Thursday, 28 April 2011

Amon Tobin - ISAM (Ninja Tune)

So some nice person has leaked the new Amon Tobin album, ISAM, prior to release so Ninja Tune have rushed out the digital release to try and salvage some sales, you can buy it at the Ninja Shop or less supportively through Itunes. The particularly well packaged physical releases will go ahead as planned on May 23rd - oh the joys of running a record label in 2011. Here's a little preview of it's delights:

'ISAM' Preview by Amon Tobin

We have only listened to the album briefly due to it's recent arrival and can't comment fully but it's as intriguing as you'd expect with more depth and ideas than your usual and plenty of hidden layers to keep your attention through repeat listening. What we were ABSOLUTELY blown away with though was the live show which is just next level Audio Visual shizzle - check it!

We also liked the press release so check it out:

"What is "ISAM"? A transmission from a distant planet? A gateway into an alternate reality? A codename for a new psychotropic? A freshly discovered planet? A secret swinger's network? A liberation theology? A soundtrack to the ultimate snuff movie? Nonsense? The only sense in town?

Re-drawing and blurring the lines between psychedelia and sci-fi, between art and entertainment, between sound design and melody, Amon Tobin has created the finest, most intense work of his very considerable career, an extension and refinement of everything he has achieved thus far, a crowning achievement in the process that he describes as "re-ordering the things around me."

Tobin’s earliest work, in his own words, "took bits of existing music from old records and tried to find new contexts for them." This led to albums like "Bricolage" and "Supermodified" (the clues being in the titles). Gradually, though, the samples “got smaller and smaller and more processed until they became less about context or reference and more like a physical reincarnation of sounds."This led to the next stage in Tobin’s development, his last album, "Foley Room," where he followed a Cage-ian tack and "looked at all sounds as potentially musical," ending up using his own field recordings of lions, wolves, bees, factories and so on. With "ISAM" Amon started with field recordings but then synthesised the sounds and built them into actual playable instruments. With these instruments he then created the album. The vocals are Amon Tobin's for the first time, synthesised and gender modified. "It's by far the most exciting development in my personal quest for some control over
nature," Tobin explains. "Anything from a grain of found sound to my own voice can be transformed into something new."

The result is a record of uncharacteristic depth and richness (intellectual, emotional and aural), one which sets your synapses crackling with dread and beauty, reminiscence and speculation, or just the pure apprehension of sound, accomplishing most of the hopes and dreams of dubstep, for instance, without even bothering to limit itself to having to be dubstep (which isn’t to say it doesn’t have some of the most terrifying bass rumbles your sternum will feel this side of Hell). Rarely has a piece of music made the listener feel so completely immersed in a new world, with all the strangeness, excitement and, occasionally, fear that entails. Once you begin listening to "ISAM," anything written about it becomes redundant. A truly outstanding piece of work, it should establish once and for all Amon Tobin's well-earned right to sit at the very top table of electronic music making.

To celebrate the (scheduled) album release Tobin has collaborated with artist Tessa Farmer combining her trademark sculptures (constructed from bits of organic material, such as roots, dead insects and bones) with his sound design and elements of the forthcoming album to help capture the themes surrounding ISAM: sensory deprivation, disorienting situationism and the mechanisation of natural things. Exhibition details:
26th May - 5th June (11am - 5pm everyday) Crypt Gallery, below St Pancras Church, Euston Road, London, NW1 2BA

Here's a little taster of what the installation will look like:

Amon Tobin Website
Tessa Farmer Website
Ninja Tune Website