Tonelab is the music of Philip Rex, previously of Decoy, Rex’n’Chappo and IMPS. Philip started his musical life working in jazz clubs around Melbourne as a teenager, playing till 1am and then donning his school uniform early the next morning. This quickly blossomed into a professional career that has spanned decades and continents, as one of the most indemand double bass players on the scene.
Throughout his teenage years Philip was also experimenting with synthesizers and drum machines, and this eventually led to the formation of Decoy, which sparked off a musical collaboration with Ian Chaplin that would last for 20 years. Together they have played at most major outdoor festivals in Australia and many across Europe, including Vuuv, Glade, Wonderland, Rainbow Serpent, Earthcore, Eclipse and Maitreya, and released albums and tracks on a host of labels throughout the world.
Tonelab draws on the experience of this long musical journey. Combining techno and house music with an unmistakable hint of outdoor psychedelia, Tonelab’s all-original tunes display a passion for old analogue combined with modern digital instruments, and revel in a love of experimentation, improvisation, beautiful harmonic flavours and melodic textures, all underpinned by grooves that have clearly evolved from the soul of a bass player!
Tonelab’s debut EP was released on Open Records in February 2016, and generated very enthusiastic support from the likes of Kolsch, Cid Inc, Oliver Schories, Kassey Voorn, Darin Epsilon, Sebastian Markiewicz and dozens more. It climbed to no.5 on the Beatport Progressive House release chart, and to no.11 on the Techno release chart.
Since then Tonelab has had releases on Traum Schallplatten, Evil Flow (Phobos Records), Clubsonica Records, Wulpack, Shadow Wulf Records and Electric Power Pole Records, and has been playing live at local parties with Doesn’t Matter and BIG:RED:BUS crews. April 2021 will see Tonelab release 2 new EPs on Open Records and Wulfpack, featuring remixes by Out of Sorts, Jay Tripwire, Thankyou City, Timmus, Jesse Kuch, and Boy with Boat.