Kindness, Sophie, Ryan Hemsworth, Jamie xx and many more.
Find the album streaming in its entirety in full below-
The journey of writing the album ‘Snapshots’ began with exploring the colour palettes of various electronics and instruments along with playing around with the human voice. The first output was the song Imprints with Icelandic vocalist Johann Kristinsson. Other vocal collaborations on the album are Shipsi from Latvian band Instrumenti, Icelander Hörður Már Bjarnason who has been part of the Tonik live set since 2012 and Icelander Ragnhildur Gisladottir, who lent her voice to legendary debut album Maxinquaye by trip hop musician Tricky.
As a composer, Agustsson discovered that colour has a strong influence on the end result of a record. With a mild synaesthesia, the gap between sound and sight fades away when songwriting resembles more the process of painting on canvas. Colour theory along with other methods and terminologies of the visual, all of the sudden apply to music as well.
Although introspective at points, the Tonik Ensemble live setup is highly accessible and club-friendly throughout. A process of ongoing development, it usually consists of a trio of electronics, vocals and strings, where songs morph and evolve with a subtle element of improvisation, creating a hypnotizing and at points euphoric experience. The past few years Tonik Ensemble have performed in Europe (Iceland, Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Russia and Estonia) alongside notables such as Samaris, Dirty Beaches, Yagya, Hans Hoachim Roedelius, Blamstrain and Ruxpin.