Guest Post: Robert Ham - Album Review: Tobacco - Maniac Meat (Anticon)

Of his solo material, Tom Fec - or Tobacco as he's known here and on the albums he has produced with his band Black Moth Super Rainbow - has said, "I want to make you feel paranoid in a good way." While it sounds like he's suggesting smoking something other than tobacco, you won't need any psychotropics to achieve the mixture of joy and creeping dread that Fec is going for with both his first album for Anticon, 2007's Fucked Up Friends and, this, his latest release.

As with his BMSR work, Fec has warped almost every sound on this album out of focus to some degree. Drums have been overmodulated to just over the line of distortion. The analog synths that dominate the album sound like backfiring robots or echoes from deep space. Even the most recognizable voice here - Beck, who guests on two tracks - has either been chopped up into shards or pixilated into ether.

What might come as a surprise to listeners unfamiliar with Fec's solo work is how relentlessly funky these songs are. BMSR material tended to hint at being influenced by the heady production style of folks like J Dilla and DJ Premier. Those reference points arrive in full flower here as live and processed beats swing and pulse and drive in ways both clean and filthy. It's a dance record but one that is undercut by an unbalanced wooziness, as if you just hit the club after a few hours on a Tilt-a-Whirl.

Tobacco - Fresh Hex [feat. Beck]

Independence in Art, Music, Beer and Life