Amȯn Tȯbin was born in Brazil, but spent his formative years in the UK. He came up through the breakdancing and hip-hop scenes in the 1980s, and the jungle and drum and bass scenes of the 1990s, before establishing a sound and a style that was singularly his own. He first emerged with a string of 12" singles on the small London label 9Bar Records, and his breakthrough first album, Adventures in Foam, led to his signing to Ninja Tune in 1996. For the next several years, he pushed the boundaries of found sound to the limits in acclaimed albums such as Bricolage (1997), Permutation (1998), Supermodified (2000), and out from out Where (2002), and pushed other compositional tactics forward in albums like Foley Room (2007) and ISAM (2011). Foley Room explored the role of sound design and field recordings, culminating in an acclaimed performance at the birthplace of musique concrete, the GRM in Paris. He also produced several original scores, ranging from the cult film Taxidermia to the video game blockbuster Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, and created numerous dancefloor-oriented singles and albums under the alias Two Fingers.
Tobin's 2011 album ISAM, an acronym for "Invented Sound Applied to Music," utilized advanced synthesis processing and production techniques traditionally reserved for sound design in film. It proved an influential contribution towards recent approaches to music production in electronic music. It also paved the way for a radically new kind of audiovisual performance. Hailed by major media outlets including Wired, Rolling Stone, NPR, and many others around the world, ISAM received global acclaim as a landmark in audiovisual performance. Projection mapping, which had been the domain of static and mostly corporate visual showcases, was configured for the first time to uniquely narrate the musical performance of an album. ISAM reshaped audience's expectations of electronic music concerts, and premiered at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, from the Sydney opera House to the olympia in Paris to the London Hammersmith, and many international festivals including Sonar, MUTEK and Moogfest.
The depth and scope of Amon Tobin's work have been a major inspiration to many. From the Kronos Quartet to Diplo, he achieved respect among artists within and outside electronic music. He established a reputation for musical ingenuity unconfined by genre, and over two decades remains one of the most visionary electronic artists of his generation.
— Geeta Dayal
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