Amon Tobin

Foley Room

BY Stephanie KalePublished Mar 23, 2007

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! The resounding growls of such wild beasts were captured by sampling maestro Amon Tobin on a trip to the zoo and are only a small sampling of the many sources of field recordings he has foraged for his latest release, Foley Room. Others include roaring motorcycles, grinding chains, the crisp clashing of automated machinery, the delicate tiptoeing of ants, dripping water and clacking train tracks. Tobin also incorporates live instrumentation, including an arrangement of strings (cello, double bass, violin and viola), as well as employing a variety of ways to utilise a drum kit. Tobin travelled throughout North America and to Europe to gather a healthy sample library and the making of this album, as the accompanying DVD demonstrates, is the fulfilment of any child’s musical fantasy. Although this carries Tobin’s signature dark breaks and abstract drum & bass, Foley Room stands more as a pillar of sound collage that acknowledges a sonic and compositional lineage from the early school of musique concrete. Foley Room is almost clinical in its machine-like precision and arrangement of samples but it is also fiery, with a wide spectrum of found sounds from the natural world. Foley Room begins with "Bloodstone,” a manipulation of a recording session done with San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet that sounds like a procession of orchestral tuning. "Horsefish” is a Jim O’Rourke-ian post-rock ambient wander full of string arpeggios. Foley Room demonstrates that Tobin is undoubtedly a rough riding cowboy mapping out new territory on the aural frontier.
(Ninja Tune)

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