A lot of things can happen in eight years. Elected officials come and go, companies are founded, peak and then disappear. An artist’s career is often even shorter than eight years. Amon Tobin released his album ISAM in 2011 that catapulted him into cult status for many fans and propelled him on one of the most visually compelling and innovative live set-ups for any electronic act. Now eight years later he is back with a new album Fear In a Handful of Dust.
With this record, Amon Tobin does what he does best. There aren’t other producers making the sort of twisted, alien-like sounds he is putting together into each song and over the entire project. It is often like an orchestral was infected by some alien species that then corrupts its sound and spits out something completely unknown.
Just from the start with “On a Hilltop Sat the Moon,” the soft orchestral bits are warped with sounds seemingly skittering up a wall around you. There is a menacing quality to this record with the distorted vocals and melodies that on its face may appear cheerful, but there is a darkness that lies underneath them. “Fooling Alright” captures that emotion with vocals seemingly caught behind a shimmer and an eerie melody.
This is not your traditional four on the floor club music. There is plenty of function house and techno and this strays far from that. Elements seem to drip down around you, like the plucked strings and synths on “Three Different Hat Sizes.” The songs can sound random with elements coming in from all sides, yet they seem to all somehow fit together into tracks that blend into a larger project
Fear In a Handful of Dust feels like a continuation and evolution from ISAM. The 2011 LP had big melodies and hooks at times, while Fear In a Handful of Dust doubles down on the glitchy and creeping production that has made Tobin such a popular figure.
Stream the album now below and pick up your copy here.