If you crossed Q*bert and a big inhalation of DMT, you would not be far off from Amon Tobin‘s visual installation cum electronic music performance ISAM Live 2.0, which we had the pleasure of imbibing this weekend at Hammerstein Ballroom. Projected onto two-story high protruding geometric cubes is imagery that recalls Metropolis, Star Wars, and 2001: A Space Odyssey alongside emergent guts of computers, fiery future cities, and post-Armageddon beauty and madness. We’re pretty sure that the projectors were made to communicate with satellites. Once in a while, the edges of the cubes alight, pixelizing the entire set, reminding us of what the accompanying sounds are made of.
It’s not until a few minutes into the show that you realize that there’s a human inside the boxes, on the decks, like the wizard behind the curtain in some bizarro-world Oz. And oh wait, he’s in a spacesuit. It’s at this point that, feeling the bass giggle your guts, intestines, and–if you’re lucky enough–nether regions, the whole world starts (in the words of Yeezy the great) melting like Dali. (That is if you were smart enough to sort yourself out before the venue takes away your lighter and other goodies.) At some point a live video feed of Amon’s hands playing keys, triggering not only sounds but shots of electrified lightning, convince you that he’s the puppetmaster creating our hallucinations, or perhaps like Disney’s sorcerer’s apprentice (the Mickey Mouse version), wild on his own power, conducting the heavens.
The vibrational, sublime compositions nearly demand a visual narrative – like a soundtrack to a silent but epic psychedelic film – and you may start to wonder if the show is an otherworldly visual installation with sick acoustics or an amazing music performance with ridiculous visual production. As it turns out, it’s both.
Amon Tobin will be touring the show ahead of his new release Stunt Rhythms - his second album operating under his Two Fingers alias, via Big Dada/Ninja Tune – which comes out October 2nd. Amon has called the upcoming release “his love letter to hip-hop, to the early elements of the culture built around innovation and freshness.” Get a taste of it (stream below) with the newly released “101 South.” Check out his upcoming tour dates after the jump – and by all means, take your veggies and go!
ISAM Live 2.0 Tour Dates (Get more info and tickets at www.amont0bin.com):
09.17 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
09.19 Clemson, SC – Brooks Center
09.20 Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle
09.21 Orlando, FL – House Of Blues
09.22 Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore at Jackie Gleason
09.24 Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom
09.25 Austin, TX – Austin Music Hall
09.27 San Diego, CA – House Of Blues
10.05 Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre Berkeley
10.12 Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre