Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tobacco- Fucked Up Friends (2008)

If you dig: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Flying Lotus, Prefuse 73, Four Tet

I don't understand how anyone could honestly not like Tobacco's Fucked Up Friends. On the album, Black Moth Super Rainbow leader Tom Fec uses the psychedelic palette of bubblegum sounds that his band uses: the warbling flute lines, buzzing synths, spacey percussion, vocoders, etc. But Fucked Up Friends has a unique focus on rhythm, giving it a more hip-hop feel. Though much of Black Moth Super Rainbow's work has always featured impressive rhythmic and percussive background, Tobacco allows Fec the control to construct short variations based on brilliant blends of strange psychedelia and engaging beats. Fec's preference for analog devices gives the songs a mysterious vibe, sounding both futuristic and old and haunted at the same time. Fec described that the album is inspired partly by "fucked up" 80s workout videos and the songs' energy and weird sounds (along with its fantastic cover art, seen above) perfectly convey the "awful yet good and curious" Fec claims he is trying to achieve.

"Truck Sweat," my favorite off the album, starts with a crunchy snare beat and a foreboding ascending loop before exploding into a weaving mix of bouncing synths, flutes and warped vocals. "Berries That Burn" alternates between space age synths and hammering bass and drums. Right in the middle of the album there is an awesome feature by Aesop Rock, though I think Tobacco's stuff is ultimately better sans rapping. To me, the beats are just to compelling and layered to not pay attention to.

The fact that Fec can bridge the gap between hip-hop and the freaky psychedelia of his band results in some of the most impressive, exciting, catchy and mind bending music out there today. The distinct palette of drum samples that Fec uses makes tracks like "Grease Wizard" sound like if DOOM dosed 5 hits. I honestly think I prefer it to any of Black Moth Super Rainbow's work, though fans of the band will not automatically embrace Fucked Up Friends. Its production is slicker and some of the weirdest dynamics of the band are certainly not used as much. But the variety of sounds that Tobacco is using here is rich and deep and each song has a unique texture and distinct feeling.

Additionally, I love when album art perfectly represents the album. There is something awful and fucked up about Fucked Up Friends. But curiosity and pure appreciation for Fec's masterful compositional skills win over and soon the creepiness becomes just one more of brilliant aspects of the album. Click the album artwork to sample the album as always.

Tobacco's Maniac Meat is due out later this year (I did a post on it a few weeks back) but familiarize yourself with this masterpiece before checking that one out.

Track Listing
1. Street Trash
2. Truck Sweat
3. Hairy Candy
4. Hawker Boat
5. Side 8 (Big Gums Version)
6. Yum Yum Cult
7. Berries That Burn
8. Get My Nails Did
9. Dirt (Featuring Aesop Rock)
10. Gross Magik
11. Little Pink Riding Hood
12. Backwoods Altar
13. -
14. Tape Eater
15. Pink Goo
16. Grease Wizard
17. Eating Us (Bonus track released via The Hairy Cult)

No comments:

Post a Comment