Amon Tobin – ISAM

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnybreaks/5639515582/” title=”ISAM by esquimauxpie, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5301/5639515582_919f45683e.jpg” width=”500″ height=”500″ alt=”ISAM”></a>

This is a new album by my favourite artist. It was scheduled to be released in one month’s time but it’s been moved up to now because of idiocy. Let me block-quote from the email,

Try as we might to protect our artists’ recordings until they’re ready to be released, create exciting campaigns to expose the leftfield/ interesting/ worthwhile music that we believe in, to the widest audience and on some of the smallest budgets, and sell enough records to keep doing so; some people just don’t get it. A nameless person who calls himself a journalist has decided that he, not us, is best placed to release the new Amon Tobin album, and to do so for free, online. We know these things happen, and we know that not everyone realises how much is invested in ambitious, groundbreaking tours, collaborations with brilliant artists and lovingly designed packaging… It still hurts. The man is not having it stuck to him. A faceless corporation is not being dealt a blow. All that happens is a lot of great ideas and music come under threat.

All of which is a long and frustrated way of saying that we’re moving forward the digital release of Amon Tobin’s masterpiece; ‘ISAM’. We know that for the fans who’ve taken the time to unearth music made for reasons other than pure commerce, hearing an album is available without actually hearing it is a slap in the face. We’d like everyone who’s invested that time and energy on the career of an artist like Amon Tobin to have the chance to own the album, in the form he and us intended, as soon as anyone else does. We’re sure you’ll see why we took so much care over it in the first place.

Unfortunately this is not the first time this is happened to Tobin. I recall that The Foley Room somehow got bootlegged months before it was ready too. Regarding this current situation, music journalism is hackwork at best and all they’re doing is driving the nails into their own coffin by doing this. Ninjatune should name and shame this individual if they are able to determine where the leaked copy came from and also stop sending advanced copies out to these so-called journalists. Let the web be the promotion.

So anyway, the 14 track album is available for digital purchase and d/load right now <a href=”http://www.amontobin.com/store/album/isam?utm_source=amon&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ISAM”>here</a> for only 8$ US, that’s only $7.45 Australian (LOL!). I just got it but haven’t listened yet and no doubt it’ll take a month or two to shape itself and for me to know how I feel about it.

Save to say that I’ve been listening to Amon Tobin’s work for over ten years and I’ve been meaning to write about him here just in the general sense because although they are very rare occurrences, my psyche has decided Tobin is the archetypal representation of The Artist in my dreams. A shadowy figure sometimes caught sight of on the periphery. The way I understand it is that the true artist lets their work shape their identity. Very few interviews and none of the ego and ‘all face-no substance’ approach that dominates today.

Addendum 5/5/11

I’ve listened a few times now. The last full album, The Foley Room, had lots of scuttling sounds. This one has less scuttling, a few more big sounds that sometimes approach chord sequences. And as a first ever, there are Amon Tobin songs with lyrics and people (an ethereal sounding woman) singing. All up kind of interesting but as with The Foley Room, it’s not exactly easy-listening. Eventually I will have listened to the album enough times that’ll have it’s own feel, but it doesn’t come easily or quickly.  I like it but I guess my personal preference is for the kind of sounds that Amon used to make on albums like Supermodified and the Chaos Theory soundtrack — a bit more 4 on the floor groove.