Tobacco was deemed record of the week on Aquarius' weekly email blast. Oh yeah!
TOBACCO "Fucked Up Friends" (Anticon) cd/lp 14.98/14.98
Tobacco would definitely be a strange name for a group. But it's an even stranger name for a -person-, except when you realize, that person is in fact the twisted mastermind behind the cracked electro pop of aQ faves Black Moth Super Rainbow. In our review of the most recent BMSR record, we compared their sound to Air covering Daft Punk, but with a bunch of junky old equipment, busted up amps and rickety swap meet synths. What's not to love?!?!
For Mr. Tobacco's first solo foray, he actually sticks pretty close to the Black Moth template he created, but does manage to give that sound a little twist. The instantly recognizable fuzzed out gritty synths, the stuttery crunchy crumbling beats, the chopped up vocodered vocals, the blissy eighties sheen, all in full effect, but up the hip hop vibe a bit, mix in some ethereal female vocals, some borderline cheesy (but still kick ass) cop show theme song groove, handclaps, fluttering flutes, soaring cinematic faux strings, even some rapping at one point (courtesy of Aesop Rock, who took BMSR on tour earlier this year), and we're slipping into Fucked Up Friends territory. A few of the tracks are instant classics, sounding sometimes like a more sunshine-y hip-hop flecked Goblin, other times like a more lo-fi synth heavy Boards Of Canada, and once in a while like an LSD dosed Daft Punk doing the soundtrack for a nature special on Yo MTV Raps all about jellyfish or mountain goats or those weird fish that glow in the dark. WTF?! But par for the course with Tobacco and his Black Moth Super Rainbow. And while there does seem to be a bit more hip hop happening here, it's essentially another gloriously fractured and fucked up BMSR record, which is just fine with us!