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Album Review

While the great majority of jazz-junglists look no farther back than the mid-'60s for inspiration (and samples), Tobin took his bag of tricks back into the swing era to come up with more (and more interesting) variations on the form than most anyone else. More Buddy Rich than Roy Ayers, Permutation sees leagues of different drum samples — all of them found sounds— with nary an Amen or Apache break in sight. From the detuned vibes and piano loops that drive the opener "Like Regular Chickens" to the Disney-on-acid "Nightlife," Tobin proves himself one of the ablest producers around. As on most indie-junglists' LPs, there are a couple of notable darkside tracks ("Reanimator," "Escape," "People Like Frank") but even here he shows himself superior to contemporaries like µ-Ziq. As the title suggests, Permutation is an incredibly varied ride.

Customer Reviews

Perfect driving music!

I should say right away that I have ZERO interest in electronic music. This album, however, somehow struck a chord with me and since first listening to it have become a huge fan. Fantastic jazzy drum and bass tracks layered with all kinds of sampled and source sounds. I like all of Amon Tobins' albums, but this is my favorite. Killer tunes for hittin' the highway!!! Enjoy...

Near perfect

This album is an underrated classic of electronic music - up there with Endtroducing by DJ Shadow on my short list of best albums of the genre. Tobin's music has been getting a little too esoteric for my taste but this is his career high point, the perfect mix of bossa nova jazz, drum n bass and ambient music. The first song is unfortunately the weakest. Bridge and Surge are among the best. I can't recommend this one enough.


Permutation delivers and delivers bigtime. Every song stands out, but Sordid, Nightlife, People Like Frank, Sultan Drops, and Toys are the best cuts in my opinion. Best to listen to in one sitting as a cohesive experience. If I could produce a song even one-tenth as sick as Sultan Drops I would die a happy man...


Born: February 7, 1972 in Brazil

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Drum'n'bass deviant Amon Tobin fuses hip-hop and jazz compositional ideas with the bustling rhythms of hip-hop and jungle and the bent sonic mayhem of ambient and dub. Unlike rolling junglists such as Alex Reece and Wax Doctor, however, who draw from a softer, "cooler" brand of jazz, Tobin aims to maintain the heat of bop and free jazz, pairing spry, galloping basslines with complex trap set orchestration and shrill, screaming horns. A native of Brazil, Tobin moved to the U.K. in the mid-'80s, when...
Full Bio
Permutation, Amon Tobin
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Customer Ratings

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