9.21.20 by Ryan Masteller
Of the many moods of Edwin Perry Manchester, these are two of them. “A Hidden Doorway to the Past,” released in October 2019 on Black Ring Rituals, and “Your Fears Are Real,” a relatively fresh batch of sweet “tunes” that popped into existence in June on TapeGoblin, swing open that titular door of the first to expose the mind of one wacky home skillet. As Manchester sets up his electronics table, surely he’s constantly dreaming of the day he can set it all on fire, all while it’s plugged in and feeding back or whatever, the sound of the inferno forever imprinted in the spools of a cassette tape.
Until that day, though, he’ll have to make a “virtual” inferno with the sounds his gear makes. “A Hidden Doorway to the Past” is the harsher of the two, a putrid wail of nasty signal broadcast directly from the butt of a farting quasar. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as track 2 of this thing is called “Frank Silva,” a tribute to the late actor who portrayed the stringy-haired BOB on “Twin Peaks.” If you think of “A Hidden Doorway” in relation to the Black Lodge denizens and BOB acolytes the Woodsmen, then imagine their “Gotta light?” inquiry blown into sonic molecules and repackaged as cassette-based artistic statement. The growly white-hot static and radio melt will surely blast open some doors with that intensity.
I would’ve loved to consider “Your Fears Are Real” as the friendlier, more-ready-to-chill manifestation of Manchester’s personality, but hey – you don’t call something “Your Fears Are Real” without getting to the heart of whatever matter you happen to be pursuing. And if you’re getting to the heart of “fears,” then maybe it’s only up to the brave and the well-prepared to dig in and really sink some teeth into this thing. Still, the obvious synthesizer material includes tendrils and wisps of playfulness that come off as less dour than “A Hidden Doorway,” but it’s still an uncompromisingly in-your-face set. Also, it ends on a track called “The Pain Goes On and On,” so there’s that. Not really playful at all, actually.
Two copies left (of an edition of 25) of “A Hidden Doorway,” nine left (of an edition of who knows) of “Your Fears Are Real.” You should probably stop waiting?