Monday, January 31, 2011

The Electro-Lounge Series - #1: Amon Tobin

Before I dive into the subject matter of this post, I'd like to explain my reasons for starting this series. 

First of all, this series will focus on music of the following styles: electronic, lounge, downtempo, chill-out and with jazzy undertones.

Second, the reason I'm doing this is because in the last 5-6 months I've been getting more and more into this type of music. Music that is electronic at its basis but strives (and succeeds) to unleash itself from its parental holds. Electronic music that goes well beyond its comfortable niche, experiments and incorporates sounds and styles from other niches, thereby becoming eclectic in nature.

It started when I heard two groups: Fonderia from Italy and Hidden Orchestra from Scotland (both of which have been featured in this blog). I then looked around for more similar bands/artists and asked for guidance from friends on the Progressive Ears forum. I got very good advice and also independently found fascinating artists that make compelling and beautiful music. Red Snapper, Bonobo, Aim, Lymbyc Systym, Xploding Plastix and others. All bands/musicians that manage to create fascinating musical landscapes that are made up of various and once-disparate elements. I am now enthralled with these bands and these sounds and can't seem to get enough.

This first post in the series will be dedicated to Amon Tobin who's been at the forefront of this style for over a decade now.

Amon Tobin was born Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1972. However, at 2 years old his family left Brazil and he lived in various other countries. At a young age he began making his own music with a sampler and a 4-track recorder. He was signed to Ninebar record label in 1996 after sending them demos of his songs. Initially he worked under the moniker Cujo and released drum and bass remixed which were included in his first full length, Adventures in Foam. This got him noticed by other dj's and signed to Ninja Tune in late 1996, working as Amon Tobin.

He then began releasing his defining albums: Bricolage (1997), Permutation (1998), Supermodified (2000). The sampling on these albums, in contrast to later albums, were pre-recorded sounds which he manipulated further, whereas in later albums, he made the sampling from his own field recordings.

He was located in England until 2002, a year in which he relocated to Montreal, Canada and released there the album Out From Out Where.
In 2005 he released Chaos Theory, a soundtrack to the video game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Foley Room from 2007 marked a collaboration with the Kronos String Quartet, Stefan Schneider (drums), Sarah Pagé (harp).

Listen to some of his music:

From Bricolage:

From Permutation:

From Supermodified:

From Out From Out Where:

From Chaos Theory:

From Foley Room:

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