Amon Tobin – Out from Out Where

4 out of 5

Label: Ninja Tune

Produced by: Amon Tobin

After mastering electro beats across his first few releases, refiguring a house style to fuse with his appreciation of jazz and world music, Out from Out Where is the album on which Amon Tobin broke it all down to understand his compositions from the inside out, and outside in.  The mysteriously oblique album title and first track ‘Back From Space’ are, to me, indicators: Tobin steps into his genre with alien ears, kicking things off with an aggressive, but fun blend of danceable beats, including the hip-hop touched single Verbal.  This section of the album, Peaking with the ‘you know what I’m talking about’ jam Chronic Tronic is an amazing whirlwind of mimicry, taking the best of what Amon had given us before and amping it up with noise and jungle beats.  Starting with Searchers, and on the dense, retro-flecked Rosies – and then the goofy, aptly named Cosmo Retro Intro Outro – Tobin pushes and pulls, peeling back the groove for immersion in noise.  These tracks are fascinating, but perhaps where the album gets a bit too overbearing.  The result of this, though, is one of the most fantastic, straight-forward rushes yet – Triple Science – like the ‘formula’ for badass music discovered, giving way to the album’s fantastic closing set, which goes dark, and surging, prefiguring the ambient excurisions Tobin would take on discs like ISAM, finally blossoming into the contemplative Mighty Micro People, ready to journey on to new musical pastures…

Making Out from Out Where quite a journey itself.  An ear-grabbing one, no doubt, and often genius.  It takes us through a crucible of hustle and bustle to get there, but it’s a journey that is, at every point, undeniably worth it.