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Videogames and Stevie Wonder compliments of Amon Tobin, RJD2, and "Wonder-Full 2" 

Wednesday, Nov 30 2005
Amon Tobin's got game. Or, rather, the game's got Amon Tobin. The Brazilian-born, Montreal-residing breakbeat specialist and Ninja Tune mainstay's most recent project was crafting the music for this year's Xbox special-ops shoot'em-up Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. The results were stunning -- drawing from the soundtrack work of Lalo Schifrin, Bernard Herrmann, and Dario Argento collaborators Goblin, Tobin's creation is atmospheric, sinister, and exhilarating; its pulse-pounding, shakuhachi- and koto-flavored rush (befitting the game's Asian locales) plays out like an especially nightmarish DJ Krush album, and sounds great even without your thumbs on a controller. The dark moods fit in nicely with the bulk of Tobin's catalog, which stretches back a decade and explores drill 'n' bass, ambient dub, heavily tweaked bebop, and all sorts of experimental, cut-up beat mania. I spy a killer set when Tobin DJs on Friday, Dec. 2, at Mezzanine; call 625-8880 or visit for more info. -- Michael Alan Goldberg

Last year, one of New York's most amazing yearly parties touched down in San Francisco for the first time. The Stevie Wonder tribute dubbed "Wonder-Full" and hosted by DJs Spinna and Bobbito filled club Mighty to the sweaty rafters with smiling revelers singing along to both Wonder's biggest hits and his more obscure grooves. The quality of the set was hardly a surprise: Spinna and Bobbito have curated the incredible compilations The Wonder of Stevie and Wonder Wrote It. This year's edition of the party brings with it the joy of a brand-new album from the man himself, A Time to Love, that just so happens to be brimming with boogie. Early arrival is suggested, as this is guaranteed to be packed. S.F.'s own DJs Sake-One, Hakobo, and Proof provide the local love when "Wonder-Full 2" arrives at Mighty on Friday, Dec. 2; call 762-0151 or visit for more info.

-- Tamara Palmer

Though at first glance '05 has seemed like a quiet year for RJD2 , the Def Jux producer and DJ extraordinaire responsible for two of the decade's best instrumental hip hop albums, 2002's Dead Ringer and 2004's Since We Last Spoke, has hardly been resting on his laurels. The 29-year-old Oregonian -- whose incessant crate-digging and skillful recombination of old soul, funk, and blunted beats have earned him repeated comparisons to DJ Shadow -- has been in the studio cooking up a variety of sonic dishes, some of which are finally arriving as the year comes to a close. This month sees the release of the highly anticipated PS2 graffiti/combat game Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, for which RJD2 composed the in-game score; he's also got a track, "Schoolyard Scrimmage," appearing in the new Xbox basketball game, NBA: 2K6 (continuing on the b-ball tip, you ESPN viewers may have noticed the funky horn blasts of Dead Ringer's "Ghostwriter" soundtracking the network's NBA promo spots over the past several weeks). RJ has a full-length collaboration with underground rapper Aceyalone set to drop in February, but all ears are perked for the next solo joint he's feverishly assembling. Expect loads of new sounds when RJD2 hits the decks on Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Pauley Ballroom on the UC Berkeley campus; call (510) 642-7477 or visit for more info.-- Michael Alan Goldberg


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