Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The 51 Surround Soundtrack to Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory|
Director: Amon Tobin
Genres: Action & Adventure, Music Video & Concerts
Soundtrack CD featuring extended versions of the themes from the game.
This is a story about a musician named Amon Tobin
Christian Zimmerman | 05/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once upon a time, the only video games that had soundtracks worth buying separately were Japanese RPGs. Occasionally, a Western game would come along with a great compilation soundtrack (see the Grand Theft Auto series), but for the most part, music composed specifically for games was unable to stand alone as an artistic work.
Fast forward to the end of 2004. UbiSoft was making the third installment of their popular Splinter Cell series, and the need for some creepy, paranoid music naturally arose. Some inspired soul (whose name is lost to history) suggested that the job be offered to electronic artist Amon Tobin, perhaps thinking that his bass-heavy groovalicious style would adapt well to stealth based gameplay. The Powers That Be agreed, and gave Amon a lot of money with which to score their still-developing game.
When Amon returned after completing the soundtrack, the results were better than anyone expected. CHAOS THEORY struck a perfect balance between spooky ambience and jackhammer beats, often shifting rapidly between the two, but throughout it all there was an undeniable sense of beauty which did not exist in spite of the chaos but rather arose from it. Indeed, this chaotic beauty led many who listened to make comparisons to another artist, Aphex Twin.
But CHAOS THEORY was much more than an Aphex knock-off. Amon had put UbiSoft's money to good use, hiring an all-star lineup of studio players to make the soundtrack the best it could be. These studio session gave CHAOS THEORY a very organic feel that is usually missing from video game soundtracks, and was definitely absent from Aphex Twin's 2001 album, DRUQKS.
The album started off with "The Lighthouse," and while it wasn't necessarily the best track off the album, it was still pretty darn close, with a jerky bass riff that immediately created a sense of paranoia in the listener. It was the perfect setup to an album which cultivated a wide range of emotions, most of them disturbing. CHAOS THEORY never really let up on these emotions, instead, Amon simply switched from one emotion to another, from paranoia to panic to uneasiness and back to paranoia, often within a single track.
All involved with the project were so pleased that it was decided that Amon's soundtrack would be released several months ahead of the actual game. The reason for this was simple: where most consumers hear music in a game and then would desire to purchase the soundtrack, hearing this soundtrack actually made people want to play the game. Reviewers across the land encouraged everyone they met, even those with no interest in video games, to purchase the album, and all who heard the free MP3 of "The Lighthouse" provided on amazon.com were more than willing to fork over the cash to hear the rest of CHAOS THEORY, with the result that Amon Tobin became obscenely wealthy, and nobody payed any attention to the drivel that MTV played anymore.
And they all lived happily ever after."
More slamming beats and moody soundscapes for your melon
somethingexcellent | Lincoln, NE United States | 02/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'll admit that I'm not really into video games. When I was younger, I used to go hog-wild on the original 8-bit Nintendo system and I went through a phase in college where lots of my life evaporated playing Quake, but since that time I've just found myself with different interests and really no time to sit down and play. Sometimes, when a bigger-name game is coming out, it permiates enough of the world that I hear about it, but I honestly didn't even know about this particular video game until I saw that Amon Tobin had done the soundtrack for it.
Although I never expected Tobin to slum it on any of his releases, I honestly wasn't expecting that much from this soundtrack Splinter Cell either, thinking that it might be a toss off of tracks that Tobin hadn't cut for full release or something else. I will admit that I must have been mistaken, though, because the ten tracks and almost fifty minutes of music on this release are pretty much classic Tobin, and I'm glad that I was proven wrong in my initially underestimating the release (before having heard it, of course). Teaming up with a slew of collaborators, it seems that putting together this soundtrack was by no means something he tossed off at random.
Although I was disappointed by his recent Solid Steel mix (mainly for the sound quality, which I felt was rather muffled and poor), Amon Tobin is one of those artists that I can pretty much count on offering quality product. His first two albums of Bricolage and Permutation blew away pretty much everything else in the genre at the time of their release and his last two albums (Supermodified and Out From Out Where) have taken him into some slightly different territory while still maintaining his unique sound and vision. Just to let the listener know he's not fooling around, the album opens with "The Lighthouse," which might be one of the better tracks he's done in some time. Flirting with aggression, the track finds cinematic strings skittering down dark passages as a dark and gritty bassline rumbles while filtered organ melodies build. Eventually, the drums can't be contained any longer and things bust loose with such a frenzy that reminds you why Tobin can hardly be matched when it comes to hyper-saturated drum breaks and slamming cinematics.
"Ruthless" continues the frenetic pace as all manner of mayhem busts loose with chugging rhythms, reversed loops, and just about everything that can stick to the wall while "Theme From Battery" finally takes things down a notch with sonar pings, watery-filtered loops of strings and middle-eastern sounding vocals. In fact, Tobin seems able to indulge his creepy soundtrack style sound even more with this release, and he does so on several tracks including the rumbling "Kokubo Sosho Stealth" and the minor-key strings and backwards loops of "Hokkaido."
Oh, and the moody beat freaks have plenty to sink their teeth into as well. "El Cargo" again takes some spy-movie sounding guitar licks and rubbery bassline and tosses it alongside bursts of piano and one of those overcompressed, ultra-heavy beats that Tobin is so good at while "The Clean Up" closes out the release by easing into things with all kinds of panning orchestral madness before dropping another headsplitting rhythmic freakout to put a big fat exclamation mark on things. In the end, it doesn't really matter that it's the soundtrack to a video game that I'll never play. It's a new Amon Tobin album (and a good one at that), and that's all I need.
(from almost cool music reviews)"
Bryan | Wisconsin | 07/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prior to the Playing of SC: Chaos Theory, i didn't even know who Amon Tobin was, and boy was I missing out. Soon after hearing the in-game music, I did some investigating and found out who the artist was. I can tell you that after getting this CD, I love every single track on this disk. The dark, moving melodies can almost draw you into a different world and stir up different emotional reactions within you. If you are even a passing Amon Tobin Fan, this CD is for you."
Amon Rocks Again
Kathy Dublin | Dublin, Ireland | 06/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've loved Amon's work for years and this is no exception to the high-octane high quality music this guy seems to effortlessly perfect album after album.
For those who know Amon's work, this is a little more `accessible' than his older stuff but don't let that put you off. But for those who don't know it, maybe for the gamers, this is the ideal gateway into his world.
His talent is something to behold, and he reaches new levels with the full orchestra behind his beautifully choreographed strings, samples and heart-breakingly fast beats.
The first track kicks off with a fantastic hard-core riff that promises deeper and darker paths ahead. I'm not much of a gamer, so I can only imagine that the images conjured by the music match and enhance the game to no end. Like walking through a spider-web and the horror dawning on you that you're the prey.
Theme From Battery is one of my favourites, slow and atmospheric, bleeding into the next track with more familiar break beats and industrial sounds. El Cargo is haunting and eerie, letting Displaced slam huge steel doors behind you as you run for cover.
This is total Tobin, at his very best. What I love about it is that I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone who knows serious music when they hear it.