Amon Tobin ‘ISAM Live’ & Lorn @ Brixton Academy Review

Posted on 13 May 2012
By Emma Cowles
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Get ready to be catapulted into an audio-visual spectacular with Amon Tobin’s ‘ISAM Live’.

If you haven’t heard of him, it’s about time you did. Tobin is a Brazilian born prodigy of electronic music, who is in the business of stunning shows and “raising the bar” in electronic music and production. ‘ISAM Live’ is his latest masterpiece.

Mesmerising the audience with his show stopping compositions, Tobin aims to create a “visual score” to run alongside his music, providing a fully connective space for the individual to experience his music within.

The event, held at Brixton Academy, opened with the Wisconsin born Lorn, who pepped the crowd up with dark basslines and a visceral hybrid of computer music, giving just a taster of what was to come.

Tobin came on directly after, and his arrival on stage was one of elation, sending the highly-strung audience into rapture. The show featured a cubist multi-dimensional, shape shifting art installation, in which Tobin performs within the central cube.

He creates this visual masterpiece using projection mapping and generative/audio reactive real time. The time, work and expertise it has required to design and fabricate a set of this scale and capability is insane.

The hi-tech visuals have intense bursts of digital brilliance combined within the light show, which is synched to the audio to provide a sense of narrative running alongside the music.

Evolving displays of menacing machinery, post apocalyptic landscapes and liquid nitrogen-esque pulsating flurries of colour, were but a few of the delights that kept eyes fervently glued to the one spot for the duration. The whole crowd was hypnotized.

Stealing the show however, was the jaw-dropping moment in which the central pod illuminated, revealing Tobin himself performing in perfect time with his digitised self, projected onto the boxed formation surrounding him.

Let your senses be slaves to the gluttony and check out the pics. The visuals take you on a journey of self reflection; the mood is one of tranquillity twinned with vibrancy, and the show is overwhelming in its catharsis.

Tobin’s use of this visually stimulating medium awards the audience an intense subjective experience, being transported off into their own world and furnishes the psyche with phenomenal colour and light.

It’s certainly true to say that Tobin has set a new benchmark for live electronic music, crystallising the viewer’s experience in a four dimensional space of sonic and visual utopia.

Since signing to the renowned ‘Ninja Tune’ label in 1996, Tobin has produced work of consistent brilliance, gifting us with several critically-acclaimed albums over the years, each as spellbinding as the last.

The unique, individualistic quality of Tobin’s work transcends genres and has awarded him deserved respect and acclaim amongst producers and creative visionaries both inside and outside of his field.

Even the likes of Simon Cowell couldn’t stay away, travelling to the sell-out show at the Roundhouse last year in awe of Tobin and the visual delights he had to offer.

If you’re tempted, you can encounter Tobin’s next performance on the 19th of May at Manchester’s ‘FutureEverything Festival’.

After that you’ll have to head overseas to catch a glimpse of the show, starting off in Lille on the 14th of May, as well as mesmerising the crowds at Sonar in June. Our advice is book your plane ticket now – it’s most definitely worth the expense.