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. Watch the video via the Noisey premiere or on YouTube.
The new LP—his second for Ghostly International on August 19th—finds the rural recluse resurrecting an old approach to hack a new path through the muck. This may be his most unintentionally psychedelic and left-field creation yet, full of rhythms that start and stop like a tractor on its last piston, resonating melodies made to fuel transcendental meltdowns, and vocals that hiss, gurgle, and growl.
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.