- Vinyl version: 2-panel printed matte finish jacket with a 5mm spine, records inserted into black dust sleeves
- 2xLP limited edition hand-dipped rainbow swirl vinyl is limited to 500 units in The Ghostly Store
- 2xLP standard weight yellow vinyl limited to 5,000 units
- CD version: matte finish 6-panel digipak with spot gloss
- Cassette version: 8-panel fold out J-card, yellow cassette
TOBACCO can’t have nice things.
On his third album, the Pennsylvania snake-synth-charmer deepens his approach to aural depravity. Ultima II Massage widens a jagged swath through the dude’s own weird catalog, each disparate track damaged to the point of contributing to some sort of greater, lurching Frankenstein-like state. “I spent a lot of time breaking it in all the right places,” says TOBACCO. “It ends up making the whole thing breathe — sometimes gasp for air. It feels more alive.” Immediately after finishing 2010’s Maniac Meat, he went to work on the beat-addled series begun with Fucked Up Friends in 2008. There were notable breaks en route to now — a surprising commission to remix White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ‘65,” a new BMSR record (Cobra Juicy), and producing Demon Queen’s Exorcise Tape with vocalist Zackey Force Funk — but he saved the worst for last, amassing the most misanthropic material for Ultima. To wit, SPIN dubbed early share “Lipstick Destroyer” a “junkyard takedown of Daft Punk’s beloved, pristine electro.”
TOBACCO explains his modified approach: ”I wanted to push each song just enough, so that even when the album’s at its wildest, it’s something you can zone out to. It feels like a definitive end to a concept I’ve been trying to perfect forever. Maniac Meat was linear. This time I wanted to do a lot of different things and have them come together as one meditative piece. At least for myself.”
Which, oddly enough, makes sense. This is easily TOBACCO’s most diverse set to date — his own Stereopathetic Soulmanure, but about that 1-900 hotline life: massage parlors, plasticized sleaze, fake tans, old dial-ups to the fan clubs of dead B-actors. Fittingly, the album’s only contributor is Beck music director Brian LeBarton who shrieks as Notrabel on the grimy freak-out “Streaker.” At 17 tracks, Ultima is stacked with beautifully perverse hits — from the sickly sticky “Eruption,” to the wobbly demon swaggerer “Face Breakout,” to the distorted punk spazz of “Dipsmack,” to the apocalyptic sepia ambience of “Spitlord.” You may hear disembodied bits of Boards of Canada, early Def Jam records, and Gary Numan, or maybe just public-access TV and bad VHS dubs of ‘80s horror flicks. Or the sun exploding and everything you’ve ever loved melting. Again, TOBACCO was just trying to make meditation music.
But to find that rotted sweet spot, as always, he had to subvert his pop urges. TOBACCO went back to the cassette decks he started off with — analog weapons of distortion to compliment his hissing vocoder and blown rhythms. Any moment that felt “just right” was brutally assaulted until ugly again. All to accomplish one end: “This might be my most purposely difficult album yet, but I promise if you let it in, it can fuck you up.”
Ultima II Massage. No happy ending.
Ultima II Massage
All MP3 Downloads encoded at 320 kbps unless otherwise specified.
|Streaker (ft Notrabel)||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Good Complexion||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Video Warning Attempts||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Eruption (Gonna Get My Hair Cut at the End of the Summer)||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Lipstick Destroyer||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Self Tanner||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Face Breakout||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Blow Your Heart||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Beast Sting||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Creaming for Beginners||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Omen Classic||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Pool City, McKnight Road||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Father Sister Berzerker||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|The Touch from Within||$0.99||Buy MP3|
|Bronze Hogan (Physical Only)|