Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Big Dada
Anyone who stayed until the conclusion of Amon Tobin’s recent ISAM Live Tour witnessed the intensity with which the Brazilian producer abuses his bass cabinets. Unlike ISAM’s spatial, cinematic themes, Tobin’s encore is a showcase of bass melodies with a propensity for hip-hop beats. Tobin lets this side of his personality shine on Stunt Rhythms, produced under the moniker Two Fingers.
Stunt Rhythms, the latest full-length from noted boundary-pushing experimental electronic musician Amon Tobin (working here under the pseudonym Two Fingers), opens with a throbbing sawtooth bassline, breakneck rhythmic turnarounds, and a wobbling midrange synth lead; a baffling move considering that those are the unmistakable trademarks of Americanized dubstep. Tobin has made his name on nearly two decades of highly technical sound manipulation, like the intricately tweaked field recordings that have made up most of his recent output, so a listener initially confronted with "Stripe Rhythm" might suspect that the brainy, meticulous knob-twiddler might be having a laugh at the expense of his own reputation as a brainy, meticulous knob-twiddler. Further exploration of the record confirms this suspicion.
If everyone could just take a step back, perhaps a step down, and climb off the dubstep train for a moment. While I'm sure many will try to classify the new Two Fingers album, Stunt Rhythms, under the now overused dubstep umbrella, it's more Amon Tobin's love letter to hip-hop. Two Fingers are a collaboration between Tobin and musician/producer Doubleclick, though the latter has taken a step back on this second LP.