10 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brazil-born, Bay Area-based producer Amon Tobin made his name in the late '90s with some of the most dazzlingly hyperkinetic electronic music since jungle. Fear in a Handful of Dust is radically dynamic, but it’s a long way from the jazz-sampling breakbeat fantasias of his early work: Entirely avoiding traditional percussion, electronic as well as acoustic, Tobin instead sinks his teeth into slippery layers of tone and texture. Like ruined spires beneath the waves, the occasional hint of a familiar shape lurks below the surface: That might be a guitar plucking its way through “On a Hilltop Sat the Moon,” while the pitch-shifted arpeggios of “Fooling Alright” conjure lysergic fun-fair memories. But for the most part, Tobin’s shape-shifting soundscapes are a foray into pure abstraction, in which the metallic ripples of a 20th-century composer like Morton Subotnick are filtered through the expressiveness of contemporary experimental music at its most lyrical.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Brazil-born, Bay Area-based producer Amon Tobin made his name in the late '90s with some of the most dazzlingly hyperkinetic electronic music since jungle. Fear in a Handful of Dust is radically dynamic, but it’s a long way from the jazz-sampling breakbeat fantasias of his early work: Entirely avoiding traditional percussion, electronic as well as acoustic, Tobin instead sinks his teeth into slippery layers of tone and texture. Like ruined spires beneath the waves, the occasional hint of a familiar shape lurks below the surface: That might be a guitar plucking its way through “On a Hilltop Sat the Moon,” while the pitch-shifted arpeggios of “Fooling Alright” conjure lysergic fun-fair memories. But for the most part, Tobin’s shape-shifting soundscapes are a foray into pure abstraction, in which the metallic ripples of a 20th-century composer like Morton Subotnick are filtered through the expressiveness of contemporary experimental music at its most lyrical.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Bitcoiner215 ,

Stunning!

This is his best work yet. Complex and captivating.

sludge ,

Unlestinable

I thought this tweaky navel gazing was played out in the 90s but some people are still trying to hammer us over the head with it. Aphex Twin and other artists beat us to death with it already, there's no reason to revisit it. It's already been proven insular and unmusical enough that only the most hardcore adherents can take it for long. Most people who listen to it don't listen to it as music. It's on in the background as a "cool"white noise. But if you turn it up you'll want to beat someone's head in until they turn it off.

Supermodified and Out from Where were the most amazing albums I'd ever heard when they came out. And I realize it's impossible to realease another like them. They are his magnum opus. Even Adventures in Foam was incredible as an avid collector looking for his origins of Jazz fusion. His Chaos Theory soundtrack also has some amazing moments in it.

But I'd rather have no new album than this. It's a test of patience at best. At worst, it makes me want to throw it out the window.

hyperskreem ,

Incredible

Pale Forms Run By catapults me into the ethers; incredible. He never fails to disappoint. More refined and melodic than his contemporaries In the genre. This is beautifully calculated not a bunch of noise

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