Selective Memory 1 & 2 [7-inch; Self-Released]

A Californian called Marc Merza is responsible for this truly elegant 7-inch presentation, a fact I’m aware of only because he e-mailed me to let me know, and then fired one off to me in the mail. This was months ago. After a quite busy and ultimately disappointing summer, which included a cross-country move, I’m shamed to admit that I actually lost track of where I packed this sucker, and have been staring at an unfinished draft of the review you’re now reading for far longer than I should have. Well, just today I finally unearthed this little beauty (from exactly where I put it, of course), much to my delight, if only because it gave me a chance to look at the thing again. This is the type of 7-inch that begs for a spin just by nature of its striking design, the cover and labels of which come from the leather tooling technique of Obsidian Monarch (aka Billy Sprague, who runs one of the best tape labels around, Sanity Muffin). Fortunately, the music is just as fetching as the art that adorns it, rounding “Selective Memory” out to be one of the better 7-inches to hit my turntable in 2015. Merza’s music is slight and sly. One side features a repeated guitar line tip-toeing its way across an extremely subtle ambient hum, like an audible wink, making way for the lulling slumber of what’s to come on the other side, which is a far more traditional sort of drone piece — rolling waves of sonic magma flowing past the steady pulse of a beating drum. All told it’s an intriguing experience, fun to flip back and forth — try figuring out which side of the cover represents which side of the music, and you might not get too far, but such is the pull of mystery Merza encourages with the way he composes and presents his music. According to the somewhat vague website created to promote this thing, Merza counts White Poppy’s Crystal Dorval and the Spookfish’s Dan Goldberg as sources of inspiration and debts of thanks, which may not explain much in terms of what we’re hearing here exactly, but seemed worthy of a mention anyway (it’s all about who you know these days, or something, right?). Regardless, the “mm” moniker is now firmly cemented in my sub-consciousness, and my regular consciousness is ready for whatever’s next. I’ll be waiting, eyes and ears perpetually perked.

Links: mm


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

Most Read