Amon Tobin's "Out From Out Where": Classic or Dud?

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So I've been listening to this for a while and the most striking thing about it is the fact that almost all the jazz has been surgically extricated from Tobin's repetoire this time around. There's some great tracks on here ("Hey Blondie" = Air gone SLEEZE; "Searchers" = post-Morricone cinematic nightmarishness), but even if this is a reasonably swank record with its fair share of haunting strings and deftly fucked-with percussion there's also a lot of uncharacteristic-sounding electro/techno/glitch/industrial clankety-chirp action ("Chronictronic" -- egads, it's like Meat Beat freakin' Manifesto, not that Jack Dangers et al. are all that bad but still). It seems like it'll take a lot of getting used to. Of course if this scored a David Fincher mystery horror kung-fu suspense blaxploitation film it'd be PERFECT but that's another matter.

Nate Patrin, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 04:12 (twenty-one years ago) link

(One could also argue that he's still working with jazz -- only the more experimental strains that seeped into funk and Krautrock in the late '60s early '70s...)

Nate Patrin, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 04:14 (twenty-one years ago) link

tell me more about this record please! i've been waiting for it nearly 2 years...

Charlie (Charlie), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 04:16 (twenty-one years ago) link

I'm gonna say CLASSIC. Can't really think of a justification. Just classic.

gazuga (gazuga), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 04:20 (twenty-one years ago) link

Well it's not very much like Supermodified (which means it's even less like Bricolage and Permutations), though many of the tracks do lean towards the "Marine Machines"/"Golfer vrs Boxer" sound. Most of the other tracks sound like more robotic cousins of "Sordid".

And I'm leaning towards Classic mostly because it does work as a fitting complement to Tobin's other albums, especially rhythmically. And atmospherically it's like an evil bionic computer-brained Bernard Herrmann, so thumbs up to that.

Nate Patrin, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 04:29 (twenty-one years ago) link

Mummy, what's a Bernard Herrmann?

Charlie (Charlie), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 04:56 (twenty-one years ago) link

Awesome. I was just saying today to someone that as godly as he is, I think his records are almost TOO organic at times, I would love to hear him fuck some shit up on the coldness tip.

When does this come out?

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 05:45 (twenty-one years ago) link

Yes, jazz begone. It's far more murkier and with a sharper 'exotica' film soundtrack motif. The BPMs have generally lowered and there's more of a low-key textural emphasis over the usual freak-out drum and bass generosity. Upon first listen I was a bit disappointed thinking it was just a post-trip-hop excursion into "cinematic" nothingness, but there's certainly a range and dimension that reveals itself over time (the elephant sound in "Searchers" is the best thing since... um.. well the elephant sound in "Work it"). I still think Supermodified is a more creative and engaging record but this one has its own sense of comfort.... more of a drawn out facet than an extravaganza, a kind of focused exploration into some kind of Bollywood noir. In this sense I agree with Nate in that it feels more complementary than stand-alone. Classic, in any case.

Btw, the lead single "Verbal" is actually the track I'd first remove given the choice. Yeah it has this pass-the-courvoisier guitar style thing going on but the heavy-handed drums sort of kills it for me. Also, unlike "Precursor" the jumpy vocal thing just feels distracting.

Honda, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 06:03 (twenty-one years ago) link

Back From Space is the only track I've heard so far, and I'd have to say CLASSIC purely on the basis that any album that can start off with a sound like that just has to be...

Incidentally, just what is that descending piano/chimey sample used at the beginning of Back From Space? I'm sure it's something really obvious but I can't put my finger on it.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 11:55 (twenty-one years ago) link

as an englishman, i don't like him whatever he does. i don't even need to hear the record. i don't know why this is

bob zemko (bob), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 12:04 (twenty-one years ago) link

I just find this record completely blank, emotionally. It sounds good in places, but never comes close to evoking a feeling. What sort of thigns go through your head when you hear it? It really seems like a technical excercise to me -- but maybe I need to hear it more.

Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 12:14 (twenty-one years ago) link

I'm sorry, there's a new Amon Tobin? *insert insane dance of glee*

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 13:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Yeah, but Mark, is that the record, or your feeling for that sound? There are parts of this record that I think would work very well as soundtrack to some nightflight, city-life shennigans. Other parts seem sort of by-the-numbers club music. Still, some is very evocative, but maybe I just have a thing for nightflight shennigans.

dleone (dleone), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 13:19 (twenty-one years ago) link

A Classic, confounding expectations! Not a bad track.

matt riedl (veal), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:23 (twenty-one years ago) link

wait, shennigans? probably shenanigans

dleone (dleone), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:24 (twenty-one years ago) link

Mummy, what's a Bernard Herrmann?

Well there's this film called "Psycho", and...

Nate Patrin, Tuesday, 8 October 2002 14:26 (twenty-one years ago) link

I shouldn't be spouting off -- I need to hear it more. I'm really intersted in figuring out why I find Tobin kinda dull (even the older material I have), but haven't put my finger on it yet. I do know that the idea of an "evocative" string loop at this stage just ain't working for me -- taking bits of Sergio Leone or the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack or whatever, and then adding breaks to it. I just feel really down on sequenced samples right now.

But I'll check back in here after another half-dozen spins.

Mark (MarkR), Tuesday, 8 October 2002 15:47 (twenty-one years ago) link

I've just listened to it for the first time, and all I can say is:

C L A S S I C.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 14 October 2002 13:14 (twenty-one years ago) link

My City Pages review. I'm not hugely enthused with it - Melissa Maerz's Beck review and Matos' writeup of the Streets in the same issue do a much better job of capturing the spirit of their respective albums (though a higher wordcount may be a factor), and for some reason the last line got changed between my final draft and press time (it was supposed to state that listeners got a fear of heights, not Tobin), but other than that, hey, it's there.

Nate Patrin, Wednesday, 16 October 2002 10:12 (twenty-one years ago) link

classic .
i see him spin tonite .
yyeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

dyson (dyson), Wednesday, 16 October 2002 20:14 (twenty-one years ago) link

one month passes...
hm...after a couple listens, I'm a little confounded. as much as i love love love Permutation, I'm not disappointed that he's trying different things, but at least Supermodified had some real bangers and for the most part worked pretty well. but this...i'm not sure where he's going. it's like every track feels like that one or two mellow bits that don't really go anywhere on the other records. "Back From Space" starts it promisingly but after that it's a complete blur, and not just because a lot of the tracks segue into each other with similiar tempos. it almost insists on being background music -- i try to keep it at a normal volume to really listen to it, but it always feels too loud and i have turn it down further and further til it's just a faint ticking.

Al (sitcom), Thursday, 5 December 2002 00:28 (twenty-one years ago) link

Ever since Permutations, I have felt that if I owned a bunch of guns, and I liked to take them apart, put them back together, and load them in an underground room lit by a gently swaying flourescent lamp, that Amon Tobin would be the ideal artist to listen to while doing so.

Basically he's classic if you're kind of evil and really into revenge fantasies involving John Wooey amounts of bulletude. If you're twee, total dud.

Hence, I say CLASSIC. Also Amon is easily one of the most consistently satisfying samplomancers out there. If you like one, you'll like 'em all.

Tom Millar (Millar), Thursday, 5 December 2002 05:28 (twenty-one years ago) link

Classic, definatly. his music evolves from album to album and this is only a smooth transistion from Supermodified. very classic.

Sasha Borodovsky, Saturday, 14 December 2002 09:02 (twenty-one years ago) link

two months pass...
Classic- but I didn't think so at first.
Comparing it to Permutations and Supermodified, even Pirana Breaks and some of the Cujo stuff it seemed kind of weak, I thought it was too silly and predictable for him.

But then I listened on the train one day, with ***headphones***
Headphones or a proper surround system are necessary to do this piece its justice.

Shaun McCormack, Saturday, 8 March 2003 05:46 (twenty-one years ago) link

Supermodified is much better. When that bass get so low it starts to grind, that's the sound of Tobin peaking. Supermodified has a lot more of that.

Kenan Hebert (kenan), Saturday, 8 March 2003 05:56 (twenty-one years ago) link


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