Amon Tobin

Verbal Remixes & Collaborations

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Always one to confound the expectations of the listening public, Amon Tobin's version of a remix album is only half true, the other side comprising a surprisingly focused mini-set of productions featuring Ninja Tune friends and well-wishers. (Fortunately, the title makes it abundantly clear what this record contains.) Despite the presence on the remix half of three heavy hitters (Prefuse 73, Kid 606, Boom Bip) and a talented newcomer (the French Topo Gigio), the collaborations comprise most of the highlights. What these artists -- Ninja Tune's Kid Koala and Bonobo, plus sampling godfather Steinski -- are able to add is a freshness to the sound of Amon Tobin, so distinctive but also in need of an update. Turntablist Kid Koala adds no scratching, but does convey atmospherics, while Steinski contributes his usual densely textured hip-hop chaos. Of the remixes, Prefuse 73's is the best, a balance of his b-boy cut-ups and the deep breaks of Tobin's original.

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