AMON TOBIN – Nightlife [Ninja Tune]

Troubling and beguiling in equal measure, Amon Tobin’s stridently leftfield, cheeky, melodic, choppy drum’n’bass junket ‘Nightlife’ channels a dreamy musical innocence through premillenial angst to remain Persil fresh after nearly fifteen years in the Crate.

Hailing from 1998’s Permutation, the internationalist experimental future jazzer’s third album (the second under his own name), ‘Nightlife”s treatment of Enoch Light’s ‘Temptation’ somehow fashions more rose-tinted romance than the obscure original.

There is a parallel here. Tobin is rightfully lauded as sound boffin extraordinaire, masterfully maintaining a delicate balance of art and funk, and here we find him reworking an undeniably kitsch but nevertheless both arty and funky exercise in stereo manipulation from Enoch Light and the Light Brigade’s library-worthy 1960 LP Provocative Percussion Volume 2.

The upshot is soothing and deeply atmospheric with a darkly sinister edge and a dizzying rhythm that sees The Jungle Book go jungle.

Indicative of Ninja Tune’s halcyon 90s output, file it deep underground and far left of centre.

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