Amon Tobin, Bricolage
The drum 'n' bass guru's brilliant debut weds hot jazz energy with a voracious appetite for sound
First gaining notice as Cujo in the mid '90s, Amon Tobin combined jazz flourish, jungle density and the rhythmic sensibility of his native Brazil, making for one of the most unusual sonic palettes in all of drum 'n' bass. Breakbeats are certainly crucial to the success of Tobin's 1997 debut under his own name, but they're often secondary to the many other things going on in the mix: the taut upright bass, clanging bells and Krazy Kat piano of "Creatures"; the radically rearranged small bop combo at the center of "Stoney Street," dusted with translucent strings; the aptly titled "Chomp Samba," a Brazilian-tinted score for a ninja battle in an underground cave. Appropriately enough, Tobin would go on to greater fame in the mid '00s as the composer for the Tom Clancy-derived video game Splinter Cell 3.