Tabs Out | Secret Boyfriend – Memory Care Unit Vol. 2

Secret Boyfriend – Memory Care Unit Vol. 2

3.25.20 by Ryan Masteller

Existential crises – we all have them. They can manifest at any given time and affect us in a variety of ways. Sometimes they make us think that anything we try to do, any plan we make, will be rendered useless in due time, often quickly. At other times, they make us think that everything we’ve done has been for nothing. And at OTHER other times, they just make us feel completely irrelevant in a grand universal manner.

All these things are the same.

Secret Boyfriend dabbles in a little bit of the Gramscian, in that “the old is dying and the new cannot be born. … In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appears.” “Memory Care Unit Vol. 2” charts a course through this arrested progress, where tones beget tension the longer they’re allowed to hover in the air. Normally I’d call the whole family into the living room to gather round the hi-fi and enjoy the latest primordial synthesizer masterpiece as it drizzles in from the speakers of the hi-fi, but I think this one might just set everyone on edge a little bit, grind a few sets of teeth. That may be one of the symptoms, though: avoidance. Facing our fears and future head on is probably the healthiest thing we can do, because we can look to each other for help and guidance through the tough times. But fuck that shit – I’m sticking my head in the sand.

“Memory Care Unit Vol. 2” moves from crisis to full-on breakdown as the tape tracks from side A to B. At first the synthesizer follows you around, stalking you from behind and ramping up the creep factor as it overstays its welcome in your consciousness (“Memory Care Unit”-as-physical-creeper, not “Memory Care Unit”-as-musical-artifact – I don’t want THAT thing to stop). The drones get under your skin and in your head. But when the second side hits, we get into a nightmarish tape-manipulation game that begins with a stretched and screwed field recording that contains an unearthly scream. The “Forgotten Choir” reminds us that there’s still thick slabs of synth awaiting us, but as soon as it becomes the “Fossilized Choir” it glitches out again. From there it’s spooky horror soundtracks to the end. Horror soundtracks to our unholy existential crises.

That is until “20th Version” ends the tape like it’s the rapture or something. Well, a rapture straight into a supernova, anyway. We’ll all hold hands around the table and enter into oblivion together, and all the crises and cancerous symptoms will dissipate in a flash of fission. Sweet freedom!

Available from our weird friends at Hot Releases.

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