Sonic Dimensions

Amon Tobin

Venue: Sonar, Vancouver

Date(s): 1 March 2001

Reviewer: Cheryl Rossi

A transporting sound-scape filled the somewhat sterile Sonar when Amon Tobin from the UK's Ninja Tune label DJ'd.

Drum 'n' bass provided the foundation of Tobin's set, which incorporated jazzy undertones, hip hop influences, electronic rubber band sounds and, occasionally, frenetic beats. His genius lies in his ability to weave a variety of sounds to create an organic whole, rather than cheeky genre collages.

When he began his intense show, the club was packed with a University crowd, including too many loud talkers and gawkers who put forth no energy. Thankfully, the throng pruned itself, and those who had come to hear the music, not just to have a Thursday night out, were able to reach the dance floor.

Dancing mayhem ensued later in the set. Tobin started off heavily, drawing us slowly into his world of sound and later treating us to hard beats.

Unfortunately, there was a continual rotation of energy blockers who stood un-stirring, detracting from the otherwise perfect world created with music of heady depth and dance inspiring drive.

Tobin's mixing was curious at times. There wasn't always a smooth flow, but that's not to say it didn't work. Early in the evening he mixed in a couple of songs that sounded vaguely like cock rock, yet this somehow worked with the overall mood he'd created.

After the show I heard a women marvel at how she'd only had two beers, yet felt intoxicated. That's what I think Amon Tobin did for us; he melded music to create a potent sonic dimension.

2001, Cheryl Rossi


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