Word of a CD-length mix of music by Amon Tobin arrived over the holidays from a Russian-language Internet service provider. The mix, a 105MB, hour-and-a-half-long MP3 file titled FINtastik LOoM and credited to DJ U-Ra, strings together various Tobin cuts, from his cut’n’paste reworkings of classic jazz, to his drum’n’bass takes on Brazilian percussion, to his affectionate, Mantovani-style string sections. Tobin, with a few exceptions, tends to prefer his albums as collections of individual tracks, heard in a specific order. However, DJ U-Ra’s seamless format on this mix is very much like how Tobin presents his music in front of a live audience: a blending of individual elements that are considerably more discrete on his original recordings. In fact, U-Ra’s mix may come close to how Tobin’s music sounds in the memories of Tobin’s fans: the driving rhythms of the Piranha Breaks EP melting ineffably into the Bollywood remixes of his recent Out from Out Where album.
“Mash-ups” have made headlines for overlaying snippets of songs by Destiny’s Child atop Nirvana, and so forth. Perhaps the best potential mash-ups, though, are those that pit musicians against themselves, instead of against one another. For the time being, U-Ra’s remix is available here. The 17 original tracks used in the mix are listed in the MP3 file’s “comments” field as follows: “Stoney Streets,” “Toys,” “Nightlife,” “Like Regular Chickens,” “Yasawas,” “The Nasty,” “Subtropic,” “Escape,” “Deo,” “People Like Frank,” “Dream Sequence,” “Mission,” “Golfer vrs Boxer,” “Reanimator,” “Fast Eddie,” “Daytrip” and “Keepin’ It Steel.”