From the Harlem afterhours school of cutting edge dance music is Gobby. Finding camaraderie amongst the likes of acts like CFCF, Fatima Al Qadiri, Kuhrye-oo, Jacques Greene, LOL Boys on the imprint UNO NYC; Gobby’s work within the electronic realm pushes the sample and beat boundaries to be more than rhythmic white noise blaring from car stereos and bouncer heavy nightclubs.
Having produced post-gender artist Mykki Blanco with the hard boiled “Betty Rubble (I’ve Got the Midas Touch),” Gob gives the confrontational lyrics a kind of horror movie keyboard menace fit for a hardcore rap diva like Blanco coming at you like a transgendered Elvira repping a “212” far scarier than Azealia Bank’s LaGuardia thespian spit schtick. But this too is all part of Gobby’s New Hat of techno.
From the moment the keyboard makes that turned on/switched on tone, “Viewing Hrs [ZZZ]” kicks into a mechanical gear that conjures Fritz Lang robotic assembly lines crafting robots ad infinitum. But this description still tells nothing of the strange siren adventures warped into the mix that seems at times melting while increasing in volume. Percussion chirps from electric birds and jerky ticks recall the Mouse on Mars glitch dawning of the late 90s, but more than that is Gobby’s groove running the techno beat gamut with things going haywire all around the heavy duty drum sequencing found on “Seagate,” where “Blankface ATM” is pure aural hypertension sounding like an ATM robbery sequence involving scramblers, decoding devices beeping and buzzing at varying heart rate rhythms that keeps the intensity going for five and half minutes.
“/U” is the closest thing to a lull you get with subterranean bass lines, vintage Atari explosion blasts to kick things off before a concentrated brew that could be mistaken at times for an outtake from Musik von Harmonia. But again, we are still only dealing with fragments and facets of a piece that seems deceptive in a perceived simplicity for the low level pulsing steam and bass but brewing beneath is a bag of tricks learned from the dub masters that takes on the challenge of deconstructing one’s own musical craft. Perhaps in no other song on this EP is the artist’s hand seen on display than in the nearly ten minute display of developing brain peeling variations on themes of electronic that is “/U.”
The drum and bass heads that got burnt out on the glitch electro during the early oughts might protest when first hearing “Viewing Hrs [ZZZ]” but will soon be rewarded from further listening to Gobby's work within both the dance medium's abstractions and plays on the genre’s conventions. “Seagate” redefines the drum and bass structure through strange transformations of bass frequencies beyond the parabolic that beg you to call it post-structuralist but are the makings of a larger beast all together. Another listening renders both “Seagate” and the following jam “Blankface ATM” blend into each other like a complete song in two parts. As far as conventions are concerned, “Blankface ATM” might be the jam that flirts the most with contemporary dance culture nuances but still manages to point toward new realms of new dance with a Harlem pulse. Objections to “/U” will permeate as only the electronic d n’ b adventurer will want to spend nearly 10 minutes dissecting the construct of Gobby’s musical approach that worked well in the hyperbolic magnetism of the first three tracks with little thought to process.
A radio edit for this secret pearl of the EP could prove to be monstrous in the dance/EDM communities as Gobby’s new realm momentum of electronic hedonism cannot be pinned down to the signifiers of today’s tag happy music journalism. New Hat is today’s biggest threat to generic dance culture, rendering the cut and paste apathy of today’s production sterility old hat, coming from the real deal himself working within new styles that we will be putting up with all throughout the next couple years to come.