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David Toop

fl, *1949 GB, London
Electronic and Jazz
A.k.a. Iron Monkey Steve Topp

David Toop (born 5th May 1949, Enfield, London, England) 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.

  • Flute
  • Guitar
  • Percussion
  • Bass
  • Electric guitar
  • Electronic
  • Jazz
  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Spoken Word
Popular Tracks   
Sea Slug on Entities Inertias Faint Beings by David Toop
Slow Loris Versus Poison Snail on Pink Noir by David Toop
Things Just Went Sour Gradually All at Once on Entities Inertias Faint Beings by David Toop
Dry Keys Echo in the Dark and Humid Early Hours on Entities Inertias Faint Beings by David Toop
For believing (you were a strange beautiful unearthly creature from a faraway planet) on Apparition Paintings by David Toop
Pieces of Wood and Iron, Phials of Odours on Entities Inertias Faint Beings by David Toop
Things Just Went Sour Gradually All At Once - Mixed on DJ-Kicks [DJ Mix] by Forest Swords
Human Skin and the Stone Steps on Entities Inertias Faint Beings by David Toop
You could touch him but he wasn’t there on Apparition Paintings by David Toop

Track list and 30sec audio provided by

Band Members

Title Artist Year Type
Suttle SculptureDavid Toop + Paul Burwell2018Album
Electronic Music For PianoTania Chen With Thurston Moore, David Toop and Jon Leidecker, John Cage2018Album
Skin TonesKen Ikeda + David Toop2017Album
Live In PortoDavid Toop2017Single
Life On The InsideDavid Toop2016Album
Entities Inertias Faint BeingsDavid Toop2016Album
Live At White CubeDavid Toop2015Album
Mondo Black ChamberDavid Toop2014Compil.
WunderkammernRhodri Davies / Lee Patterson / David Toop2010Album
I Never Promised You A Rose Garden - A Portrait Of David Toop Through His Records CollectionGuy Marc Hinant, Dominique Lohlé, David Toop2008Single
Sound BodyDavid Toop2007Album
Breath TakingAkio Suzuki / David Toop2004Album
Doll CreatureMax Eastley, David Toop2004Album
Black ChamberDavid Toop2003Album
A Picturesque View, IgnoredDavid Toop + Scanner + I/O32002Album
Imitation Of Life / Double IndemnitySteve Beresford / Tristan Honsinger / David Toop / Toshinori Kondo2001Compil.
Needle In The GrooveJeff Noon & David Toop2000Album
37th Floor At Sunset - Music For Mondophrenetic™David Toop2000Album
Hot Pants IdolDavid Toop1999Album
Museum Of FruitDavid Toop1999Album
Spirit WorldDavid Toop1997Album
L'Inachevé / The UnfinishedLocust / Mick Harris / Lilith / David Toop1996Compil.
Pink NoirDavid Toop1996Album
Screen CeremoniesDavid Toop1995Album
Buried DreamsDavid Toop And Max Eastley1994Album
Deadly WeaponsSteve Beresford / David Toop / John Zorn / Tonie Marshall1986Album
Imitation Of LifeTristan Honsinger / Steve Beresford / Toshinori Kondo / David Toop1981Album
Circadian RhythmPaul Burwell / Hugh Davies / Max Eastley / Paul Lovens / Paul Lytton / Annabel Nicolson / Evan Parker / David Toop1980Album
Whirled MusicMax Eastley / Steve Beresford / Paul Burwell / David Toop1980Album
WoundsDavid Toop / Paul Burwell1979Album
CholagoguesNestor Figueras, David Toop, Paul Burwell1977Album
New And Rediscovered Musical InstrumentsDavid Toop / Max Eastley1975Album
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