Drum'n'bass deviant Amon Tobin fuses hip-hop and jazz compositional ideas with the bustling rhythms of hip-hop and jungle and the bent sonic mayhem of ambient and dub.
Unlike rolling junglists such as Alex Reece and Wax Doctor, however, who draw from a softer, "cooler" brand of jazz, Tobin aims to maintain the heat of bop and free jazz, pairing spry, galloping basslines with complex trap set orchestration and shrill, screaming horns. A native of Brazil, Tobin moved to the U.K. in the mid-'80s, when hip-hop was beginning to take hold and the rhythms of breakbeat electro-funk were replacing reggae and punk as the underground youth music of choice. Tobin didn't begin seriously making music until college, but his passion for the sampler, as well as the support and encouragement of breakbeat scientists at Ninebar and Ninja Tune, immediately convinced him to forgo a university career to focus on music (he was a few years into a photography degree when he put the whole project on hold).
Tobin began releasing material with a trio of EPs (a pair for Ninebar, as well as the Creatures EP for Ninja Tune) and a full-length LP as Cujo (Adventures in Foam on Ninebar). Bricolage, his first LP under his own name, was released in mid-1997. Beginning with 1998's Permutation, Tobin full-lengths followed every other year, including Supermodified in 2000 and Out from Out Where in 2002. A live performance was recorded for the Solid Steel series and released in 2004, and Tobin reached his highest profile when he recorded the soundtrack to a Tom Clancy video game, Splinter Cell 3. The studio album Foley Room, from 2007, relied on field recordings from Tobin and others, and featured performances by the Kronos Quartet. In 2009, he and drum'n'bass producer Doubleclick debuted an electro-rap project, Two Fingers, which released a self-titled album that year. The year 2011 proved hectic, including an original studio album (ISAM, which was entirely sample-free) as well as another album by Two Fingers and an album of Splinter Cell remixes. ~ Sean Cooper, Rovi