Exorcise Tape, a collaboration between Tobacco (of Pittsburgh's Black Moth Super Rainbow) and Tucson hip-hop artist Zackey Force Funk, recorded under the moniker Demon Queen, is the natural result of what seems like a wholly unnatural union. The chemistry between the two, coupled with the behind-the-scenes chemistry employed by Tobacco in the album's production, yields a bold, complex result.
Exorcise Tape is an investigation of tawdry excesses, from strip clubs as adult playgrounds to exotic cars as the means of transportation to transcendence. It is also a by-the-book hip-hop party record designed to get things moving on the dance floor. That it can be both without irony, or even conflict, is a testament to the strength of each artist's creative voice and his willingness to let it merge and meld with the other's.
Continuing in the vein of last year's Cobra Juicy, the soundscapes provided by Tobacco are dreamy pop syrup, alternating between the sounds of warm keyboards and warring ray-gun effects, set to a constant stir. It is often difficult to tell where Tobacco's purring vocoder mandates end and Zackey Force Funk's R&B-tinged crooning begins. Tobacco imbues each track with the same underlying hum of energy, facilitating multiple listenings with infectious ease. Exorcise Tape is like the soundtrack to a hip-hop-themed Ralph Bakshi film or an NSFW version of Gorillaz. Thanks to the lyrical assistance from Zackey Force Funk's Machina Muerte crew, Exorcise Tape feels like a fully realized hip-hop album and not just one-off collaboration.
In merging their voices, Tobacco and Zackey Force Funk have shone a light on new facets of their respective personae on Exorcise Tape. Given their past work, that they have done so in service to a Demon Queen is fitting.