Marsha Fisher – Psychic Architecture

12.19.22 by Matty McPherson

Marsha Fisher is a star when it comes to concocting a junker’s delight. Her general caliber for unwieldy culling of the cream of the crop of the remains of analog detritus and ancient pre-recorded debris had given her music a colossal range. There’s fragments of unnerved drone and unkempt glitch that mend with outright new age new noise inversions. So it makes sense that she’s teamed up with the esteemed The Taperoom for a new round of devilish, unwound tape shenanigans on Psychic Architecture.

Psychic Architecture is a continuing expansion of Fisher’s fascination with loops, collages, and abrasive textures that a word like surreal doesn’t quite do justice towards. It really is a simple sonic set-up: Fisher loops and warps a particular phrase for a track and see the results that follow. Her production though is key to the success of these loops. They work to dramatically untethered the loops from original contexts so that they feels routinized like a flat dimensionless pancakes. It gives the tape this feeling of watching a mechanic object undergo surgery in a blnak, empty room–echoing and lashing until it either croaks or sprouts back to life. If the blurbs and repetition of a phrase’s prime intention aren’t completely rendered meaningless (and a few certainly are not), then what remains functions as a battle-scarred visage of a future. Over the hi-fi my parents walked in and pondered why it sounded like a damaged recording r2-d2 may have had stored on his lil’ data drive. That is really quite a succinct way of viewing Psychic Architecture–at least its opening half.

For fractured calcified fragments of melody happen to display themselves across the noise of side 2. “New Moon” wails out fuzzy bits of abrasion that almost make quarter notes into a melody! “Libra”’s recorder whistle and argle-bargle-gargle of that phrase “Libra” become a dadaist sketch; it segues perfectly with the followup sashaying noise serenade, “Fig Wasp,” which you would swear the voices on “Libra” was saying the whole time! “Zircon” might just be the climax and head bounty of the tape, a 6+ minute excursion of generator noise and black lagoon creature wails that quietly lulls you towards a trance as certain musical scales are introduced. Closer “Nuclear Family” almost invokes domestic bliss as much as warbled n’ wonky aquatic noise that drowns the entire concept into oblivion. A tantalizing way to go out for a lovely noise release.

Psychic Architecture is available as a limited cassette from the Tapeworm’s Bandcamp and online distro pages.