* * * * * [ Amón Tóbin ] | | [ Two Fingers ] * * * * *

2013-01-07 10:30:12 UTC

Sometime back in the mid-90s a fresh faced Brazilian ex-pat living in the UK decided he was going to put down his harmonica, pick up a sampler, and name himself after a Stephen King novel. The resulting album, Cujo’s Adventures in Foam (released on Ninebar records, later reissued on Ninja Tune) signalled Amon Tobin’s entry into the world of music.

Immediately upon hearing this record, the powers that be at Ninja Tune signed him up to record as Amon Tobin, and he quickly went to work on his debut Bricolage. If you’ll recall, these were the trip-hop years for electronic music, where any clown with a sampler and a collection of Blue Note records could knock off some half-baked boutique hotel background music.

But Bricolage shone above all that. Although employing a marriage of jazz and beats, it stretched it further by bringing in elements of bossa-nova, batucada, and jungle, and combining it with a sense of song-writing that elevated it above the standards of that aforementioned scene. There is a song on it which was inspired by Amon urinating on his neighbor’s bike after a domestic living dispute (One Day in My Garden)… this was clearly the no-good vibes-jazzy-beats guy Ninja had signed. Next up came Permutation. Although stylistically a logical follow up to Bricolage, it was also on this album where things starting taking a noticeable turn to a much darker output. In fact you can actually trace Amon’s career based on coffee shop & dinner party accessibility… and let’s just say that this record signalled the end of anyone being able to use Amon records as background music.

This one cut a wide path; from the film tributes of Like Regular Chickens & People Like Frank, to the monster breaks on Sordid (easily his biggest ‘hit’ in the catalog), to the caravan-esque shuffle of “Nightlife,” and ending with the ultra-lush Nova (which later was used for Bebel Gilberto’s Samba da Bencao on her debut album).

[ Boxset Sampler ] Apparently new employees on the Cadburys production lines have a grace period in which they can gorge themselves on as much confectionary as they wish, free of consequence beyond massive obesity and a Se7en-style end. The intention is to overwhelm them with chocolate, to desensitise them to its pleasures through sheer sickly overconsumption, and in doing so deter future sampling from the factory floor. Few workers, it seems, opt for worktime snacking again.

There’s the risk that Brazilian electronic artist Amon Tobin’s latest release might produce a similar effect. Seven CDs, two DVDs, six vinyls and a ton of artwork, pressed between hard covers by metal bolts and industrial chic: this is as exhaustive a collection as it is beautiful. But it really is beautiful - seriously, just look at the pictures on the Ninja Tune website. There’s a level of presentation here that can only really be expressed through drooling, eyes wide and flickering at the contemplation of whole evenings spent twirling the bolts and fingering the contents, trembling hands lifting the package closer to inhale the smell. And that’s without even considering what’s on those disks: an almost entirely unreleased glut of live tracks, remixes, soundtrack contributions and rarities, videos, images, interviews and documentaries, it’s a lifetime’s supply of chocolate for lovers of moody soundscapes and industrial clatter.

Alas, DiS has only been able to nibble at the edges, with 14 tracks on a sampler standing in for the 121 spread across the CDs. The DVD and vinyl content we can’t comment on, beyond observing that there’s a lot of it and that the names are interesting: 'Bath Scene (Here Comes The Moon Man)' in particular sounds essential. But assuming what we’ve heard is representative, Boxset is a considerable cut above the usual odds-and-ends array of offshoots and b-sides that all too often constitute collectors editions. This being a numbered release shipping for £130 there’s a pretty clearly-defined audience, and it’s not the casual listener. There’s little concession for newcomers to Amon Tobin here, little acclimatisation to the edges and shadow that he carves into sound. From the broken fairground of 'Carry On Marmaduke' to the fractured dystopia of film score 'Madam Larivee' and the tribal bite of 'Angels and Demons', this is a characteristically jarring assault of glitches and experiment, of white noise and hanging mist.

Highlights are everywhere, in the ghosts and melancholy of Bibio’s take on Isam’s 'Wooden Toy' and the fever-dream brass of Pete Wareham’s rendering of 'Surge' to the orchestral cataclysm of 'Sunhammer'. It’s a claustrophobic listen, certainly, but often a disarmingly affecting one as well, with moments of striking fragility woven in amidst the caustic breakdowns and artillery beats. Epitomising this are the live performances from the Royal Albert Hall, highpoints from across Amon Tobin’s career adapted by The London Metropolitan Orchestra to foreground instrumentation over loops and emotion over amplification, and genuinely worth the asking price in themselves.

Some of the remixes grate a little, sure, and with a running length of around a day there’s bound to be some filler here, but that doesn’t really matter. This was never going to be for everyone - indeed, it’s only for 4,000 people, in all likelihood not just familiar with but already at home in Amon Tobin’s rain-wracked future-noir. There’s certainly an argument that the rising trend for premium editions - at a time of economic dissolve, sadistic reforms and bloated living costs - is unpleasant, pricing people out of music for the sake of short-term opportunism, but really that’s a discussion best saved for another time, with a different product: Boxset has been put together with far too much care to be dismissed as a mere cash-in, and those fortunate enough to be able to afford it are very, very unlikely to find cause for disappointment. As for the rest of us - well, there’s all that drool to leak.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- < < < < < [ EDIT NOTE: 2012 Release [ Stunt Rhythms ] Update ]. > > > > >

Amon Tobin marches to no one’s beat but his own. In a career spanning over ten years he has been connected to but never belonged to a host of scenes and styles. He has consistently made the music he feels he needs to make, not what other people think he ought to make, always exhibiting a level of attention to sonic detail which makes his music more intensely textured, beautiful and brutal than almost anyone’s out there. Make no mistake, Stunt Rhythms is about beats and bass. The model for the album comes from "Fools Rhythm" (included here), one of the standout tracks from Ninja Tune's 20th anniversary XX Boxset, an infectious mixture of playground melody, sharp beat and thunderous bass.

Two Fingers - 'Vengeance Rhythm' (Official Video) from Ninja Tune on Vimeo.

Although Amon’s love of the lower reaches of low end will undoubtedly cause people to reach for lazy comparisons with dubstep, Stunt Rhythms is in fact more accurately viewed as his love letter to hip hop, less the rampant consumerism of, say, G-Unit’s “Stunt 101” than the early culture of innovation and freshness, of showing off simply that you’re better at what you do than anyone else. So while tracks like “Snap” could be said to literally break down classic hip hop to its constituent components and put them back together in completely new shapes, the more uptempo tracks like “Razorback” come on like a whole new soundtrack for an as-yet-uninvented future pop-locking. If you imagine Mantronix as a Kenworth K100 truck, Two Fingers is what happens when the truck turns into Optimus Prime.

Uncompromising, muscular and powerful, the music of Two Fingers is also full of subtle touches, humour and a supple sense of rhythm. Which, when you think about it, is just showing off. Amon Tobin's new bass and beats project, exclusive North American early vinyl release. Limited edition colored 180g 3LP-set, with triptych dye cut sleeve and download.

< < < < < [ [ BandCamp ] | [ Last.Fm ] | [ Twitter ] ]. > > > > > --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Two Fingers Stunt Rhythms Artist - Two Fingers Album - Stunt Rhythms Release Date - 2012 Genre - Electro, Drum and Bass, Electro-core, IDM, Experimental [ DO NOT SKIP ] Tracklist CD 1 01. Stripe Rhythm 02. Snap 03. Defender Rhythm 04. Fools Rhythm 05. Magoo 06. Sweden 07. Lock86 08. 101 South 09. Razorback 10. Elmer Rhythm 11. Little Brat 12. Crunch Rhythm 13. Deep Jinx Tracklist CD 2 01. Stude feat. Peedi Crack and Chinko da Great 02. Smurf (Instrumental) 03. Problem feat. Lady Pharroh 04. Crunch feat. Peedi Crack and Chinko Da Great 05. Form One 06. Rock Scissors 07. Smurf feat. Brefontaine 08. Stude (Instrumental) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Fingers - Stunt Rhythms -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Artist - Amón Tóbin Album - Boxset Sampler Release Date - 2012 Genre - Electro, Drum and Bass, Electro-core, IDM, Experimental [ DO NOT SKIP ] CD 1 — ISAM [ Live ] Intro Sequence Journeyman (Extended Live Version) Piece Of Paper Bed Time Stories (Extended Live Version) Wooden Toy (Extended Live Version) Lost And Found Slowly (2011 Live Rebuild Version) Machine Gun Remix (Noisia, Amon Tobin Remix) Goto10 Surge (Two Fingers Remix) Kitty Cat (Live Version) Dropped From The Sky (Live Version) Night Swim Horsefish (Live Version) CD 2 — Monthly Joints [ Tracks 1 to 10 released on amontobin.com monthly between 2007 and 2010 ] Hey Mr. Tree Twelvses At Work Dualistic Eight Sum It’s A Lovely Night Shut Down Technique Trickstep Delpher Into The Dark (Intermission) Amon Tobin on Q (CBC interview, courtesy of CBC’s Q) CD 3 — Selected Scores [Selected from scores written by Amon Tobin for various film and video games ]. Breathless The Gift Hard Run (Chase Scene Test) The Gift (Alternate Score) Theme For End The Big Marching Threat The Bleak Outlook Theme For Eagle Road Sequence First Sons Explore War And Peace But Mainly War Nightcrawler (Rough Bounce) Red Pill Sequence El Train Dustmen Suspense First Sons Suspense Dustmen Combat Dustmen Gloves Off Brawl Main Theme Fly By White House (Alt Version Just For Kicks) White House Conviction Menu Theme Roll Credits Theme Coste Corridor Breaking Protocol CD 4 — Rarities [ Section 1 – The Lost Scores ]. Madam Larivee Down By The Creek Return To Mother (Abduction Home) Lux Clear Skies Crash Test Speedster Killer Roots Of Fools GT Killer Angels & Demons Ambient Score Level One Spy vs Spy vs Spy A6 Black Run Bottle Factory Symphony End Game Future Creatures In Soup Mothership Section 2 – Mike Schrieve collaboration: Worlds Collide (live drums by Michael Shrieve) Oracle (live drums by Michael Shrieve) Section 3 – Old Dub Plates: Angel of Theft (co-produced by Ghostbeard) Hydraulics The Third Hand Section 4 – Teenage Experiments: Bad Dream Breathe In Rhythm Computer Game Dot Experiment Lula Upwards CD 5 — [ ISAM Reinterpretations ] Surge (Pete Wareham Translation) Lost & Found (The Thief : Colin Stetson’s Lost & Found Redux) Lost & Found (Machinefabriek Deconstruction) Wooden Toy (Reworked by Bibio) Piece Of Paper (Thulebasen Cover Version) Night Swim (Lorn Reel) Dropped From The Sky (2562′s New Wave Redux) Journeyman (Jasper TX Reorder) Wooden Toy (Kwes./[o=o]. Rework) Piece Of Paper (Raffertie Outing) Wooden Toy (Sonic Boom Version) Bedtime Stories (Austin Peralta Reinterpretation) Surge (Emika Version) Lost & Found (Reinterpreted by Matthew Bourne & Sam Hobbs) Piece Of Paper (Reinterpreted by Matthew Bourne & Sam Hobbs) Surge (Cover by Julia Kent) CD 6 — [ Recent Excursions & Remixes ] Carry On Marmaduke Morning Ms Candis One Last Look Ode To Morricone Ryuichi Sakamoto ‘Grief’ (Amon Tobin Remix) Taxidermia (Magpie Mix) Eskmo ‘Moving Glowstream’ (Amon Tobin Remix) GoTo10 (Kryptic Minds Remix) Journeyman (Shed Remix) Surge (16Bit Mix) GoTo10 (Broken Note Remix) Night Swim (Frank Riggio Remix) Surge (Frank Riggio Adaptation1) Journeyman (Fanu Remix) Goto10 (Photek Remix) Dropped From The Sky (Jimmy Edgar Nails Did) CD 7 — The London Metropolitan Orchestra live at the Royal Albert Hall [ Adapted for orchestra by Ilan Eshkeri ]. At The End Of The Day Theme From Battery Introducing The Sun Searchers Bloodstone Horsefish Taxidermia Lost And Found [ Bonus Downloads ] Ambient Angel Bird Jelly Manta Shell [ Boxset vinyl ] Amon Tobin & Noisia ‘Sunhammer’ (VIP Version) Noisia ‘Machine Gun’ (Amon Tobin Remix) Eskamon ‘Fine Objects’ Dark Road Overforces Hesperium Stupid IDM’z Piece Of Paper (Extra Interpretation by Matthew Bourne & Sam Hobbs) Surge (Pete Wareham Extended Translation) Surge (Extended Cover by Julia Kent) [ Taxidermia Score ] Chase Blood Sweat and More Blood Taxidermia Run Bath Scene (Here Comes The Moon Man) Rural Soldiers Introducing The Son Factory Training [ Frank Riggio ISAM remixes ] Journeyman (Frank Riggio Remix) Piece Of Paper (Frank Riggio Remix) Goto 10 (Frank Riggio Remix) Surge (Frank Riggio Adaptation 1) Surge (Frank Riggio Adaptation 2) Surge (Frank Riggio Adaptation 3) Surge (Frank Riggio Adaptation 4) Lost & Found (Frank Riggio Remix) Wooden Toy (Frank Riggio Remix) Mass & Spring (Frank Riggio Remix) Calculate (Frank Riggio Remix) Kitty Cat (Frank Riggio Remix) Bedtime Stories (Frank Riggio Remix) Night Swim (Frank Riggio Remix) Dropped From The Sky (Frank Riggio Remix) ISAM (Bonus Assemblage) Saboteur vs ISAM (Bonus Assemblage 2) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Amón Tóbin - Boxset Sampler -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Artist - Amon Tobin Album - Monthly Joints Series Release Date - 2010 Genre - Electro, Drum and Bass, Electro-core, IDM, Experimental [ EXCELLENT ] Tracklist 01. Delpher (6:28) 02. Shut Down (3:11) 03. It’s A Lovely Night (3:42) 04. Trickstep (3:30) 05. Eight Sum (4:13) 06. At Work (3:37) 07. Technique (3:37) 08. Dualistic (3:53) 09. Twelvses (2:42) 10. Hey Mr. Tree (3:57) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Amon Tobin - Monthly Joints Series -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Artist - Amon Tobin Album - Foley Room [ * * * * * ] Release Date - Genre - Electro, Drum and Bass, Electro-core, IDM, Experimental [ ONE OF THE FINEST ] Tracklist 01 Bloodstone 4:13 02 Esther's 3:21 03 Keep Your Distance 4:48 04 The Killer's Vanilla 4:14 05 Kitchen Sink 4:49 06 Horsefish 5:07 07 Foley Room 3:37 08 Big Furry Head 3:22 09 Ever Falling 3:49 10 Always 3:39 11 Straight Psyche 6:49 12 At the End of the Day 3:18 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Amon Tobin - Foley Room -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recommendations: Murcof ~ Kashiwa Daisuke ( 柏大輔 ) ~ ZXYZXY ~ Ellen Allien ~ City Of Tiny Lights --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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