By Ty Simmons
Leave your cigarettes at home next Tuesday, because the best tobacco that’s going to be at Spanish Moon will be on the stage. The nicotine-feeling, zoney yet harsh music of Thomas Fec will put shame to any Marlboro, Parliament, or Camel.
May 6 – $13
Show info/tickets here
May 6 – $13
Show info/tickets here
Fec, better known as TOBACCO, is unforgiving, avant-garde, and powerful. The Philadelphia native and front man of Black Moth Super Rainbow is adept at the disorienting and overpowering. His electronic compositions are equal parts dance and stress, fun and worry.
Fec’s work in BMSR is psychedelic and lush, with analog synths and kick drums fleshing out a unique folk-pop electronica. The band’s work, however, occasionally touched on hip hop sentiments, and as a solo artist, he’s explored these extensively.
His head-nod worthy yet corrosive and noisy productions have seen indie rappers like Aesop Rock take notice, and echo with some of El-P’s noisier work.
Like a long-time fighter, his music is broken, worn, and bends in odd places, but it still punches, and punches hard. It’s messy and abstract, like Boards of Canada as heard through a steel mill, with blaring analog synths, distorted drums, and growling bass.
Yet above the post-industrial grime sings clear, definable, and comfortable pop melodies, and his experience with BMSR lends some heavy vocoder presence. It’s like Daft Punk dragged screaming through a rusty scrapyard.
Fec is touring in support of his new record, Ultima II Massage, due for release on May 13 on Ghostly Records. He described his unorthodox musical style in a press release:
“I spent a lot of time breaking it in all the right places. It ends up making the whole thing breathe – sometimes gasp for air. It feels more alive. 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.”
Ghostly claims “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.”
In cultivating his new sound, Fec turned back to the old. Using his BMSR stapled analog synths, his music simultaneously throws back to the genesis of pristine electro and seems completely alien to it. This is no new wave.
In recording, he had to subvert his pop impulses that are given fair reign in BMSR. “This might be my most purposely difficult album yet, but I promise if you let it in, it can f— you up,” he claims.
Opening for TOBACCO and accompanying him for his ULTIMA 2014 tour are The Stargazer Lillies, an old school shoegaze band specializing in melodic, droning soundscapes, ambient, lush, and ethereal.
Their debut record We Are The Dreamers was released only recently on Graveface Records. Fellow Pennsylvania-native TOBACCO curated the release. Now they share a stage.
The brain-child of duo John Cep and Kim Field, The Lillies are a phoenix of their previous band, Soundpool. By taking a minimalistic approach to their old sound and picking up live drummers, EJ DeCoske and Johnny Lancia have excelled in building a full, spacey sound.
Their website describes the band as “butterfly wings, slowly beating guitars enveloping the listener, ethereal breathy female vocals floating on a melody, rocked out bossa nova beats, and bad ass bass throwing down the rhythm.”
By bringing their unique Pennsylvania soundscapes to Spanish Moon, these two bands will create a unique and interesting sonic experience that ought not be missed.