Ayo Jegede
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September 28, 2003
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Rock Music Reviews
Amon Tobin
Out From Out Where

British-born Brazillian DJ Amon Tobin--initially using the moniker Cujo--has an outstanding knack for detail. beyond the crashing percussion and drunken breaks of all his works, there exists a magnificent attention to undercurrents. 'Sordid' from 1997's Permutation and 'Deo' from 2000's Supermodified are songs to tap your feet to but whose vivid sampling and splicing is so perfectly done that the music's anima seems to emanate from all directions. for the most part i think fans of Tobin were really privy to the latter articulate features of his music because, unlike archetypal drum n' bass, Tobin doesn't want to subdue you with a loop or two but, akin to Cinematic Orchestra, seeks a greater potential in the genre. perhaps that's why so many people were disappointed with Out From Out Where.

many of the delectable breaks and samples found on his last 3 works have been significantly reduced and this work has almost come to the hilt of traditional d n' b. but the key word here is almost. one should note that even with his new emphasis of standard breakbeats, Tobin can by no means be pigeonholed into the same box as Goldie, Roni Size, Photek (prior to Solaris), or Aphrodite. 'Verbal,' 'Rosies,' 'Proper Hoodidge,' and the wonderful closer 'Mighty Micro People' still manage to make the current state of drum n' bass a provision or a dogged hiccup in what could be a far more expansive and interesting universe. these songs--as well as those found on the rest of the album--exhibit a training that i think many DJ's, irrespective of genre, are simply oblivious to.

few artists show such an academic predilection like Tobin (4 Hero, Zero 7, Prefuse 73) such that even in their most palatable form most people find them hard to digest. Out From Out Where is really no exception to that rule. Tobin's gift with taking a musical form so synthetic that it becomes alienating and turning it into something kinetic, passionate, and many times more interested shouldn't be underrated and if Out From Out Where is painfully and childishly abecedarian compared to his previous work then the genre itself is still nestled in a womb, denying itself the wondrous world Tobin has shown.

Release date: October 15, 2002
Label: Ninja Tune
Rating: 9.5 / 10

[RMR]