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Boomkat Product Review:
At the height on Nintendo's dominance in the early-90's there was a sudden bout of toy-town rave songs released which nicked the theme's from games such as Mario and Tetris, smothered them in Vicks Vapour and then set them to a snare kick inflected set of cheap and cheerful beats. Things have moved on since then with music and games coming together in a much more sophisticated union, exhibited consummately here by Amon Tobin's 'Chaos Theory' which is itself a mix of music he composed for the forthcoming addition to the Splinter Cell franchise. Tobin evidently had a film sized budget behind him when assembling the musicians featured on the record with the likes of Nancho Mendez contributing his considerable flute wielding skills and the Modungo bothers work on Hammond and Mellotron in addition to full orchestra access. From this Tobin has constructed a multi-layered piece that stands up when experienced autonomously from the game and in doing so has probably produced his most accessible work to date. 'Ruthless' and 'Hokkaido' give the nod to DJ Shadow, borrowing elements from 'The Number Song' and 'High Noon' respectively. Elsewhere 'Theme From Battery' lays off the frenetic pace briefly allowing the Canhoto Philharmonic Orchestra to douse it in strings that stay the right side of sickly and 'Kokubo Sosho Stealth' brings in the choir for a side order of malice. Tobin's more trademark giddy percussive stylings are still evident with 'Displaced', in particular, characteristic of his usual sound. Tethered around a rotating loop of rhythmic elements reminiscent of Aphex Twin's 'Girl/Boy' it builds to a climactic finale whilst 'Ruthless (Reprise)' seasons the mix with a hint of Squarepusher and dash of Bogdan Raczynski. The somewhat strong use of Metal derived guitars on show throughout 'Chaos Theory' is likely a consequence of it's need to appeal to middle-America's teenage game buying public, but rather than see this as a compromise Amon Tobin has crafted a brooding slab of multi-instrumental breakbeat which more than escapes any accusations of tawdry exploitation. Check.