For many, the name Torii Wolf might ring a bell as the first non-male artist to collaborate with DJ PREMIER on a full album. Together they created Flow Riiot, Wolf’s debut full-length (and an anagram of their name). The LP played Double Dutch with genres, buffeting from downtempo club music to industrial hip hop; this was only the start of Wolf’s keen experimentation with sound. More recently, you may have noticed Wolf on Grimy Goods’ curated monthly playlists. Just one title in a litany of new music, “Summon” is Torii Wolf’s latest single, and proves to be their most haunting work yet.
“I created this tune in solitude during my COVID-19 quarantine. I built my home studio to immortalize these feelings and sounds while sheltering in place. Once I was finished, I sent the track over to Rumori, the brilliant composer and cellist. By way of virtual collaboration, the song has become whole.” – Torii Wolf
“While there is still no cure for the viru—.” A television broadcasting the news is abruptly cut off at the start of the music video for “Summon.” Our reality is halted in place, in favor of the Malickian images that the video, directed by Wolf’s partner Kayko Tamaki, organizes into moving metaphors. Wolf’s perpetually strained vocals embrace the cello accompaniment, contributed by Rumori, while keeping the acoustic guitar at bay. In this way, the song feels like an internal battle, externalized. When we fight with love, it is our own self-worth that suffers.
If this is the first you’ve heard of Torii Wolf, then you have a decent cache of new music at your disposal. Flow Riiot came out in 2017, and since then, after about a year-and-a-half hiatus, Wolf has released 2 EPs and 13 singles. As you can guess from their recent music, not to mention their self-identified genre neutrality, there is a lot in store across such a body of work.
by: Zoë Elaine