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Back in 2000, after graduating from university, I found myself taking a gap year of sorts to absorb as much music and film as I could while based in London. I became a regular visitor at the South Bank Centre in that time. In April to June of that year, David Toop organised the first major exhibition about sound art in Great Britain at this very venue and it was an event that left a huge mark on myself as I heard Brian Eno and David Toop discuss sound art in a way I had never been able to discuss with friends before.

’Sonic Boom’ introduced me to a range of artists I had previously never come across, including a certain Ken Ikeda who has released on such wonderful labels as Spekk and Touch. Ken Ikeda is a musician and artist who has composed and recorded for David Lynch and for Moriko Mori, latterly as part of the Royal Academy's 'Apocalypse' exhibition in 2001. He featured as part of Sonic Boom, at the Hayward Gallery, London in 2000 of course, and his ‘Mist On The Window’ release in 2007 was my own entry point into the wonderful sonic world of the Spekk label.

David Toop is a musician, writer and sound curator. He has published three books, currently translated into six languages: Rap Attack (now in its third edition), Ocean of Sound, and Exotica (selected as a winner of the 21st annual American Books Awards for 2000). His first album, New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments, was released on Brian Eno's Obscure label in 1975; since 1995 he has released six solo albums - Screen Ceremonies, Pink Noir, Spirit World, Museum of Fruit, Hot Pants Idol and 37th Floor At Sunset: Music For Mondophrenetic - and curated five acclaimed CD compilations for Virgin Records - Ocean of Sound, Crooning On Venus, Sugar & Poison, Booming On Pluto and Guitars On Mars. In 1998 he composed the soundtrack for Acqua Matrix, the outdoor spectacular that closed every night of Lisbon Expo '98 from May until September. He has recorded shamanistic ceremonies in Amazonas, appeared on Top Of The Pops with The Flying Lizards, worked with musicians including Brian Eno, John Zorn, Prince Far I, Jon Hassell, Derek Bailey, Talvin Singh, Evan Parker, Max Eastley, Scanner, Ivor Cutler, Haruomi Hosono, Jin Hi Kim and Bill Laswell, and collaborated with artists from many other disciplines, including theatre director/actor Steven Berkoff, Japanese Butoh dancer Mitsutaka Ishii, sound poet Bob Cobbing visual artist John Latham, filmmaker Jae-eun Choi and author Jeff Noon. As a critic and columnist he has written for many publications, including The Wire, The Face, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Arena, Vogue, Spin, GQ, Bookforum, Urb, Black Book, The New York Times and The Village Voice. He has curated Sonic Boom, the UK's largest ever exhibition of sound art, displayed at the Hayward Gallery, London, from April to June, 2000. In 2001-02 he was sound curator for Radical Fashion, an exhibition of work by designers including Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Martin Margiela and Hussein Chalayan, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2001-2002 and featuring music by Björk, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Akira Rabelais, Paul Schütze and others.

’Skin Tones’ is a recording of a collaborative live performance by Ken Ikeda and David Toop. Recorded at Iklectik Art Lab, London on May the 22nd of 2016, ’Skin Tones’ is a 27 minute piece that features steel guitar, flutes, DX synthesiser, and a variety of objects.

The cover art for ’Skin Tones’ was created by David Toop and Rie Nakajima at the Takehisa Kosugi exhibition in the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2015.

Ken Ikeda + David Toop: Skin Tones

Skin Tones Ken Ikeda + David Toop 27'20''

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