Although Amon Tobin's last real album was released in 2003, the anticipation among Zenheads to hear new music has been irrevocably torrential. Imagine if Christmas only came once every three-and-a-half years, and you’re almost there. However, unlike the commercially driven buildup of more money equals more love and the inevitable heartbreak that ensues in predominantly white households on every Jesus Consumer day, there will be no disappointment attached to this release. Taking a cue from the surprising found/manipulated sound success of Herbert’s Scale in tow with his experience scoring the videogame Chaos Theory: Splinter Cell 3, Tobin has essentially walked away from the vinyl sample reconstruction recording techniques that defined the better part of his back catalogue and into a realm of greater possibility and originality.
For Foley Room, his sixth studio album, the ex-pat Brazilian sent a team of lackeys into the streets with high-powered recorders and a bag full of uppers. They came back with a creamy, eclectic selection of tigers roaring, cats eating rats, falling chickpeas, leaking taps, a veritable myriad of random sounds frozen in time. All of this sheer randomness was lovingly reconstituted into a collection of atmospheric trip-hop/downtempo layer upon layer, with a little instrumental help from the likes of the Kronos Quartet, Stephan Schneider, and Sarah Page. Album highlight “Esther’s” takes a deep rave bass, surf guitars, and disembodied piano and swarms it with a wash of wasps and gut-punching Harley Davidsons, just to give you an idea of the constructions here (the accompanying DVD will naturally give you a much better idea, but, hey, I tried). In execution, Foley Room is a work of unnatural beauty blessed to us by aliens from another dimension, guaranteed by design to make some year-end lists. Bow down to your overlords and buy this album.