Marsha Fisher – Chain Whisperer

6.21.19 by Ryan Masteller

Oh, god no! I thought that Will Guthrie tape I just wrote about was freaky, with the ghost drums, but Marsha Fisher’s got that one topped, like big time, with “Chain Whisperer.” I mean, look at the front of this thing! It’s the ACTUAL grim reaper on the cover! Also, it’s on Gay Hippie Vampire, and I don’t care if you’re gay or a hippie, you get away from me if you’re a vampire! I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna head for the nearest Catholic church and hide behind the font of holy water for a while.

But first, maybe I should give this thing a chance, just in case it has some redeeming qualities that I’m unable to discern at first glance. [Presses play] No, no, this is still scary. Those distorted synth tones belong in a haunted house, not in my house, and certainly not in this church. “Claws Against the Floorboards” grinds tensely for ten entire minutes, each shuddering deathstroke a reminder to check those milk cartons for Stephen O’Malley, because I think Fisher’s got Sunn O))) trapped in the basement. Fisher’s radiating noise peters out by the time “The Light from Behind the Gravestone” creeps itself from somewhere deep in the cemetery, keeping to itself with its quiet tones of mystery. But then of course the main(ish) event: the title track! “Chain Whisperer” doesn’t come subtly; “Chain Whisperer” drags that heavy chain across the expanse of the warehouse from which you cannot escape. “Chain Whisperer” is a demon bent on destruction. “Chain Whisperer” is bent on YOUR destruction.

“Home-dubbed cassette in lo-fi. Each j-card suffers more and more deterioration of color as the toner cartridge in our printer dies.” Disintegration tapes! Somewhere Basinski’s ears are burning.