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Tyson Wray's picture
Tyson Wray Joined: 13th September 2010
Last seen: 26th July 2014

Amon Tobin @ The Palace

Ever since the introduction of Daft Punk's famed pyramid light scheme in 2006, the contemporary electronic performance has been redefined and reinvented with the ideology of creating an enhanced multi-sensory experience. Whether it be Étienne de Crécy's 'The Cube', Deadmau5's 'Rubiks Cube' or even Skrillex's 'Monster' shows, the emphasis has been placed upon creating a visual spectacular more profound than the lasers and strobes of '90s warehouse raves through harnessing the rapidly escalating advancements in technology and sky-rocketing production values (arguably compounded due to the ever-growing global mass-marketing of EDM). However, it could be argued that few contemporary live interpretations ever reached an aural, visual and intellectual symbiosis.


ISAM, the brainchild of the Brazilian electronic luminary, is the live accompaniment of Tobin's seventh studio album (Invented Sounds Applied to Music), and was created with the intention to literally immerse him within the aural and visual presentation of the album. An awe-inspiring physical structure of cubic symmetries, ISAM is a revolutionary product of audiovisual synthesis through the implementation of advanced video-mapping technology.


As Tobin's 90 minute extravaganza began, the rumbling of the overbearing sub-bass sent warnings to the sold-out Palace crowd that this experience was intended to be sensorial whilst confronting. Beginning with ISAM's opening track Journeyman, Tobin moved fluently through further singular tracks (Kitty Kat, Goto 10, Lost & Found), whilst occasionally dabbling within his previous works before concluding with the ghostly Horsefish from his 2007 album The Foley Room. Musically – the show was seamless, if not at times slightly overbearing. Anyone immersed with Tobin's expansive back-catalogued is well versed in his penchant for compositional dexterity and chameleonic progression, shifting from his signature ethereal soundscapes to bass-heavy undertows and intricate electronica. However, the star of the show was indisputably the visuals. Sonic journeys into galaxies far beyond transformed into waves of oscillation before descending into the fiery pits of a demonic hell, whilst the cubes themselves would deform and dissolve before disintegrating and rebuilding – ever so rarely exposing Tobin in the heart of the structure – a solemn reminder that human innovations where the fundamental core of the seemingly supernatural spectacular.


At times the over-complexities of the aural and visual elements discernibly detracted from one another, and indeed – with the level viral hype of shows akin to ISAM – preconceived expectations are rarely exceeded, but Tobin's multimedia masterpiece will undoubtedly be regaled as one of the definitive works of contemporary sonic performances – and forever etched into the memory of those whom witnessed it.


LOVED: Lachlan (Lechlan [Lachlun {Landmonster}]) supplying me with earplugs partway into the show.

HATED: That girl who stole my scarf from Hell's Kitchen.

DRANK: The elixir of the melted minds surrounding me.