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Amon Tobin v. Amon Tobin in Russia

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.”

By Marc Weidenbaum

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