The London-based electronica label Ninja Tune is blessed with a wonderfully deranged roster of knob-twiddling and fader-flailing oddballs such as Kid Koala, DJ Food, and Coldcut. Jazzy junglist Amon Tobin is no exception to this rule, as his panoramic productions manage to combine a battery of organic influences (Brazilian samba, Art Blakey's jazz drumming, symphonic string arrangements) with plenty of electronic ones (drum 'n' bass, ambient hum, trip-hop) into meticulously arranged displays of jaw-dropping sampler skills. The drill-'n'-bass muscle flexing links him to fellow purveyors of IDM (Intelligent Dance Music) such as Squarepusher and µ-ziq, but the richly textured arrangements of strings and horns evoke such master orchestrators as Gil Evans and Lalo Schifrin. So, for every hardcore excursion into the dark-hued world of spastic beats and fuzzed-out bass ("Rhino Jockey," "Golfer vrs. Boxer"), there are equally impressive moments of noir-jazz cool ("Natureland") and swinging organ-funk ("Get Your Snack On").
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Supermodified is a next logical step in Tobin's warping of jungle-meets-jazz-meets-triphop-meets-the chilly places we won't go to on our own. Distinct influences and styles become fused together in a tapestry of pointillistic sounds and moods. It's taken me a fair amount of time to have this album completely sink in, which is good in that nothing is forthright (i.e. boring by the third listening). But it also has a slight feeling of misguidance to it. It isn't quite as unified as his previous albums, and tends to lose it's flow about halfway through. I still suggest it to any Tobin fans, as well as anyone curious and looking for a good exotic adventure.
as much as i love supermodified, i still think permutation was just a bit better -- it was more consistent than this CD. but regardless, supermodified is a great disc, full of tobin's creative use of jazz and other genres. the first track is the best, without a doubt -- see if you can listen to it just once!