on June 24, 2004
Brazilian-born beatmeister Amon Tobin is untouchable when it comes to conjuring up a massive wall of sound from a sampler and turntables. Every piece of sound is meticulously chosen and placed to create a symphony.
"Out From Out Where" represents the fourth album (and fourth masterpiece) of Tobin's prestigious career creating albums for the forward-looking Ninja Tune label. After "Bricolage", "Permutation" and "Supermodified", this album comes across as less jazzy and more dense than the previous albums. It is simply a massive, cold black marble monolith of epic sounds and eerie textures. "Back From Space" is a simply genius sci-fi song that sounds more like going into space than coming back; "El Wraith" is akin to spaceships building the Egyptian pyramids (hey, we never know, right?); and "Searchers" is a hypnotic Asian car chase sequence. Even when Tobin plays it light, as in the intro to "Rosies", he quickly injects a mounting feeling of disarray and doom to the tune. Every song conjures fantastical images of space travel, alien landscapes and a surprising sense of isolation from the outside world.
By no means, however, is this album depressing. It is incredibly fun to listen to Tobin as he picks his samples and makes them fit in unexpected places. It is also interesting to pick up new sounds or elements with repeated listens. Listen to this on headphones (and preferably in the dark) to experience a truly hypnotic and exhiliaring ride through the dark recesses and magnificent wonders of space.
on February 2, 2004
not to toot my own horn, but i listen to quite a lot of music. especially music that is 'electronic' in nature. some of my favorites include the staples such as boards of canada, prefuse 73, dabrye, telefon tel aviv, aphex twin, autechre, four tet, unkle, massive attack, bjork...the list goes on. after years of listening to various genres of music, it is almost as if my ears have finally been blessed with the equivalent of a musical soulmate. i have known about amon tobin for years. in fact, i recall constantly picking up and looking at the cover of supermodified 4 years ago, way before i started to really listen to music that is more 'electronic' in nature. today, it reached a boiling point. i went out specifically to buy out from out where. it was like i had been putting it off for years. let me just say this, i am more than pleased with the result. the only word that i can think of to describe the music he creates is vast. i take that back, vast and cinematic. you know what, there are too many words that can be used to describe this album. let me conclude by saying that this is amazing music that the experienced ear will adore. on a side note, pick up rjd2's deadringer and dabrye's one/three: both equally excellent albums.
on December 8, 2003
I had been aware of Amon Tobin for a while but didn't listen to any of his CD's until I found this. I immediately knew this was amazing, in fact I best compare it to what DJ Shadow did with Endroducing. This CD revitalized the genre with such a great cinematic vision. Many of the tracks on this CD are perfect for licensing of all kinds, regular commecials, movie trailers, etc. It's definetely very moody and trippy so no comedies here, except maybe with Verbal, but it's a stretch, unless we're talking about a Snatch type of comedy.
Amon is great, I've come to conclude. Since I discovered this album, I have picked up every single Amon CD available, including Adventures in Foam / Cujo, and have located him on a dozen samplers and soundtracks. Keep an ear out for this guy, he deserves to be scoring films, and in fact, he should be scoring for all forms of advertising.
Amon rules, that's all I can say. I'm glad to read that everyone else that listens to him likes him just as much as I do. Hopefully, if you haven't heard this album, you will decide to check it out after this.
Good luck in your musical quest, but just know, I've listened to almost every other CD that came out in 2003 and very few actually compare to Out From Outwhere. It's utter brilliance.
on November 8, 2003
I've been aware of Amon Tobin for ages but asside from occasionally rummaging through his CDs in the stores and sometimes scanning through the tracks on test-listen thingies, I don't know why but I always resisted the urge to actually buy one of his albums. Sometimes I was just overly conscious of financial problems (although that always seemed to be an issue which was overlooked when it came to top-notch music) or it felt awkward discovering an artist who's really cool and been around for ages so late and it made me feel like I've been so deprived and ignorant. Eventually it got to the stage where everytime I'd go into a CD store I'd end up looking at all his CDs and still never buying one even though I spent so much time pondering on which would be the best to start with. It became a sort of obsessive ritual. I even read reviews about his albums from critics and fans. It didn't make sense that I didn't have any of his CDs yet and that I kept putting it off because I felt stupid for not investigating and discovering him at an earlier stage. My last visit to the CD store was the last straw because I was subconsciously intending of getting Supermodified or Out From Outwhere. I don't feel guilty for discovering Amon so late because I've been reminded of how getting into an artist with a colourful history has its advantages as well. From this one album alone I understand that Amon has a very rich and exciting body of work and a promising future.
It's been quite a while since I've discovered such a rare and exhilarating cultural electronic album full of creative exotic scattered bleeps and random sounds, dark droning atmospheric bass, surround synths and a range jungle chill and heavy post-apocalyptic industrial beats. It incorporates elements of ambient, jungle, trip-hop, industrial and gothic soundscapes. You can't quite dance to it but you can sit back and cruise with it and truly appreciate this talented DJ's work. I'm glad I've finally bought it and I really want to buy more of his CDs as I anticipate his new releases. If you like this particular album I also recommend Robert Miles' Organik.
on October 29, 2003
AMON TOBIN--I think I love you, Dude!!! Never in my life have I heard such original material than what can be heard on "Out From Out Where" except for on "Bricolage" and "Supermodified", of course. I hadn't gotten "Permutations" yet--Hell, I can't find it!--, but it's only a matter of time before I do. I'll admit to being a fan of D&B and some house/techno, but it was becoming a dying and very lackluster genre, until Tobin came along!!! This man brilliantly takes so many styles of music and melts them into one creating a landscape of funky, primal, eerie and --believe it or not--beautiful soundtracks. "Out From Out Where" is a little more raw than its predecessors and the jazz embellishments he once used are very minimal here,if present at all, but that doesn't take away from the album itself. Tobin overcompensates with plenty of orchestral sounds, ambient melodies, and quirky samples from God knows where--two samplers, Tobin? I'd say at least 10! This baby opens with a bang with "Back From Space" and keeps it krunk with the super-funky "Verbal"! Next is the utterly chaotic "Chronic Tronic" that sounds like something from one of those Post-Apocalyptic action flix. Then Tobin slows it down a tempo with the swingin',"Searchers" and the psychedelic, "Hey, Blondie!" But wait!! He revs you back up with "Rosies", that is too funky!!!!! "Cosmo Retro Intro Outro" takes you back to the days of breakdancin' and I'm sure will be used in cheerleader routines across the counrty! "Triple Science" is scary, plain and simple, and gives you a sense of impending doom--"OMIGOD!! Don't go in there!!!" "El Wraith", "Proper Hoodidge" and "Mighty Micro People" slows you down once again, which after the thrill-ride you just experienced on the first 3/4 of "Out From Out Where", is just what you need to settle you back down!
on July 11, 2003
Out From out Where, the follow-up release to Supermodified, is another example of why people see drum n bass as a dying genre. It's not because the album exemplifies that, but rather because it exemplifies what most drum n bass musicians dont do. Amon Tobin is an enigma, his music can be, and has been, categorized anywhere from techstep to acid jazz to idm. The balance in elements rolled into one song is on par, and the fact that he can seemlessly mix so many non-traditional features into a song is really a testament to artistic originality. It's almost a sin to call him a drum n bass musician, because it instantly paints a portrait of another dying musician who cant explore outside of the redundant beat patterns and occassional synth interludes.
The track is mainly d n b, however. The good kind. The only exception is Verbal, which is more of a breakbeat mixture, which took a while to grow onto me. The music isn't as experimental as in Supermodified, but it's more danceable, so it's good either way. Tobin has really evolved in so many ways from his earlier works, this album is just another stepping stone.
on February 6, 2003
Tobin has done it again. He is the only one in the industry that can take such complex and inaccessable sounds and mould them into batucada masterpieces for all to enjoy. This record is more of a progression from Permutation rather than from supermodified. Larger than life beats are embedded in dense atmospheres and embraced by catchy jazz textures to create masterpieces that will shatter your peace. All tracks are intricately produced, you can almost feel Tobin's imaginative meanderings...its a one of a kind sensation.
Each and every track is amazing...there is no filler...Tobin has worked equally hard on every song on the CD. Personally i like "Verbal" the best. Amon Tobin has outdone himslef on this one. He has litrally chopped up a mysterious rhyme into illegible pieces and fused it with a string loop and laid it all over a strong beat that is impossibally catchy. That is an exceptional track. Another track i feel worthy of special mention is "Hey Blondie". It sratts off really cool and almost loungy but dont be fooled by that...after all its Amon Tobin...he is not gonna let you off easy...the tracks truns into a monstrous head bopper that you will get addicted to. The last track "Mighty Micro People"...is also very interesting. Tobin, after tossing you around throug out the CD, calms you down and puts you in relaxed state of mind. That, i feel, is his way of saying good buy...till i see you again!
Tobin fans...i really should not have to tell you this...go out and get it if you still havent!!!! New commers can start with this one or Supermodified. Also if Tobin intrests you, you shoudl check ou "Squarepusher", "Boards of Canada", "The Cinematic Orchestra", "DJ Shadow", "Clifford Gilberto", "Plug", "Wagon Christ" and "Cujo"...peace.
on January 3, 2003
5 and half star no question whatsoever. I have been listening to techno/electronic music since last 20+ years and, after listening to this CD, I am questioning myself how can I miss Mr Tobin? I am glad Tower Records here in Brea, CA had it on listening station. I bought it on on sample listen! I read all of the above reviews and while I agree with most but surprised to no mention of Future Sound Of London that this music resembles.( actually different in a way Gucci clothes v/s Armani clothes) Mr. Tobin being Gucci to FSOL's minimalist ala Armani. On my high end system all the textures , background notes and ambience comes thru the way it is meant to be. It is intelligent music alright that will highly appeal to the elite and shopisticated (no pretentiousness intended) lucky few. The rest can be happy with Dance floor one note tempo compilations... ( again no pretentiousness intended). Thoes who wants to explore can try FSOL's 'Lifeforms' and 'Dead cities' music 'programs'. I am going to buy Tobin's past work next ( all three)
on October 29, 2002
The FDA should look into the contents of this album. I suspect there's something woven into the morass of sounds here that should be considered addictive. Previous Tobin albums, although brilliant, neglected to incorporate a bit of "rest" - with repeated listens, the percussion tended to get over-zealous and the chaos a bit heavy.
OFOW feels as if it operates with 5x the analytical complexity of previous albums. The "muddy" texture of previous albums is gone but the same interest in collage, dissonance and chaos still holds center stage. This album pushes the envelope by incorporating silences and/or singular melodic passages allow the mind to better appreciate the next burst of dissonance. Also present here are a number of items that are new among Tobin's repetoire of sounds: voices and acoustic elements vye with the electronics to create a strange dark nostalgic mood. It's a brilliant acheivement made by an artist who continues to push the boundaries of what music can be. No one else comes close.
on October 22, 2002
First, if you're debating whether or not to buy into the Amon Tobin hype and buy this CD, then you *might* want to consider his "Supermodified" disc. But honestly, you cannot go wrong with this one either. For just when I wondered what had happened to the man, whether he was going to come out with another disc at all let alone one that could hold up to his previous phenomenal sounds, he gives us OFOW, and I am humbled. I think his Supermodified disc is a little more accessible, a little more edgy but I've also played it a lot more than I have this new one - so far. I'll concede that it's possible I'll change my stance some day and suggest to any Tobin nooB to buy OFOW instead...
That said, what is this music like? Well, that's a real tall order, a very difficult question to answer. I'm reminded distantly of Underworld, but it's been a while since I've listened to them. The mood Amon sets is jazzy (thank Joe) and somewhat dark, science fiction enters into it at times, with beats a-plenty yet never ovebearing or tiresome, it's like the direction break-beat/jazzish/techno music is going, he's there first, blazing away, experimenting, knocking us over with his sonic methods. It's great headphone music, if you are so inclined. Hmmm, I told you this would be hard...
I'm tempted to complain how long it's taken him to get this new disc out but you know what, better he takes his time and gives us beautiful aural treatments like OFOW - I'll just play it that much more until the next track comes out of his massive brain ;o)