Tanoki is the moniker of Paul Mahon, a multidisciplinary Visual Artist / Musician from Kilkenny, whose work has had him collaborate with artists as varied as Linkin Park / Lisa Hannigan / Rodrigo y Gabriela and many more. “After sitting on the instrumental for a while I went looking for a rapper, and after some faffing / delays and some ghosting I had the idea of turning to Fiverr to see what might happen. And the crazy thing is Tay was the first person I contacted and I couldn’t have been more blessed with highly experienced and locally loved North Carolina rapper. We exchanged, in total, about six emails. I sent him the track on Monday. He had it back to me by Thursday. And he nailed it. Just like that. I couldn't believe it."
From the beginning, Tanoki had envisioned the track as being technological. However, Paul plays live guitar and bass and Synth on the record. It has a stunning vertical music video, realised with pain-staking detail by Tanoki himself, entirely digitally. “I chatted with Tay about the concept, and he just quickly got it.”
"I told him, think Twilight Zone… and he frowned. He hadn’t seen it. Then I thought for a moment. "How about Black Mirror?” And he lit up. He loves that show, it turns out. And we were off.”
Edwards' words and flow move authoritatively, like bars from a prophet of the dark future. His delivery is confident, and his tone varied and creative, without sliding into melodrama.
Tanoki becomes energetic when talking about Edwards' performance on the track. A favourite line stands out for him:
“My kid just learned how to ride a bike/From looking at YouTube and I’m just like/Why can’t you wait let me teach you right”
“Technology is beautiful. Stunning. Without it, two artists from across the world never would have made this song. But that same song is also a warning about that power.” Fear and wonder are both gently captured by the track, which features swooning brass, along with intermittent guitar licks, a human touch in a sonically electronic world. Tanoki's production has nods to the controlled chaos of Run The Jewels or Hudson Mohawke, as well to the organic, post-rock vitality of Redneck Manifesto. Influenced uniquely by his experience creating visual stories with music through video, 'It Has Begun' showcases Tanoki's knack for cinematic song creation. The track evolves from start to finish, with hardly a loop in sight.
It Has Begun is Tanoki's third release ahead of his debut album File New, to be released in winter 2021.