Amon Tobin has made his name as an electronic producer who tears down stylistic boundaries and creates something fresh from the debris. With Foley Room, he does exactly that, creating an innovative mix of complex grooves and lush harmonics, all thanks to the wonders of field recording.
On previous releases, Tobin largely sampled vinyl records for his rich jazz and classical sound palette. But here he almost completely abandons album samples to compose with recordings he captured personally—from the instruments of the Kronos Quartet, who pluck and bow as they wouldn’t without Tobin egging them on, to noises created by animals, insects and machines. He’s processed and combined all these elements into a contextually intriguing and aurally invigorating stew of slow and mid-tempo electronic music. One standout includes “Esther’s,” which pairs the gurgling hums of a motorcycle, the evil buzz of wasps and a buoyant surf guitar riff with a haunting piano melody and a churning breakbeat, resulting in catchy and danceable digitized surf music.
Foley Room represents Tobin’s progression as a producer and a demonstration of his ability to fuse wildly contrasting timbres into music that’s not only inventive, but genre-defying. (Ira Sather-Olson)