15 August 2013

Amon Tobin - Bricolage


There's many a creative strand that forms in and emerges from the mind of Amon Tobin. He's a record producer and DJ from Brazil and his music is a curious eclectic mix of various loops, Nu jazz and break beats. I first became interested in his discography two years ago when on the off chance I heard Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. It's basically an ops game with the music setting the tone with dark pacey and moody forebodings, and on first hearing the OST it certainly pricked my ears up .

I'll try not to make too many bones about this album, it's one that makes for compelling listening. It's basically the first release under his own name (he previously went under the pseudonym of Cujo) and released in 1997 and on first impressions he wants to set the scene under his own accord. Mind you, his inspirations are drawn from various fields of sounds of jazz, blues and other sounds that you wouldn't immediately associate with his home country, eg Samba, Lambada, which suggests that he's distanced himself from that field somewhat. The cover photos are part of the Olympic Iliad sculpture at the foot of  The Space Needle Observation Tower in Seattle, certainly is one of the most abstract pieces I've seen.

Stoney Street is one of the more distinctive acoustic sounds on Bricolage, it's largely dominated by the dexterity of double bass and drumming that sounds like it came straight out of a stripped-to-the-core Dave Brubeck combo. The said instrument heavily features again in Creatures as it runs along with rather oddball jungle beats and infantile fevered imaginations. You'll find a clarinet solo working on Wires And Snakes married to ever changing and non consistent breakbeats. while Bitter And Twisted includes what sounds like a badly tuned ukulele. The final few tracks generally follow a strict diet of Drum n' Bass in keeping with the running order of the album.

The music as a whole isn't particularly spellbinding, but it's technical and engaging. There's a clear mixture of break and jungle beats coupled with some unplugged instruments that you'd associate with Christian McBride (double bassist) rather than Nile Rodgers, with Buddy Rich rather than Roni Size and Reprazent, before the tables are turned once again on Bricolage. One thing for sure is that it won't fail to grab your attention. M. Richardson 11/08/2013.

7.5 out of ten. This is good and well worth a listen.

Click on here for Spotify here then search for Bricolage

Bricolage is available here for purchase on Amazon

You can follow Amon Tobin's activities here on his official website

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