Alright, I'm biased. I think Amon Tobin is a musical genius. If you like drum and bass, Brazilian flavored jazz, high production values, and complex song structures then Tobin is the man for you. He combines all of these elements and does it well on "Bricolage," which I believe is his second album.
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For example, on a song like "Easy Muffin," Tobin starts off nice and slow with jazz drum samples, keyboards and clarinet. In comes the heavy, heavy bass and oddly repeating vocals that slowly build to a dense wash and then gradually fades away.
"Yasawas" starts off just as sparsely, but quickly builds up to quite a piece of work. I'm guessing that Tobin uses Recycle to process his beats and make them so insanely beautiful. I never thought panning could be so exciting and well executed. Perhaps what makes the whole mix so inviting is that the songs aren't as repetitious as other drum and bass acts like Roni Size. Here it's okay if a song pares down to just melodic elements; there doesn't have to be a monster beat every second telling you when to move your feet. What every song has, however, is a throbbing bass which keeps me coming back again and again.
"Bricolage" is the second album I've picked up by Mr. Tobin, the first being the equally excellent "Permutations." Both are on Ninja Tune, as well as his other records I've not yet had a chance to listen to. He is also the man behind "Cujo," which is equally good and also on Ninja Tune (though I think it might be released through Shadow Records in the US). I've never heard anything else like him, excepting United Future Organization perhaps, in their love of old jazz elements. But I'm afraid they can't hold a candle to Tobin's flame.
He is truly a gifted musican making the most of the new musical tools around.