Brazilian DJ/composer/sound designer/revolutionary Amon Tobin returns to the East Coast with his re-vamped and expanded ISAM 2.0 tour. Those unlucky souls who missed Tobin and his massive cubic stage setup last year have been given a second chance to experience the evolution of live electronic music; New York, there are still tickets available to tomorrow night's show.
I caught the second performance of last year's two-night stint at Brooklyn Masonic Temple. I entered expecting a lot, and left more impressed and humbled by an artist's executed vision than ever before. ISAM live showcases not only an exhilirating, overstimulating A/V spectacle, but the apex of Amon Tobin's career thus far. A breakbeat/drum and bass producer who committed himself to sonic experimentation without comprise found more success than I think anyone could have predicted - and I don't just mean financial success.
'Foley Room,' barring recordings of the Kronos Quartet, was made entirely out of field recordings; 'ISAM' pushes that to its logical extreme, turning each sound into otherwordly instruments. Both albums came after five breakbeat oriented releases that pushed the style's boundaries further from the dancefloor, and deeper into film noir territory. Successful experimentation is far from easy; yet Amon's had rarely a misstep.
But the best part about the ISAM Live tour? That the whole world took notice. Rolling Stone, Coachella, MTV...the mainstream media has finally acknowledged a wholly experimental electronic artist...that has nothing to do with EDM or Dubstep. Could the EDM craze have helped bring Amon reach such wide recognition? Maybe - but in a world of laptop DJs with fireworks, something about Amon's history, talents, and stage exhibition suggests otherwise.
All to say: if you haven't seen ISAM live, go see it. If you haven't heard enough of Amon Tobin's back catalogue, I've put together a short mix of what records I own from the past decade of his releases. Listen to it here.