ISAM - Amon Tobin
ISAM Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Brazilian electronics musician continues to evolve his environmental sampling sound on his latest album.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. May 27, 2011
    More than any other electronic producer of the past decade, Amon Tobin's music goes places. From start to finish, ISAM is an adventure through sound and actuated potential.
  2. May 27, 2011
    ISAM plays out like the soundtrack to some bizarre nature documentary: it continually pauses, goes off in another direction, halts again, then sits unmoving for a time, as though Tobin had been musically ghosting the movements of a tiny insect traveling along a leaf.
  3. Jul 28, 2011
    Tobin's virtuoso collaging of alien sounds is bracingly vivid in small doses, but a little chilly and disorienting over the long haul. [Jun 2011, p.96]
  4. May 27, 2011
    For those unwilling to ride his digital wave of collapse and partial reconstruction, Farmer's mythological re-enactments will seem essential.
  5. May 27, 2011
    ISAM's clusters aren't as advanced as Tobin might have you think, and only represent a monumental leap forward if you compare them to his trio of classic albums, all of which were recorded more than 10 years ago.
  6. May 27, 2011
    At its best, ISAM enters the realm of pure abstraction without losing its sense of purpose.
  7. Jun 9, 2011
    He has the ideas: ISAM's pieces keep wandering into unmarked industrial zones, evoking broken things and blight. But this is heavy, foreboding music; Tobin hasn't yet learned how to balance his robust sound-art impulses with footholds for his listeners.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jun 5, 2011
    ISAM is Amon Tobin's most compellingly individual and gloriously self-indulgent album to date. Given the freedom to release 'conventional' (in a relative sense) records under his 'Two Fingers' moniker -- accompanied by his partner-in-sublime, Doubleclick -- Amon Tobin has taken it upon himself to delve deeper into the weird and wacky of his considerable mind. This absurdity is somewhat compounded by the singular way in which he attacked the task of recording his most recent full-length: One man. Many sounds. Something much at odds with the collaborative Nature of 2007's Foley Room. However, in recording, his core principles remain the same - point and shoot. Whilst the pointing is done at objects familiar to many a budding photographer, the shooting is done by high-precision condenser microphones. The result of all this audiophilic sound-play is something magnificent from start to finish, irrespective of where your version of the album finishes - either after 2, 1 or no enjoyable bonus tracks. If you are undecided about giving this album a try, it is worth it purely to hear Tobin's voice being (excuse my Physics) spectrally contorted into a mimicry of those of little English and American girls. In addition, British micro-sculptor (Small sculptures not small sculptor!) Tessa Farmer's album artwork is wonderfully fantastic and grotesque - meant in the kindest way possible. Expand
  2. Sep 13, 2011
    A masterpiece that deserves several listening with a decent sound system before giving an opinion. Definitely not made to listen with those "q-tips" like headphones... nor than through a compressed audio file (like MP3). This listening experiment is also completed with the live 3D experience... a must! Expand
  3. Dec 27, 2012
    I think people don't respect electronic music solely for the fact that it's "electronic" and doesn't count. So, that's saying BT isn't a musician? The impact of Faithless is just a hoax? But anyways, Amon Tobin's attention to detail on ISAM is just insane. Carefully crafted glitch fills this insane journey of an album. Yes, there's heavy bass throughout, but that doesn't mean it's a dubstep album. It's a brutal, (Lost & Found) melodic (Journeyman) and just plain cool (Kitty Cat) experimental underground electronic album that is well worth the 53 minutes. Expand
  4. Feb 10, 2013
    Very much a concept album. It's difficult to penetrate that is, extremely jarring but ultimately a rewarding listen if you let yourself become immersed in its beautiful, creative use of some of the strangest sounds you'll hear on a record. Expand