Review: Territorial Gobbing – Stud Mechanism (Cadmus Tape, Apr 11)

“Gob” has to be the grossest word in the English language. Just ask John Updike—it features prominently in a particularly revolting passage from In the Beauty of the Lilies that I never, ever want to read again. I think it’s so powerfully disgusting a word because it sounds so much like the thing to which it refers, some viscous, bulbous drop of a gelatinous substance. On Stud Mechanism, Leeds-based musician Territorial Gobbing (also a member of Thank, whose 2017 EP Sexghost Hellscape is one of the great modern no wave releases) crafts irreverent tape collages that are fittingly mud-soaked and sticky, the artist wrangling blasts of screeching feedback, pop radio excerpts, and uncomfortably amplified mouth sounds into intense, schizophrenic amalgams. No sound ever sticks around long enough to build a consistent atmosphere, but there’s a disorienting, visceral presence to these hodgepodges that is much more patient than the artist themselves, and when the contortions cut off into silence on “Hey Judas Priest” you find yourself begging them to come back. I think it’s more than appropriate that Territorial Gobbing, instead of the conventional “music,” to refer to their work as “wiggly pleasure air.”

“You can lead a horse to water, you can make it drink, you can do anything you want, I’m so proud of you.”