AMON TOBIN's soundtrack to a mindf#$k
If any game geeks out there have played the new Splinter Cell 3 game, chances are you've heard the insanity that is the music of Amon Tobin. I've been a fan of Tobin's for years, and always imagined his music as the soundtrack to some futuristic sci-fi movie about giant space bugs or something of that nature. I personally haven't played the Tom Clancey game, but now that I've heard a few songs from Amon's score, I'm salivating at the thought.
My first introduction to Amon Tobin was all because of Napster. Remember about 4 or 5 years back, when Napster was actually amazing? You could find almost anything on there. I would go through magazines and do Napster searches on artists mentioned in reviews or interviews that piqued my curiosity. I can't remember what electronic music mag I was browsing, but it mentioned Tobin in the same breath as DJ Shadow.
I downloaded "Get Your Snack On" and within minutes my head was filled with this seemingly brand new blend of electronica, jazz and undanceable dance music. I couldn't begin to understand what kind of equipment this guy was using, where he was finding these samples, or how he was manipulating these sounds. The BPMs on this song are immeasurable, and then you get sweet little organ and horn accents. Like all good songs, this one wound up being used a year or two later in a car commercial.
I was excited when I stumbled on the soundtrack on iTunes a few weeks ago. I'm all for any sort of exposure that draws people to Tobin's music. I'm sorry, but whether you can deal with electronic music or not, you can't listen to "El Cargo" and not at least be impressed with the intricate production. If I ever got to make a solo album, I might think of having Amon Tobin create the drum sounds on that record.
While "El Cargo" does a little better job of standing on its own as a song, "Lighthouse" really makes me want to play the video game to hear it in context. Am I sneaking up on a guard and taking him out while listening to this? Am I taking a dignitary down with a sniper rifle? Hell, even if I'm just taking out the trash, I'd feel pimp as hell doing it if I had this playing behind me.
All of Amon Tobin's records are great (he has also released music under the name Cujo), but I would highly recommend starting with Permutation.
FOR MORE ON AMON TOBIN:
Amon Tobin's official siteNote the copy about the contest, which features the brilliant quote: "How to win: Assassinate the president of America."
Tobin downloads at Epitonic.comThat "Pick Up the Pieces of Saturn" track is SICK SICK SICK.
His AllMusic bio
Tobin on the Ninja Tune site
A Q&A about the game soundtrack