First impressions: Amon Tobin – ISAM

Amon Tobin’s ISAM turned up on several best-of-year lists so it came pretty highly recommended, and justifiably so. Last year, he organised a very elaborate light show for performances of the album, and before I purchased the album I looked first to see if there was a DVD – bewilderingly, there wasn’t. There should be. Perhaps there’s one planned.

My first thoughts on the album include the phrases “Aphex Twin” and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Dubstep”. Take the best interpretation of either, though – this would be Windowlicker-standard throughout, and all those wuh-wuh-woob noises with a measure of innovation and intrigue (as opposed to the most overused samples since Jungle Warfare came out).

What to call this? IDM? Electronica? It’s collages of pings and plunks and zings with wuh-wuh-woobs running underneath. It’s more living-in-the-future music, when most dance music sounds horribly retrospective and bored.

This excellent review from about covers it. It’s an entertaining piece that is helpful, descriptive and actually persuaded me to buy the record.






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