Two Fingers, Two Fingers (Paper Bag Records)

After listening to this Amon Tobin and Joe "Doubleclick" Chapman project, we admit we were wrong when we said "one finger is all you need."

Stripped-down club beats bring urban renewal
While artists like the Bug are fusing urban beats and heavyweight bass to make aggressive, bombastic tracks, Two Fingers, the new collaboration between Amon Tobin and Joe “Doubleclick” Chapman, is creating something more brittle and similarly dark. The duo''s polyglot production technique creates space and fills it with sparse, twisted rhythms that are equal parts sci-fi and street. “Straw Men” and “What You Know” are cold, empty expanses, with flashing ribbons of synthesizer and tight rhythms that sound like they were tapped out on sticks and scrap metal. It''s a sound vacuum, comparatively, which exudes quietly creeping paranoia and gives London rapper Sway''s tight, nimble flow center stage. His workmanlike contributions on seven tracks offer a driving pulse and counterpoint to the snaking rhythms. Tobin''s last effort, Foley Room, showcased an evolutionary step forward in his ability to sculpt sound, and those skills are on full display here. Massive, mutating beats bubble up throughout tracks such as “Two Fingers” and “High Life,” and “Not Perfect” struts with glitch and a glacial two-step beat. But it''s the restrained synth flourishes, dull beats and spry strings that give this album a sharp, metallic tint. [4 out of 5 stars]