Tobacco: LA UTI

Tobacco: LA UTI




Rating: 2.0/5.0

Label: Anticon

Last year’s full-length release from Black Moth Super Rainbow’s Tobacco (aka Tom Fec), Maniac Meat, ranked high on the year-end list I floated on up to Spectrum Culture HQ. Tobacco said of his work and Meat, in particular, that he’s trying to create a soundtrack of sorts for the bizarre imagery one can find winding through found VHS and beta tapes from decades prior – workout tapes a particular favorite of his. It’s a concept easy to buy into for anyone who’s either creeped out/enthralled by Videodrome and is rendered a lot more understandable once one has taken a look at the clips Tobacco and Anticon have posted accompanying the songs on YouTube; Tobacco’s electronics themselves sound like wheezing, dying VHS machines played through Marshall stacks, perhaps the perfect soundtrack for the grimy, luridly colored ads from the ’80s that make us feel a tad bit unsettled today.

Perhaps because his solo work emphasizes heavy beats – which Black Moth Super Rainbow did not deal in – Tobacco opened up the Maniac Meat material for the remix EP LA UTI, netting alterna-rappers like Anti-Pop Consortium and Doseone to rework seven songs. The result is a completely negligible collection where the original tracks are barely touched, in favor of some slapdash raps recited over the bed tracks. The reworked track here closest to being interesting is the remix of “Unholy Demon Rhythms,” featuring a Chipmunk-ed rap via a no-name artist going by Icicle Frog, whom BMSR message board users speculate is just Fec under a pseudonym.

Otherwise, you’ve got the likes of Anti-Pop Consortium dealing in a cut-rate rap about the time-honored subject of other emcees that aren’t worth their salt via Fec’s “TV All Greasy,” Rob Sonic freestyling on “Lick the Witch” and Serengeti delivering a laundry list of mealy-mouthed complaints over a slowed “2 Thick Scoops.” This EP will be of most interest, I suspect, to folks actively seeking new material from the hip-hop artists included, but LA UTI wouldn’t really do much for Tobacco’s fans or anyone else. The best thing about it is its title. Just go check out Maniac Meat, already.

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