Amon Tobin

Out from Out Where

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Refining his dense, virtuosic production style with virtually every release, Amon Tobin entered the vanguard of electronic producers by accomplishing one of the truly difficult tasks in modern electronica: developing a distinctive sound. Though Tobin prefers grand orchestral themes over a soup of heavily messed-with samples and cavernous beats that reference turntablist rap, funky breaks, and the hyper-efficient techno of Mouse on Mars, his style ranges much farther afield than any of these. Out From Out Where is yet another link in the chain begun with 1997's Bricolage, each release bringing him closer to dance nirvana; wildly experimental yet extremely catchy, with only the above-mentioned Mouse on Mars able to rival his consistency and continual improvement. "Back From Space" is a solid opener, and leads well into his superb slice-and-dice job on the aptly named MC Decimal R for the single "Verbal," with a flamenco guitar and wordless female vocals for added spice. As before, and even more so this time, Tobin spends a lot of time in dark territory. He excels at creating an atmosphere of approaching menace, with short passages of dramatic samples and anxious strings often paving the way for another array of pummeling beats. The focus on a single mood occasionally threatens to lead only to a creative dead end, but Out From Out Where arguably betters its successors by coming together as a single work.

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