- Gobby has a defiant attitude that matches his label, UNO, a New York outfit that casually drops albums and confounds expectations for fun. His deconstructive—or even just destructive—style generally has two modes: he can bang out techno like a natural, as with last year's Fashion Lady or his stunning debut New Hat, or he can pulverize beats into dust the way he did on last year's Above Ground. His new one, the inscrutably-titled Wakng Thrst For Seeping Banhee, proudly takes the latter approach, for what might be his most dumbfounding release yet.
Wakng Thrst is confrontational from the start, taking a sharp turn away from the techno of Fashion Lady and heading into much weirder territory. There are still drums, but they're forced into lopsided patterns, like the garbled garage of "Friday For Spiralhead" and "YeOldeBitch," or the feet-dragging thud of "Tonka." "Kill Dog Because Hungry" suppresses an insurgent breakbeat with a wall of filters, while seven-minute centrepiece "Like If You Pee On The Side Of The Bowl" hearkens back to his own techno work, taking it apart until it's a series of chimes and percussive devices that stutter like cellphone interference.
Those are the most accessible parts of the record. The rest of it flies by in bursts of speech and noise, some 30 seconds long, some three minutes. As a result, Wakng Thrst seems confused about what it's trying to do, drowning considered standouts ("Red Seal") in a sea of distorted muzak ("Pay Fonrew Shii," "Gums"). It sounds like Gobby took whole songs and sent them through a shredder, and while that kind of reckless method can be fun, it could just as easily wear on your nerves.
It's not as if Gobby doesn't know what he's doing. The tongue-in-cheek "The Beautay" has all the uplifting power of a hymn, slowly blooming with brilliant streams of organ—a reminder that he's a capable of a lot more than he lets on. But his mind wanders constantly. Even if Wakng Thrst has enlightening moments like "Beautay" or "Red Seal," they're surrounded by a minefield of sound collage and brutal distortion that can be a real chore to get through. Gobby's at his best when he's focused, and there isn't much of that here.
1. Season 1 Episode 5
2. Red Seal
3. Friday Spiralhead
8. Kill Dog Because Hungry
10. Season 1 Episode 6
11. Message from John
13. Like If You Pee On The Side Of The Bowl
14. The Beautay
17. Pay Fonrew Shii
18. Snitchy Baluga
19. Lil Pizza Face Feat Lil Big Tymer
21. Seky Petii