Review: Music for the strong-willed and not faint hearted, this Ithaca EP by Thys (aka Noisia) and Amon Tobin takes a listener through a spectral nether region of pastoral ambience and time-splitting cosmology. As if synths themselves, breathy chants of human chorals add a human touch to the vast and glacial atmospheres of the record, coming through at large in "Badlands", "Somewhere Else" and "Departure", with "Ithaca" itself shining in searing rays of synthesis layered to oblivion. Theatrical bass lines and deconstructed drums patterns add further narrative to the EP through their punctuation and offering of respite from its most dramatic moments, as heard in "Turning Point", with the complete package something like a soundtrack to a film documenting the edges of time, space and reality itself.
Letter From St. Anthony's (Reprise) - (1:50) 75 BPM
Review: Genre defying artist and renowned experimental acoustician Amon Tobin returns with the mysterious Thys to Nomark, the platform for all of Amon Tobin's material since 2019. This first release for 2020 sees four walls of theatrical sound and dynamic pull at all matter of heartstrings, be it in the cathedral reverb "Letter From St. Anthony's" to the overt classical grandeur of its reprise. Find haunted ballads and nostalgic sonic mementos in the lead track "Ghostcards" and down memory lane still, let the tolling melodies and probation-era horns take you there, all wrapped up the sizzle of crystalising effects, wavering textures and the bowed bottom end of Amon Tobin's supersonic bass.
Review: Earlier this year, Amon Tobin returned to action after a lengthy hiatus with "Fear In A Handful of Dust", his first album in seven years. He clearly used his time out of the limelight wisely, because he's already offered up a speedy sequel. "Long Stories" is picturesque and cinematic, moving between gentle ambient numbers, atmospheric soundtrack-style compositions, occasionally trip-hop style beat cuts and subtly experimental electronic soundscapes. It's largely melody-driven, with synthesized and "real" instruments (guitar, drums, strings) combining to conjure evocative moods and emotive musical movements. It's a far more mature set than his hard-wired early work, but then Tobin is now an elder statesman of electronica so it should be expected.
Review: Fear In a Handful Of Dust is Amon Tobin's first artist album proper since 2011's ISAM, and sees him conjure up a brooding soundscape. Steel guitars and evocative chimes on "On A Hilltop Sat The Moon" kick start the album, while "Vipers Follow You" and "Freeformed" see the singular artist disappear down jazz and gamelan-influenced wormholes respectively. Fans of MBV will find much to love on the droning "Pale Forms Run By" and "Heart Of The Sun", while "Fooling Alright" sees him turning the current fascination with orchestras in electronic music on its head, detuning strings and turning vocals into strange shapes. It makes for a weird and wonderful journey.
Review: Fans of A/V pioneer Amon Tobin were thrilled when he broke a three-year silence with an exclusive Record Store Day release of Dark Jovian last month. However not everyone was able to get their hands on the luxuriantly packed double vinyl set, so now a digital version has surfaced to keep everybody happy. It's a stunning five-track cosmic soundtrack inspired by Tobin's obsession with space exploration movies and an attempt 'to interpret a sense of scale, like moving towards impossibly giant objects and planets turning'. Also included are haunting reworks by Lee Gamble, Logos and Eprom!
Review: In the 12 years since he unfurled acclaimed debut album Clarence Park, one-man electronica factory Chris Clark has produced a vast body of work. He's been particularly busy on the remix front, completing a huge array of reworks. It's this work that makes up the vast majority of Feast/Beast, a remix retrospective (which, curiously, also includes some notable reworks of his material) split into two distinct halves. The first disc, Feast, focuses on the more melodic, other-worldly end of his output, delivering wide-eyed remixes of Amon Tobin, Kuedo and, most beautiful of all, Silverman. Beast, the second disc, moves into darker, tougher territory, joining the dots between techno, bass music, vintage hardcore and wonk-hop thanks to notable versions of Massive Attack, Maximo Park and Depeche Mode.