Old dog, newish tricks
Prolific Brazillian Producer Amon Tobin is morphing his sound and style under the brand new moniker Only Child Tyrant. Time to Run is his debut album under this name and features a swarm of new influences coalescing in some kind of indie/punktronica. Acoustic and probably computer sequenced drumming and stitched together electronics form a thick ooze of sonic energy. The result is half baked and messy but there are great ideas being developed here.
“King of Kong” Sounds like Tobin taught himself how to play guitar and bass real quick and cooked up a one-minute interpretation of surf rock. More complete tracks like “Monkey Box” add a sort of quirkiness to the rock formula by adding some interesting structures and pulsing synth basses. “Fathers Sons” is a highlight in this regard, and with the help of some phased out vocals from the artist Figueroa, Tobin ends up with a nice little slice of experimental rock. The drumming on “Solid Grey Zebra” is really fun and the synth bass is nice and dirty. The track has a nice progression with some spoken word thrown in the mix.
“Time to Run” screeches into existence with squelchy synth sequences and is held together with some uniform rock drumming. The synth work is great, sounds modulate together and morph into different sonic shapes as the track progresses. “Eight Bit Psyche” is full of crunchy lo-fi synthetics and textures wrapped around a repetitive but fitting bass and drum sequence.
These are fun tracks, filled with odd textures and nuanced progressive structures. The production is akin to much of Tobin’s output but supplanted on rock instrumentation. It works most of the time but there is a bit too much repetition, filler and half baked ideas to really make the project feel like a complete work. The album is more of a thesis for ready to be further expanded, but it’s nice to see Tobin exploring his influences and widening his range.