Brazilian-born Amon Tobin first emerged between 1994-1995 with a string of 12" singles on the small London-based record label 9Bar Records. The album that followed, Adventures In Foam, paved the way for a whole generation of electronic productions and prompted his signing to the prodigious Ninja Tune in 1996. He has since gone on to record seven critically- acclaimed albums under his own name on Ninja that have since helped define the label as a force in musical innovation and diversity. In addition, Amon has produced a small number of radically diverse original scores ranging from George Palfi's cult cinema oddity Taxidermia to Tom Clancy's video game blockbuster Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
The depth and scope of Amon Tobin's work have had a far-reaching influence. From the Kronos Quartet to Diplo he has garnered respect amongst artists both within and outside electronic music. Amon has established a reputation for musical ingenuity that is unconfined by genre and over a fifteen-year-long career remains among one of the most visionary electronic artists of a generation.
The 2007 album Foley Room explored the role of found sound in modern day music. Documented on film, the process of recording minute insects to lions, wolves, engines and foley performances culminated in a much- lauded performance at the birthplace of musique concrete, the GRM Theatre in Paris. More recently, the famed London Metropolitan Orchestra performed selected works from a cross-section of his musical repertoire at the Royal Albert Hall.
An Acronym for "Invented Sound Applied to Music", ISAM was an experiment in synthesizing field recordings and transforming them into new physically playable instruments to create unique sound palettes. From Amon's own voice gender-modified to the sound a of a creaking chair mutated into a string ensemble, ISAM directs an academic approach in audio manipulation to a purely emotional musical context. This contrast is central to the album and represents a pivotal moment in Amon's personal musical development. Sound design techniques previously used in film, as pioneered by the likes of Ben Burt (Star Wars, Wall-E) were utilized along side new ones Amon developed specifically for ISAM and applied in an unprecedented approach to music production.
The specific nature of the album demanded new thinking in terms of how to present it live and this in turn lead to an entirely new kind of music performance. ISAM Live is a hybrid of interactive cinema and a concert experience in which sound determines a narrative. Much like the album, the live show adapted existing and emerging technologies to new contexts. Projection mapping, which had up to then been largely the domain of static mostly corporate visual showcases, was configured for the first time to narrate the musical performance of an entire album. A giant cubic structure was built housing a control booth from which Amon could perform while providing an intricate canvas on to which a story was told as an audio reactive, three dimensional visual interpretation of the music being played.
ISAM Live reshaped audience's expectations of electronic music concerts for years to come selling out the worlds most prestigious venues. From the Sydney Opera House to the Olympia in Paris to the London Hammersmith and LA's Greek Theater ISAM Live received universal acclaim as a landmark in audio visual performance.
In May of 2012, Amon Tobin and Ninja Tune released the Amon Tobin Boxset: a strictly limited edition release and that came in the form of a beautiful high quality bolt fastened mechanical 'press' and included 6 x 10" vinyls, 7 CDs, 2 DVD's and several posters. Most of the material is unreleased, almost none of it has ever been available on a physical format before. It includes new music, unreleased dub plates and a wealth of archive material, Amon Tobin's earliest audio experiments (never been played in public before), film and television score work, unreleased score work, deleted bootlegs, ISAM live show DVD, ISAM live audio album, remixes, cover versions and re-interpretations of the ISAM album, remixes Amon has produced for others, a recording of the (November 2010) Royal Albert Hall orchestrations of Amon Tobin and more.
Concurrent to ISAM Live's final run around the globe, in October 2012, Stunt Rhythms, the sophomore release from Amon's beat-orientated alias Two Fingers dropped. A double CD and triple LP release, Stunt Rhythms is as much body-popping beats as it is raw synth energy. The Two Fingers project is in parallel with Amon's more esoteric musical excursions. A furious vent between exploring the outer reaches of sound.
Post ISAM, Amon returned to playing DJ sets, and exploring the dancefloor end of his sound as Two Fingers. 2014 saw him settle back into the studio to begin experimenting on new album material. That experimentation was instantly fruitful, as can be heard on 2015’s brand new Amon Tobin release Dark Jovian. Initially presented as a Record Store Day exclusive, this EP is a collection of stunning new music; momentous and elemental, and epic in scope.
Amon Tobin's latest release - Dark Jovian - is the result of his restless sonic experimentation, a small personal project exclusive for Record Store Day. It comes as 2 single-sided heavyweight 180g white vinyl 12”s with etched markings, encased in a white, branded, rubber wheel - read more.
On 3 July London's Barbican opens its doors to the inaugural immersive exhibition of art, design, film, music and videogames showcasing work from Amon Tobin, Björk, Theo Parrish, to name a few - more info & tickets here.