Two Fingers – Stunt Rhythms (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
TWO Fingers, aka Amon Tobin, has described Stunt Rhythms as his ‘love letter to hip hop’. It’s hard to see how.
A collection of beats and bass, this only occasionally sounds like anything remotely hip-hop. It has more in common with dub-step and drum ‘n’ bass, the former of which Two Fingers might describe as a lazy comparison.
Perhaps more relevant to this review, however, is whether it works in any form or not. And the answer to that is sadly no. Quite often, the assembled instrumentals add up to nothing more than noise, whichever genre they’re supposed to exist in.
There’s an over-reliance on bleeps and blips as well as warped distortions that quickly get on your nerves.
Album opener Stripe Rhythm unfolds amid a warped electronic loop that pretty much signals the formula for what’s to follow. But the sound has an urban, ugly vibe that isn’t served by the warps or spliced beats that prevent any easy flow of the instrumental.
The same can be argued for the continually spliced and stop-start approach of Snap, which sounds like a muddled mess, or a track in the earliest demo stage.
While the dub n bass of Defender Rhythm drones on and on without finding anything close to an ear-pleasing melody or rhythm.
Just occasionally, Two Fingers breaks the monotony and hits you with something worth hearing, such as the urgent 101 South (with its flute-like backdrop and slick beats and electronics), or the playful Magoo. And the one genuinely hip-hop moment, Crunch Rhythm, arrives like a welcome breath of fresh air near the end of the album.
But in most cases this is an arduous listen that deserves its own two fingered salute in terms of appreciation.
Download picks: 101 South, Crunch Rhythm