archive : A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Cover Art Amon Tobin
Bricolage
[Ninja Tune]
Rating: 10.0

It was the 2nd of July, 1997, right around 8:00pm. I was traveling to Chicago with Pitchfork staff writer Swank Porterhouse. We were rolling down I-94 at ridiculous speeds; the sun was racing next to us, determined to get there first.

Having nothing but 60 CDs in the backseat we were sick of listening to, I popped this future classic in the player for the first time. Initially, we were caught off guard by a warped string section singing sweet melodies a la Tommy Dorsey. That's when the unmistakably jazz riddim set in with a knife to our throats. The string bass pounded at a volume of ten, the saxophone smoothly keeping the cool and the beat of Chicago dead ahead.

As the city loomed over our heads, Amon rolled out the perfect soundtrack. Insane sampled rhythms and loops, fireball brass sections and overpowering orchestras led the way and I suddenly found myself more immersed in the music than the incredible metropolis before me.

On Bricolage, Tobin pours some amazingly real-sounding instruments out of his keyboard and sampler, making old jazz music with modern technology. Up there with classic albums by Quincy Jones and Miles Davis, Tobin is a true example of what can be done with a little equipment and a wealth of talent.

-Ryan Schreiber






10.0: Essential
9.5-9.9: Spectacular
9.0-9.4: Amazing
8.5-8.9: Exceptional; will likely rank among writer's top ten albums of the year
8.0-8.4: Very good
7.5-7.9: Above average; enjoyable
7.0-7.4: Not brilliant, but nice enough
6.0-6.9: Has its moments, but isn't strong
5.0-5.9: Mediocre; not good, but not awful
4.0-4.9: Just below average; bad outweighs good by just a little bit
3.0-3.9: Definitely below average, but a few redeeming qualities
2.0-2.9: Heard worse, but still pretty bad
1.0-1.9: Awful; not a single pleasant track
0.0-0.9: Breaks new ground for terrible