Audience members crowded the room at the Societé des Arts Technologiques last Saturday night as Jennifer Lee, stage name TOKiMONSTA, prepared for her 11 p.m. MUTEK festival set.Quickly introducing herself, she wished the crowd a fun night and immediately began pumping out heavy bass-filled electronic grooves
With one or two technological blips at the beginning of her set, the Los Angeles native quickly and gracefully recovered with the help of an on-hand engineer. Apologizing to the crowd, she resumed playing magnetic grimy rhythms, making listeners forget altogether the previous glitches.
She played several hip-hop mashups, sampling and paying homage to fellow West Coaster, Dr. Dre, as well as female rap powerhouse, Missy Elliott. Going back and forth between original material and mashups, the crowd was continuously enthralled throughout her 45 minute set. Despite its relatively short length, she managed to cover a wide spectrum of musical genres.
Dishing out new material from her most recent album Half Shadows, TOKiMONSTA sought validation from the audience, asking if what she was playing was OK, and received a more than positive uproar in response. The room grooved as she layered hip-hop with massive dubbed out sounds. Alongside the gritty beats, she paired spontaneous 8bit sound leads with trippy images as her backdrop, enhanced only by the bright videogame-like circuit lights on the ceiling.
Being one of very few female artists in the MUTEK lineup, along with Emika and Laurel Halo, TOKiMONSTA cements her place as a powerful female presence in the festival’s overwhelmingly male lineup.