TOBACCO new video 'Human Om'. Album 'Sweatbox Dynasty' out 19/08 on Ghostly International
New single swirls with revving analog synths, drum machine clatter, blown-out gong hits, sitar hum, and all manner of unidentifiable noise to create an unexpected sense of calm.
On his fourth solo album, TOBACCO winds up coining an apt name for his vast empire of moldering electro-fied dirt: Sweatbox Dynasty. "It's my baby," says TOBACCO—a disturbing mental image if you overlook the beauty in his decrepit works. And speaking of, the new video for "Human Om" -- a track that continues the melting melodies of his previous album Ultima II Massage -- is packed full of these kinds of images, guaranteed to be caught up in the depths of your mind-frame for weeks.
A song like "Human Om," for example, swirls revving analog synths, drum machine clatter, blown-out gong hits, sitar hum, and all manner of unidentifiable noise to create an unexpected sense of calm. It's an almost trance-inducing space where our host gets touchy-feely in his own way, voice seething, "You can be my light come up in the morning/And I can be your spiral spinnin' down." The cheery na-na-na's and punchy rhythms of "Gods in Heat" similarly contrast against dirging chords and heavy distortion, while "Warlock Mary" swaths a springy funk riff in thick layers of warped tones. "I do know how to ruin a good song," TOBACCO says with perverse pride. "I just gotta keep pushing to find new places to go." Interstitial pieces like "Wipeth Out" or "The Madonna" are exactly that—strange, minimal fuzz bombs that jerk and groove to alien cadences.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that fermentation was part of the process. After finishing 2014's Ultima II Massage, TOBACCO began feverishly working on his next album, and then he stopped. "I felt I'd done everything I set out to do," he explains. "I thought maybe I'd go away for a long time, and I went a year without even plugging anything in." But when he was finally at peace with the idea of exile, the music came rushing back and wouldn't let up. In a flurry of days and nights he made Sweatbox Dynasty, and while each of his previous LPs felt like a honing of what came before, this one plays like a lush island of oddities unto itself. Except in one regard—in starting over, TOBACCO found himself using a technique from in his nascent days of recording. He laid down every single effect and track on cassette, individually, before transferring it to a sampler and damaging the part as needed en route. The result is wild, and heard all over these songs.