Release Date: Jan 25, 2005
Record label: Ninja Tune
It can long be debated what software maker Ubisoft expected when it hired Amon Tobin to soundtrack the Tom Clancy video game Splinter Cell 3: Chaos Theory, but surely it never predicted getting, along with the deal, a ragtag lineup of desperate musicians that spanned three continents and included the composer of one of time's strangest cult films, the surrealist 1971 Mexican fantasy El Topo. Tobin, long a fan of vintage soundtracks himself, had evidently wanted to expand his comfort zone after a series of increasingly similar (but excellent) LPs recorded for Ninja Tune. When he got the gig for Chaos Theory, he promptly began collecting a live band (to sample), which eventually absorbed -- in true Dirty Dozen form -- a reclusive Mexican composer named Nacho Mendez (who anchors the rhythm section with his earthy bass), Massimo and Umberto Modugno, a pair of feuding Italian brothers who work magic with the Hammond and Mellotron, and a Japanese flutist named Eiji Miyake (among others).