***1/2 Amon Tobin
DJ Amon Tobin's debut CD is a
laid-back, ultra-slick trip through experimental fields of jazz-based jungle
beats, deep liquid bass, polyrhythmic drum lines, and creaking machine parts.
It's also a personal, introspective album. Tobin is the epitome of the shy kid
who stays home dreaming up new sonic tricks like the enveloping bass of
"Defocus," which does for hearing what crossing your eyes does for vision, and
"Chomp Samba," which drives a samba rhythm up to the frenzied pace of 150 beats
Elsewhere, Bricolage is built around ambiance and mood rather than
danceability. But Tobin isn't content merely creating sonic wallpaper. His
sophisticated ear for jazz phrasing makes for challenging mixes in which he
plays the part of the serious songwriter, replacing the lyrics and guitars of
rock with sound collages built on borrowed beats. In a genre where irony and
mechanized groove rule the day, the human edge Tobin brings to techno is a
breath of fresh air.