For yea and verily, the fourth episode of the world famous and much trusted Solid Steel mix series is here and this times it comes from the Silent Brazilian, Amon Tobin. After a year and half of performing, tweaking and perfecting his DJ set, Amon found himself in Australia in the final stages of a long but rewarding tour. Every night of this antipodean leg was recorded, and it was decided that this memorable and sweaty night in Melbourne, with Amon under the distracting influences of drugs, alcohol and Ozzy girls, would be the perfect opportunity to add to the Solid Steel series.
But wait! Surely by now you know that a Solid Steel mix demands that the artist go the extra yard and Amon does just that. Of course the custom versions of tracks are included, obviously there's hardly any point where just one track is playing and yes indeed, the exclusive (and brilliant) Introduction is in place. But this time, the really 'future shit' is that instead of having to laboriously cut loads of dub plates to play his special versions Amon was able to create the whole mix using just two pieces of vinyl.
The whole dark and dirty episode was performed using a software and hardware bundle called Final Scratch which, combined with his laptop and a set of decks, means Amon can mix two special time coded records on the turntables in the normal way while in fact triggering music files on his computer. If this sounds a bit techy then just know this - FinalScratch meant that our maestro could play out specially time stretched, tickled, tweaked and generally fucked up tunes he had made on the road in a way that is entirely new and entirely clever...and entirely loud. Check his three-headed Cerberus of 'Proper Hoodidge/4Ton Mantis/Hey Blondie' for evidence. It also means his record box has more room for his crisply ironed pyjamas and special 'Tour' Teddy Bear.
Amon has effortlessly incorporated many of his favourite aspects of drum and bass and heavy, heavy beats in the mix along with lush downtempo and even some Velvet Underground. The recording includes tracks he considers classics - old and new - with Suspicious Circumstance's 'Completely Real', Danny Breaks' awesome 'Science Fu' and T Power's 'Cuba' getting a look in. As this set was made as a DJ alternative to Amon taking a band out on the road he includes his own material alongside the music that has influenced and inspired him.
With the exception of a couple of edits to take out some tracks we couldn't get the rights to (Destiny's Child have no clue how big we could have made them), this is a straight front to back mix with no postproduction. You can almost feel Amon's tension knowing that all the mixes ride together for so long that the slightest bump on the decks will send the whole set off. And in those rare moments when there isn't multiple parts flying around in the mix you can almost visualize Amon patting down his pockets doing the 'lighter shuffle'. Rumours that if you listen carefully you can hear a Koala bear on PCP bogling and lifting her top to show Mr Tobin two fine lines of teats are unfounded.
This mix reflects all of Amon's musical passions and showcases his superb DJ skills coupled to cutting edge technology. This is his version of 'Live'. We’d better get used to it.