Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

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.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Carlo Wolff

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

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

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays
  • Ryan Sickler @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Dec. 9
  • Sebastian Maniscalco @ Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse

    • Thu., Dec. 9

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation