For his forthcoming release, 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.
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.
“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.
TOBACCO Tour Dates:
09.28 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
09.29 Detroit, MI @ The Shelter
09.30 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
10.01 Milwaukee, WI @ Mad Planet
10.03 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
10.07 Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
10.08 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
10.11 San Francisco, CA @ Wonder Ballroom
10.13 Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex
10.14 Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
10.15 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
10.16 Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
10.18 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
10.20 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
10.21 Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
10.22 Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
All Dates w/ High Tides, Odonis Odonis