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Amon Tobin Biography

Home > Music > T > Tobin, Amon > Biography

Born: 1972/02/07
Birth Place: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Years Active: 1995 - present
Genres: Avant-garde, Electronic, Drum And Bass, Breakbeat, IDM, Trip-hop

Amon Tobin (born Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin February 7, 1972) is a Brazilin musician and composer from Rio de Janerio. A prominent figure in the world of electronic music, Tobin gained a reputation for his is unusual methodology in sound design and music production. When Tobin was 2 years old his family left Brazil and he moved around a lot as a child. In his teenage years, Tobin settled in Brighton, England where he began producing electronic music in his bedroom with a 4-track.

Tobin's break came when he sent a demo tape to Ninebar Records in London. The label liked what they heard and signed Tobin in 1996, with his debut for the label, “Adventures in Foam” arriving later that same year. Tobin was also releasing music under the moniker Cujo around this time.

The U.K. label Ninja Tune offered Tobin a record deal and released his second album, “Bricolage” in 1997. His third album “Permutation” was released in 1998. Independent radio stations aired Tobin's pieces during the summer of 1998 to positive listener reaction from conventional jazz aficionados, who identified with the computer-generated drums and composition.

Tobin released his fourth album, “Supermodified” in 2000. The album is regarded as his most commercial album to date.

In 2002, Tobin relocated to Montreal, Canada where he had spent time previously at Ninja Tune's North American Headquarters. Tobin lived in the industrial area of Old Montreal to avoid noise complaints from neighbors after dark. There he produced his fifth album “Out From Out Where” released that same year. This was his first album created primarily in a professional studio.

In January 2004, Tobin was contracted by video game company Ubisoft Montreal to compose the soundtrack for the third installment of their critically successful Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series, “Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.” To facilitate using the music in a video game, where the level of action or plot can change in real-time, each track was broken down by Tobin into four distinct but similar parts based on their level of intensity. The game's developers could then use each section to provide music based on the actions of the player. In addition to being included with the game, Ninja Tune released the score as an individual album in 2005, titled “Chaos Theory – Splinter Cell 3 Soundtrack.”

Tobin's sixth studio album, “Foley Room,” was released in 2007. On this album, Tobin concluded his transition away from prerecorded source material that started with “Out From Out Where.” All of the samples used for production were recorded by himself using an omnidirectional microphone. Recorded primarily in Montreal, San Francisco, and Seattle, the samples came from a wide range of sources including motorbikes, tigers, insects, and water falling from a tap. Also contributing to the album were the string quartet Kronos Quartet, drummer Stefan Schneider, and harpist Sarah Pagé.

Marking a significant evolution in Tobin's sound due to the absence of vinyl samples and trademark jazz-oriented breaks, his album “ISAM” was issued by Ninja Tune in 2011. As with 2007's “Foley Room,” a prominent element of the sound was heavily-processed field recordings obtained from a variety of unexpected sources. However “ISAM” went a step further in that it featured a much more unorthodox palette of sounds than before, with these sounds being arranged in close, intricately edited patterns.