How Do You Live is Amon Tobin’s first album since 2019, the year he launched his Nomark Records label and introduced the world to Fear in A Handful of Dust and its sister album, Long Stories. Ever since he recorded and released his first album under the pseudonym of Cujo, Tobin has been looking for more within music, exploring further and seeking out an emotional response through the style of electronic music. He continues to be a trendsetter and a torchbearer when it comes to producing interstellar electronic music, not only challenging the regular but smashing down the standardisation of boundaries whenever possible. To do this consistently over 25 years is nothing short of incredible.
The title track’s swooning electronics are drunken and deranged, emerging from a nightmarish funfair where the candyfloss is well past its best before date and the helter skelter has been rigged to create utter carnage; it’s 100% dynamite, and it provides the ignition for an eclectic and electric record. But even when the drums collide and produce mass casualties, and the melodies go wonky and shakily step off the rollercoaster, dizzyingly, gloriously out-of-tune, you get the feeling that Tobin is still in control, and he’s still having a blast.
The record isn’t afraid to flex its muscles. Tracks feature recurring melodies and punctured rhythms, which ghost out of existence only to re-emerge, highlighting their strength (or persistence) to remain vital and relevant, not wanting to fade out or become an obsolete relic of the past. Tobin always mixes things up, and he’s always willing to try new things. This will always lead to intoxicating music, and it’s the main reason as to why his music is as bold as it is. That is also down to his work ethic and the desire to be constantly on the move, constantly evolving and adapting. You never lose that; it’s something you’re born with. Tobin continues to produce outstanding music, no matter the project or the alias, and How Do You Live – a question or an accusation- fits into his discography nicely with its power and its propulsion.