Cujo: Adventures in Foam

Adventures in Foam

Rating: 9.4

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Strange as it may seem, electronic music's suddenly been embraced by the mainstream. This isn't news to anyone, but man, isn't it just weird? When grunge exploded in 1992, electronic was dead. Until its corpse twitched and the Chemical Brothers uttered the incantation that resurrected it. Suddenly alive and bursting with energy, it assumed a whole new lifeform.

Being faced with the aftermath of grunge, we realize that a lot of it was pretty damn terrible. And it's already evident that the Chemical Brothers are not all that when compared to artists like Amon Tobin.

See, while bands like the Prodigy have been thrusting high- powered techno into the faces of high school kids everywhere, Tobin's been quietly releasing the best records drum-n-bass has to offer. His 1997 release, Bricolage, not only came off as the most inventive record of the year, but as one of the most inventive records of the decade. His brand of cool jazz and epileptic rhythmic spasms secretly took over the world. And no one even noticed.

Tobin also put out Adventures in Foam under the psuedonym Cujo. The album turned out to be a psychotic blend of crazy- assed horn solos, breezy atmospheres, and breakbeats that got totally out of hand. Foam is certainly more playful than Bricolage with tracks like the stealthy "Cat People," the smoky '70s rhythms of "Fat Ass Joint," the tribal shuffle of "The Brazillianaire" and the psychedelic UFO noises of the ass- kicking "The Sighting."

With Adventures in Foam, Tobin clues the listener into the fact that he's got a less- serious side. Not that he's ever blatently silly, but this record's got its share of clever moments. Of course, the focus is always on the music, which never fails to let the listener know who's in charge.

Yeah, some of us haven't fully gotten over the death of grunge. Then again, some of us have. For those about to rock, get the fuck outta here. We're dancin'!

-Ryan Schreiber