New York's UNO label released a whole lot of music in its first year of existence, and I don't make my count purely by number of 12-inches: from Jacques Greene's smoothly digital house to twisted Chicago oddities from the Twilite Tone to the private island bass-scapes of Fatima Al Qadiri's Genre-Specific Xperience, the label appeared less interested in connecting the dots of recent underground dance trends than scooping them all up in the same basket.
But as surprising as each release has been, UNO hasn't yet put forth something truly and incoherently wild—a missive suggesting their A&R department had found a laptop collective at the bottom of the ocean or a nascent footwork scene on Mars. In steps Gobby, a drummer of storied ferocity (he joined Hype Williams on stage during their recent set at Unsound New York, played an epic drum solo and then disappeared into the fog), bearing four strange techno tracks. Shit, as they say, gets real.
Gobby's influences certainly lurk beneath these brackish, carcinogen-rich waters—you can just make out Villalobos and Dettmann in the pile next to the woodchipper—but he's sure chosen a funny way of deploying them on New Hat, his vinyl debut. "Viewing HRS (ZZZ)" starts out like tech house, but Gobby's sequencer soon catches a bug: his knobs dial into the red zone no matter which way he turns them, sending synth lines into wheezing fits as they struggle to comply. "Seagate," with its throbbing Ostgut Ton core, is a series of implosions and pushbacks—a chain reaction left for dead. "Blankface ATM," a quickfooted, bleepy jack track, sounds like something Shed might keep locked up in his basement and never speak of. For his final act, Gobby summons "/U\," the epic and unfathomable love child of Throbbing Gristle and Alcachofa. It's raw and bleak and admittedly pretty extreme, but the cuneiform it carves into your eardrums imparts wisdom that reads weirdly like a way forward.