Amon Tobin: ISAM Live
In case you are utterly bewildered by what just happened, that was a clip of electronic music pioneer Amon Tobin performing music from his album ISAM. Amon Tobin has been pushing electronic music to new levels since the mid-nineties, but with the creation of ISAM Live he has also redefined the art of performance. The mind-bending show features 3D projection mapping — the projection of video graphics onto a 3D surface — on an amazing and massive scale.
Tonight (8 March 2013) Amon comes to London’s Hammersmith Apollo to perform the newly supercharged version — ISAM Live 2.0. To my bemusement, there are still tickets available. If you live in London, it would be a travesty not to attend.
The amazingness of ISAM as a creative work is enhanced yet further when you learn of the painstaking methods Tobin employs to create his music. His 2007 album, Foley Room, for example, features field recordings of spinning radio telescopes, crawling insects and factory machinery; with ISAM, he has pushed the limits of how such sounds can be morphed into something unrecognisable using digital synthesis and effects:
You know you’re watching an interesting artist when one commenter writes “beautiful hands making beautiful sounds thank you angel”, and the next exclaims, “Sick as fu*k!!!” There is definitely a juxtaposition of extremes in Tobin’s work: old-skool recordings of ordinary objects meeting cutting-edge instruments (like the Haken Continuum); meticulous attention to detail in the sound production versus the unbridled madness of the live show.
For those of us who don’t get to see him in London tonight, here’s half an hour to sit back and enjoy in full HD:
And here is ISAM the album, for free, in its entirety:
Well done, Amon Tobin. Well done.