Ale Fest returns to Tremont in July. Early bird tickets are available right now!

Amon Tobin 

Supermodified (Ninja Tune)

Jam bands such as Phish and Dave Matthews have a new kind of competition in Amon Tobin, a Brazilian native who samples, jazzes, and swings like no one else. Jam master Tobin may be more self-sufficient than Moby. He's also at least as creative, and he doesn't depend on vocals, guitar dramatics, or other rock ready-mades to get by. Tobin's fourth album seamlessly sequences 12 varied tracks spanning the liquid, dubby "Slowly," the binary taffy salsa of "Saboteur," the eerily propulsive "Rhino Jockey," and the languid apprehension/distortion/transformation of island rhythms in "Keepin' It Steel."

Augmented by Blue Jam/Brass Eye's Chris Morris and the Quadraceptor, a cyber-beatboxer from Montreal, Tobin works all kinds of electronic magic here. Not only do the tracks one-up their sources -- Tobin samples everything from motorbikes to tubas and spitting and farting, and there are times you'd swear you're in an electronic forest, the sounds are so deep -- they move naturally from one to the next. The music is so well-blended, it's impossible to tell where the acoustic and electric separate or where the accretion turns into power. Tobin masterfully pits the repetitive against the unexpected; the title Supermodified seems to refer to his clearly sophisticated, mysterious compositional process. It's a supernatural, unforgettable album. Jam bands might get us all together, grooving like hive mates on a head trip, but Tobin, at least as validly, reminds us how different we all are and allows us to seek out our companions on our own.

More by Carlo Wolff


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Debussy & Scriabin @ Severance Hall

    • Thu., April 25
  • Zainab Johnson @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., April 25

© 2019 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation