Amon Tobin marches to no one’s beat but his own. In a career spanning over ten years he has been connected to but never belonged to a host of scenes and styles. He has consistently made the music he feels he needs to make, not what other people think he ought to make, always exhibiting a level of attention to sonic detail which makes his music more intensely textured, beautiful and brutal than almost anyone’s out there.
Make no mistake – Stunt Rhythms is about beats and bass. The model for the album comes from Fools Rhythm (included here), one of the standout tracks from Ninja’s 20th anniversary ‘XX’ Boxset, an infectious mixture of playground melody, sharp beat and thunderous bass.
Although Amon’s love of the lower reaches of low end will undoubtedly cause people to reach for lazy comparisons with dubstep, Stunt Rhythms is in fact more accurately viewed as his love letter to hip hop – less the rampant consumerism of, say, G-Unit’s “Stunt 101” than the early culture of innovation and freshness, of showing off simply that you’re better at what you do than anyone else. So while tracks like “Snap” could be said to literally break down classic hip hop to its constituent components and put them back together in completely new shapes, the more uptempo tracks like “Razorback” come on like a whole new soundtrack for an as-yet-uninvented future pop-locking. If you imagine Mantronix as a Kenworth K100 truck, Two Fingers is what happens when the truck turns into Optimus Prime.
Uncompromising, muscular and powerful, the music of Two Fingers is also full of subtle touches, humour and a supple sense of rhythm. Which, when you think about it, is just showing off.