tone of arc review

It’s been a great year for Tone Of Arc. With a whole host of great reviews and recognition in 2013, the zealous San Francisco producer Derrick Boyd aka Dead Seal seems to be taking it all in his stride, and why shouldn’t he – when his glamorous partner who works vocals is none other than his wife Zoe Presnick!


Signed to No.19 Records, they frequently rub music shoulders producing and playing gigs around the world with the likes of Art Department’s Jonny White and Nitin (their No.19 label boss). In May 2013 they released their album “The Time Was Right“, which was an interesting mix of music ranging from Tech House to “Acoustic Folk Trip”. Self-proclaimed recording junkies since their teens, Boyd and Presnick possess a wide range of musical talent. A visit to D Edge club during a mini tour of Brazil was to be expected. D Edge is widely considered to be one of the best clubs in Brazil, and is situated in Brazil’s business capital São Paulo. Renato Ratier owns the club: he’s a successful DJ in Brazil, who is also a partner at Warung Beach Club in Santa Catarina.


D Edge is made up of 3 rooms and a very cool roof top terrace, with a skyline view of the capital perfect for watching the sunrise. The middle room is something really special… Engulfed in multi-coloured, video quality LCD lights, it feels like stepping into a scene from “Tron”. Freak Chic is the clubs weekly gay night. On the night the crowd was a good mix and the atmosphere was friendly (D Edge generally brings in a cosmopolitan crowd). The club has a chic design and air conditioning throughout – a far stretch from the more underground, “warehouse style”, sweaty dance floors you find across Europe.

The attitude to clubbing in Brazil is noticeably different to Europe. A bit stuck in the past, most of the time clubbing is more about pulling than the quality of the music. Regardless of this fact D Edge still carries a music-loving crowd. This year, they’ve already hosted artists such as Soul Clap, Nitin, Wolf + Lamb, Daniel Bortz and Jozif, and are constantly bringing talent from overseas to the Brazilian audience. Two rooms were open on the night: the second room and the lounge. For the first half of the night the music was handed over to the Brazilian DJs Mark Rocha and Dani Souto, who both played well, mainly dropping tech house and vocal deep house. In the Lounge, Leo Mafra played a more commercial house and disco mix. The music was enjoyable, but the main event was yet to come.


After a long wait, Tone of Arc finally arrived to play the middle room at around 4.30am. The set time was way too late, was due to D Edge organizing a simultaneous event where Tone of Arc also performed, whereas focussing on one event would have been far more logical. Thankfully, they were well worth the wait. They performed a live performance entirely of their own music – which they certainly aren’t short of. Live bass guitar and vocals were performed with ease and they carried a great connection and presence on the stage as a duo. Song highlights from their album were “Sound Sail“, “Surrender” and “Left Field“.

A small gang of groupies at the front singing along to their songs… the crowd obviously loved these guys! Boyd wood the crowd his new age hipster vibe whilst Presnick seduced them with her performance. In the song “Easy Rider” Boyd chanted incomprehensible lyrics, and there was something very psychedelic about this song. On closing your eyes (and with a little imagination), you could easily be transported to a jungle rave in the middle of the Amazon.

Tone Of Arc´s music is a concoction of old and new styles brought together with a twist of originality – a refreshing change in comparison to a lot of the boring rubbish churned out these days. With so much going for them we are sure to see much more of Boyd and Presnick over the coming months.


Words by Holly Johnsen Fontanelli