Published Oct 25, 2019Mere months after releasing his superb album, Fear in a Handful of Dust, Amon Tobin returns with Long Stories. Listeners won't be surprised to find that both albums were recorded in parallel; indeed, the otherworldly tone of Handful of Dust is all over this new release too: "Full Panther," (from Long Stories), for example, is deeply reminiscent of the previously released "Velvet Owl."
While the similarities between the two are obvious, they're still different albums at heart. Handful of Dust seems like a beautiful experiment, whereas Long Stories drifts through space in a warm tub. There's much more focus on the ambient here, with all percussive elements very much taking a back seat. Save for a few punctuated snare hits at the end of "Dust for a Duster," there aren't any beats to speak of, actually.
Instead, Tobin focuses heavily on melody and atmosphere, of which there are boatloads. All the creaks, whirs and angelic tones make Long Stories a veritable soundtrack for primordial soup. If the beginnings of life on Earth had musical accompaniment, this would be it.
Even though you can't nod your head to this one, it's arguably just as impressive as Handful of Dust. We'd suggest listening to them side-by-side, as they really do complement each other very well. (Nomark)