A new recipe for mixed beats

After Thursday’s Spring Carnival Concert featuring the The Roots, AB Coffeehouse will keep up the good music by rounding out Carnival weekend with the groundbreaking DJ Amon Tobin on Sunday at 8 p.m. in McConomy.

Tobin is best known for his distinctive use of sampling and sound manipulation. Though Tobin spent years pulling apart and remixing vinyl sources, his more recent work features sounds of all origins. Tobin distorts everyday sounds beyond recognition, then pieces them back together over distinctive breakbeats.

Tobin’s influences include (but are by no means limited to) kitchen utensils, robotics, animals, motorcycles, and, of course, other musicians. The resulting sound is often spacious, sometimes frenetic, and never stale, ranging from the spooky churchiness of “El Cargo” to the swanky chill of “Night Fire.”

Although his use of sound inarguably pushes the envelope, a statement on Tobin’s personal website makes it clear that he doesn’t consider his music avant-garde, just enriched by different sounds and techniques. According to his label Ninja Tune’s website, the end result of all this sound-play is “still pure Amon Tobin, but pushed miles forward in sonics and melody due to the depth of source material.”

Ninja Tune was founded by DJs Matt Black and Jon More (AKA Coldcut), and signs electronic, nu jazz, and instrumental and abstract hip-hop artists such as Bus Driver and Kid Koala, who made an appearance at Carnegie Mellon last year.

Tobin, a Brazilian ex-pat working out of Montreal, made his debut on the electronica scene in the mid-’90s with Adventures in Foam, at the time styling himself Cujo, after the famous Stephen King novel.

Ninja Tune records took instant notice of Cujo and signed him on in 1996. Tobin has since generated six albums under his own name, most recently Foley Room, which came out in February of last year.

Tobin’s “Sabotuer,” off of Supermodified, gained notoriety as the main theme of the blockbuster The Italian Job, starring Mark Wahlberg. In recent radio interviews, filmmaker Luc Besson has indicated that he might be interested in incorporating Tobin’s music in the third installment of The Transporter series, due out in 2009.

Tobin has also done work on video game music, scoring and producing the latest sequel in the Tom Clancy Splinter Cell franchise in January 2005.

Opening for Amon Tobin will be local break-core artist Xanopticon and down-tempo IDM artist Discuss.

Since 2000, Xanopticon has been touring nationally and internationally, mixing fast, cutting beats in psychotic style.

Nearly every track on the group’s November 2007 EP, The
Silver Key, is a frantic hybrid of IDM, drum, and bass.

Discuss takes a much different tack, with a slower tempo that creates a more relaxed and introverted sound, which has often been compared to Scottish duo Boards of Canada. Discuss gained local momentum with a self-released, self-titled album in late 2006.