Some, Not All, of The Best of Last Year will be a very late series of posts of music, film, and other things that stood out above even the most exceptional in 2014. A best of list with no specific order or reason, much like the site itself. Just a compilation of more recent things to enjoy.
Whenever I write about Tobacco, I feel the need to write two completely different things. One closer to a sense of analytical professionalism , the other an example of the madness brought on by his music. It may be that I tend to want to write about Tobacco while suffering from 104°F fever and experiencing slight hallucinations brought on by said fever. More likely is that something about Tomas Fec’s music just brings up a frenzied imagination in me that few musicians do. Either way, Fec is making music that most nary dream about. Fec’s mauled and quizzically inviting songs pulse with an uncanny energy that shouldn’t be denied.
Ultima II Massage is a deterioration of electronic music as you know it. It takes everything you expect to hear and turns it on its head, making a dirty and grimy version of its self. Honestly, you could easily call Tobacco’s electronica trash, but Fec’s inventive turns make it anything but. The opening track “Streaker” cranks itself with a a grating sonic discourse, close to the point of making you what to turn of the music and reflect on its ugliness. The track lurches forward with a simple demand of it’s listener, “Rise/Rise motherfucker/Rise”. It’s a brave track to open on until you realize how good it is, then it becomes the only way to start your journey down this album.
The lyrics throughout are just as obscene. Amongst the funky screeches “Eruption (Goin’ to Cut My Hair at The End of the Summer)” are these near incomprehensible vocoder mantras. The lyrics are purposefully profane as Fec utters a few fucks in every verse and drops images of sucking lollipops and twirling pigtails in their most inappropriately tantalizing versions. You can try to make sense of the lyrics (growing up, sex, becoming who you want to be, sex) but I believe the point lies in the experience, as gnarled and grotesque as it may be.
Ultima II Massage is a bit top heavy with the most undeniably harsh blasting tracks coming in the first half of the album. The second half is a little less rough, becoming as mellow as it’s crazed noises can be. Songs like “Pool City, Mc Knight Road” and the album closer “The Touch from Within” sound cooler in every iteration of the word as Fec implements a more zoned out glitchiness. The album is slightly unbalanced in the traditional sense. Instead it opts for more of a contrast between the strikingly different halves. It’s a two headed beast and a damn good one at that.
I leave you with the ramblings of a quarter century old fool fighting a 104°F fever:
Walk in to a massage parlor expecting deep tissue rub down with no inappropriate behavior whatsoever. Talk to the proprietor, an old decaying man with a suit that once believed it could be white but suffered a loss of faith at the hands of humanity’s coldness, dirt, and what seems to be the dried blood of various animals. Cling on to the hope that the animal is not human.
Tell the proprietor exactly what you want. If he tries to persuade you on the Ultima Package, try not to succumb to it immediately. You want this all inclusive, anything goes package, but you also want the deep tissue. Decide yes and follow the staggering walk of the ancient owner to room where you will get your massage, passing doors that are too thin not to let the sounds of screams and ecstasy bleed through. Before you step in look around, make note of the surprising cleanliness of the room and any way to get out in case anything strange happens. Do this only to appease your rising fear that won’t go away.
When the ever more zombiesque man ask you who you would like for your massage, handing you a pamphlet filled with the profiles of exotic women and men, choose the one that makes you least aroused. As you lay on the table, imagine things of beauty; fields of endless flowers of your choice swaying gracefully in a cool summer breeze. Breathe. Then think of the person you like most, the one you like least, and the one that makes you the happiest and most content. These will be the last images you’ll see before your new self.
When your masseuse comes over to you, smile. They will not be the one you requested. They will be the one that made you the most aroused. They will not be alone. Naked women hiding their faces inside of pigheads will come all over you while equally naked men in equally grotesque masks fondle you. Ritual sacrifice in the adjourning room will spill out into yours and a female shaman will fuck you until you can’t move. You are so spent and empty. Dehydration will take hold. Your body is sore but somehow continues. Shhh. Close your eyes and listen. Feel everything as it comes to you. This is everything you wanted, you realize. This is Ultima Massage II.