#99: ‘Permutations’ by Amon Tobin

#99. Amon Tobin – Permutations [1998]

The ebb and flow of electronic music over the last decade has pretty much left the average American with a view that electronic is pretty much Moby, the Chemical Dudes, Aqua and those firestarting people with the crazy hair. And really, if you believe radio (well, again, American radio), that is what it became for mainstream listeners. This is, of course, the equivalent to saying that if you’ve heard Mozart, you’ve heard all classical (not to say any of the aforementioned electronic artists are like Mozart in any way shape or form), and that conclusion is dead wrong. If you are one of those people who do not think too highly of electronic but like music on the whole, I suggest you swallow your pride (or ego) and find yourself a copy of Permutations (or if you can’t find that, album #105, Bricolage work be a welcome substitute). Brazilian DJ/artist/musician Amon Tobin has been on the forefront of electronic for years, yet no one really knows who he is short of the Splinter Cell fanatics who got into his soundtrack to the videogame a few years back. All in all, this is a shame. Tobin mixes acid jazz, film noire, drum and bass, jungle and ridiculous musical allusions into a hypnotic blend that transcends the sadly short-sighted electronic genre and makes music that, unlike Prodigy and the like, doesn’t sound dated within 10 minutes of hearing it. Permutations still sends chills down my back when I pop it in driving down the highway at night where you half expect a fleet of UFO’s to come down and make away with my car. It is creepy, it is surreal, it is enthralling and might change your view on electronic from here on in (even if there isn’t much left of the genre).

Excellent tracks: Escape, Like Regular Chickens, Nightlife, Sordid, Reanimator, Bridge

EG100 Score: 77.29


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