Published Apr 17, 2015It's been four years since the release of ISAM, the 2011 album with which Amon Tobin took live visual performances into a new realm. Now, with Dark Jovian, Tobin traverses another realm yet again: outer space. He does this sonically, not visually, but some of the productions are powerful enough that they conjure up their own images. "lo," for example, plays like a gradual arrival at an immense celestial body, where eventually the planet consumes your field of vision and you start to notice its little details. This is an intentional experience; Tobin wanted to develop a vast sense of scale here.
The EP was recorded a couple of years ago, after Tobin binge watched space exploration movies, and they obviously had a huge affect on Dark Jovian's tone. These are intergalactic ambient tracks, light years away from the heavy, percussion-laced samples of his earlier work. On headphones, especially, all the subtle shifts in texture are momentous.
Those itching for something more beat-driven may look to the remixes on offer, but these, too, adhere to the EP's ambient mode. Both the Lee Gamble and Logos reworks are somewhat redundant, offering not much beyond the original tracks. Only Eprom really puts an interesting spin on things, grinding "In Your Own Time" to fit his charmingly childish take on production. (Ninja Tune)