2007, Ninja Tune
Fantastic, unusual, experimental release, and Amon Tobin’s first true studio album in 5 years. This is very much a departure from his classic studio albums. More often, the album’s tone is evocative of the Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory soundtrack, except without the restrictions that soundtrack pieces have to abide by. It’s cut from a lot of field recordings and real instrumentation, including a track that incorporates the Kronos Quartet. It strays even further away from any dance roots present in previous Amon Tobin studio albums, and has received flak from fans of dance music for it. It’s NOT just an exercise in sound manipulation, though, as Tobin does a great job of incorporating melody, sometimes with very subtle means. This strikes me as a transition record, not yet a final destination. I’m not sure what kind of legs it will have, but so far I think it’s pretty fantastic and I’m glad to see Tobin pushing forward and not settling into familiar patterns.