The Blackest Ever Black label continues its search for the bleakest drone and synthesizer music with this release from Secret Boyfriend. On Memory Care Unit the artist explores live improvisation, but keeps the Coil-influenced dark ambient elements seen on 2013’s This is Where You’ve Always Lived. The icy drones on this vinyl LP, and included download, are abrasive, yet intimate.
8/10 Ant Staff review, 25 February 2016
It’s a bloody good job Blackest Ever Black have another Secret Boyfriend record out - cuz you can’t get hold of Ryan Martin’s other stuff (mostly tapes) for love nor money.
‘Memory Care Unit’ opens with the gloomy, gaseous dark ambient of ‘The Singing Bile’ and sliding into the melancholy but more optimistic bleached electronica of ’Little Jammy Centre’ complete with eroded Boards of Canada / Ghost Box flavoured synth motif. ‘They’re Playing Themselves’ goes all spooked ambient with twinkling loops. While ‘Paean Delle Palme’ is like smacked out, comatose Gamelan before we get the tranquilized darkwave pop of ‘Stripping At The Nail’ which has echoes of label mate Tropic of Cancer. ‘Memorize Them Well’ could easily be filed next to Dalhous or the more ghostly synth side of the Posh Isolation catalogue.
The production sound throughout is full of tactile, grainy texture that gently rubs against the softer, silkier sounds and each track seems to resonate through the skull beyond the time of listening. Most pleasant.
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