A Visit From Tonka

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When MEOKO rang the WRDM help desk and asked me to write something, I initially thought it was Moloko on the phone. I know that they tend to get Sing it Back re-released and remixed every couple of years so I was excited for a few seconds.

The image of a Moloko – Sing It Back (Tonka’s Minimal Hard House Remix) CD single sat on a rack in HMV flashed before my eyes. “This has got number one on Top of the Pops AND the Beatport Top 100 House Chart written all over it”, I spat into over the receiver.

“I’ve got Ableton 9 and an Akai MPC20 controller. It’s a shit crack and I only have about fifteen instruments on it, but there are some good effects I can use”, I spluttered enthusiastically. “You don’t sound very Irish on the phone. I suppose you’ve spent a lot of time in England since the nineties and you must travel the world doing gigs. Fuck me, I’m rambling. Sorry. How did you get my, I mean, how can I help?”

I won’t lie; I was ecstatic when the young lady on the phone explained that she was calling from MEOKO. Me-o-k-o.

Not Moloko.

I’d been asked to write some words for the prestigious and serious MEOKO magazine, not remix a tired old dance hit that had been re-jigged a million times before. I blushingly agreed to write out of the kindness of my heart. Not to mention pride.

Here are the rest of my words:

If you don’t know who I am, my name is Tonka. I shot to fame after breathing life into the world famous Weekly Review of Dance Music.   WRDM does what it says better than anyone else and it tells you what to think. WRDM won the prestigious Blog of the Week in The Guardian during a week in August 2013 and is featured on a regular basis in the Resident Advisor Feed. I chat with the great and the good in the world of dance; Ben Westbeech, Acid Pauli, Pittsburgh Track Authority, Jeremy Healy, Tim Sheridan, Mr G, Egyptian Lover and, most recently, Danny Rampling to name but a few have all forked out thousands of THEIR pounds flying and ferrying me around the world to interview them.

I have made zero pence from writing in the two and a half years I’ve been publishing online.

- Why Tonka?

- I’m a mug.

Writing for MEOKO is a natural progession.

Have you ever sat in on a Saturday night with a jumbo bottle of San Miguel, a grab bag of BBQ beef Hula Hoops, a Galaxy chocolate bar and listened to Heart FM whilst struggling to write a guest piece for a website? Club Classics with Mark off of The Only Way is Essex followed by Club Classics with Steve Denyer. Try concentrating on banging out an article with Funkytown by Lipps Inc, Ultra Nate’s Free and that DJ Sammy track booming out of your telly on Freeview channel  728. It’s nigh on impossible to get any cohesion or thread going and my feet won’t stop fucking tapping. Look…


…I went to the fabric birthday party recently and wondered why I was the only person in there not wanting to suck on a birthday balloon. All around me I looked, watching with lolloping jaw as chaps and wenches all took turns to suck the air out of balloons. I grabbed the weakest looking one by the shoulder and screamed inside her ear.

“Leave them fucking balloons alone, you cheeky monkey! This is a fucking birthday party! Some poor fucker had the job of blowing them up earlier on so leave them where they are and just enjoy the party you stupid fucking idiot! You’re ruining it for me, the DJs and the poor promoters who DON’T want to see their decorations pulled down and sucked off”, I rasped.

Suck it and see. They’re full of laughing gas. It’ll take you further”, she replied calmly.

“Laughing gas?” I boomed, “I wasn’t born yesterday, love. Pull the other one.”

She placed the rubber hole to my mouth. I sucked and saw.

When crossing the road I always look both ways and I NEVER talk to strangers. No matter how cautious I am outside of a nightclub, I’ll clearly try anything inside one – the No Fear logo on the pants that peek above my belt strap say’s as much about my character as it does my style. I sucked the air out of a Fabric birthday balloon and my head zoinked off of my shoulders for 30 odd seconds. When it came back to rest I was asked how I felt.

liquid gold


“The same as when I sniff an open bottle of Liquid Gold, babes, but without the shame of being seen sucking on a big blue balloon.”

I poured a little bit of Mandy onto my palm and shared something back before advising her to fork out a little bit extra for a bottle of poppers next time. Sucking on balloons in a nightclub is a false economy; pay five pounds to the man in Growler for a bottle of something more effective, that should last you – and all of the scroungers that will surround you on the dance floor – all night, rather than spend a separate quid over and over and over again to look like a reverse child. Know what I mean?

I Can’t Stand the Rain by someone I don’t know. That’s on now and I’ve lost my thread again.

I hope to be back on MEOKO again someday soon. I might not though. I don’t know.


With great delight, Tonka x


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