…But Which Two Fingers?
Two Fingers is the latest product from electronic composer Amon Tobin’s assembly line, a collaboration with Joe “Doubleclick” Chapman from across the pond. Their latest release, Stunt Rhythms, is wholly instrumental, a contrast to the previous record which featured rapping vocals from MC Sway–they’re letting the music truly take front and center this time around.
The only constant for Tobin, it seems, is change. Every project he’s involved in takes music in a different direction, yet always manages to stay cohesive. Stunt Rhythms plays like an exploration of current and past trends in several kinds of electronic music. There is a heavy hip-hop influence weaving its way through the album mixed with sounds that have become familiar in the dubstep genre, but with a sophistication that both genres often seem to lack. In a strange way it evokes one of the most underrated electronic works of recent memory: Thomas Bangalter’s Irreversible soundtrack. What emerges is a kind of grimy, spacey hip hop sound that looks both backward and forward at the same time.
Hearkening back to the spirit of early hip-hop, the album showcases musicians utilizing their skills to produce a fresh sound and prove that they’re the best on the block. The intricacy and uniqueness of this sound sends all other producers running back to their studios to desperately grasp at straws and mixers. Some tracks almost lose themselves in glitchy mazes of percussion, but they never get so extreme as to lose their head-bobbing appeal. The addictive beats of tracks like “Magoo” and “101 South” could play background to the greatest rap verses of all time, but it seems Tobin just couldn’t find anyone good enough to throw down on them.
Throughout the years electronic artists seem to have been divided into the poppy and the artsy. With Stunt Rhythms, Tobin and Doubleclick have blurred the lines between these two camps to do something special: push music in the direction it should have been going for over a decade now. It takes a real musician turn both pop and art on their asses, and Two Fingers has managed to do it.