When I first saw Gobi take a stage in July 2012, I was pretty damn sure that I was not about to see some kind of industry-produced act. I remember that opening show as exhaustingly long but one where the mood coming from their dance-music-meets-rap set was just so goddamn good that I didn’t want to leave.
Now, pop EDM act Gobi will re-release their album Gold on Black Ice (Deluxe LP) on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Holy Mountain on East 7th. This time with five additional tracks.
Gobi’s sound involved a lot of what I call loops of bloops and driving rhythms, reminding me variously of Trentemoller, a darker Mylo and some of Radiohead’s post-Kid A stuff.
On top of that smart, fun instrumental base, frontman Chuco Phil laid down his Kweli-via-De la Rocha flow, which sounded to me like it had been influenced by rock-rap, but which had managed to eliminate all of the douchey-ness that often accompanies that genre.
The track “Born to Dance” alone with lines such as, “It’s like I’m born to dance, Michael Jackson. I got that Big Love, Bill Paxton,” is tailor-made to be thrown down on a thousand dance floors in its current flavor and in a garden variety of remixes. It’s all electro slamming beats for Gobi these days, ones that a writer can see the word “sick” being liberally applied to by people in a party atmosphere.
Gobi, as opposed to the pre-fab electro-pop we tend to get these days, is just some dudes from Far West Texas who came to Austin to take the music that they like, and like to make, and to try to turn that into something that everyone digs.
In a scene where most artists that go for this party-electro sound, hand-selected by an enormous, money-aware industry to make record companies and music “outlets” like iTunes a whole fuck-ton of money, Gobi is authentic.
In another interview (that was, oddly for an EDM group, at the Greenbelt), the beatmaker of Gobi says that his biggest influence was Deftones. Now, I’m not a Deftones person, but I’ve known too many smart Deftones uber-fans in my life to discount that group. But even Deftones fanatics have to admit, the kids are not listening to a lot of that kind of music right now. That makes it interesting, then, when you can hear the Deftones influence in a largely electronic dance band, and it still makes sense and creates tracks that the (goddamn crazy) youths might dig.
That part of it, the youth-digging, comes from the electro sound that Gobi has transitioned to over its life. They’re obviously guys with their ear to the pop ground. They’ve made smart musical decisions, calculated decisions, by incorporating and then making dominant a very “now” pop/electro/party sound in their music.
There are also pure pop hooks that a reveler might easily get cemented into their head for a night, or a night and the next three depending on the kind of EDM fan you are.
* Gobi at Holy Mountain, 617 East 7th Street, Feb. 7. $8. All Ages. Advance tickets here.