Vee VV formed in Blackpool ‘81 from the ashes of Factory Records’band Tunnelvision. They built up a strong local following and established themselves as a hard-hitting live outfit. They played throughout the UK including supports with James, The Gun Club, A Certain Ratio, My Bloody Valentine, The Mighty Lemon Drops, The Beloved and That Petrol Emotion. Their first release, ‘Love Canal’ through Blam! Fanzine was picked up by John Peel.
Four of them moved to London in ’83. Gigs at Alan McGhee’s Living Room, amongst others, attracted favourable reviews in ‘the big three’; NME, Sounds and Melody Maker.
Late ’84, tails firmly between legs, they headed back North; Hulme Manchester M15. ‘Kindest Cut’/’Romance is Over’ a 7” was released on Glasgow based Cathexis Recordings. This consolidated their reputation through national music press.
In 1998, Toka launched Bosh Records with its first vinyl release, ‘Tomkat’ by Toka, produced at the studio of Mark ‘Blakkat’ Bell, owner of sister label Shaboom. Mark was very instrumental in the formation of the label, helping Toka with his early productions as well as bringing his own ‘Artilect’ project to the table. ‘Tomkat’ gained great support from taste makers such as Andrew Weatherall, Jon Marsh and Doc Martin. It was followed by possibly the strongest release, ‘Tropika’, which with its Fred Everything remix launched the label into the next level.
Over the next 7 years, Bosh released a total of 35 vinyl releases featuring such artists as Chris Simmonds, Jason Hodges, David Duriez, Grant Dell, Harri and The Revenge, Corrie, Floorfillerz, Spettro and Pete Dafeet. The label came to an untimely demise in 2005 as vinyl sales crashed taking a number of distributors as casualties.
However, the success of the label propelled Tokas DJ activity, enabling a prolific career with appearances at Release (Los Angeles) , Spundae and EndUp (San Francisco), Propaganda (Moscow) and with DJ Sneak for the first Sneak Beats at The End, London. His productions and remixes have featured on such labels as Detour, Moody, Robsoul, Bid Muzik and Simple Soul.
After a lengthy break, Bosh re-emerged as a digital label, firstly re-releasing selections from the back catalogue before moving onto new material. The classic Elephunk ‘Azure’ was given a new lease of life with new mixes from Poncho Warwick and Toka. In the digital domain, the same principles continue, and there have been a ton of amazing releases from such artists as Jay Tripwire, Dylan Debut, Orlando Voorn, Dexter, Andrew Macari, Dubman F and many more. Bosh also continues its principal of supporting and developing newer artists, such as Yana Paisley, Lee Walls and Ryan Heath, Andy Moore, Jardz and Jake Beautyman.
‘Ugly Freedom’ (TOKA Remix)
You think you’ve heard anything? Strap yourself in and get comfortable for the journey! ‘Ugly Freedom’ (TOKA Remix) is a collaboration between two adversaries – Vee VV and TOKA.
Two specialists in their own right; Vee VV, post-punk purveyors of acerbic infectious tracks, and TOKA, esteemed and prolific DJ, producer and Bosh Recordings’ label boss. They have produced something special, something spellbinding, something entirely unique and uncompromising.
An amalgam, a spark, a blistering fusion of purpose conjoined, sending shards of rhythmic shrapnel into the stratosphere. Pounding sub-bass, seamlessly executed edits of live drums, boiler-bass, searing guitar, soaring keys and vocals featuring an astute, lyrical dexterity and skilful phraseology delivered with a poignant authenticity. A totally unapologetic perspective on today’s social mores, “Sentiment, humanity, have no right to reside in this Betfred economy!”
And all this enveloped in an Afrika Bambaataa, ‘Renegades of Funk’ inspired sleeve by a recipient of The Guardian’s Graphic novelist of the Year award, Rachael Ball!
Artwork – Rachael Ball
Rachael is a cartoonist and cartoon workshop teacher. She has taught for 16 years in high schools. Her first graphic novel ‘The Inflatable Woman’ was published in 2015 by Bloomsbury. It was listed as a Guardian Best Graphic Novel of 2015. Previously, her work appeared in cult 90’s comic ‘Deadline’.
Her second graphic novel is ‘Wolf ‘(Self Made Hero, 2018’).
HIGH VIOLET PR