As the urban pulse of New York City continues to dictate the rhythm of its streets, the avant-grindcore/hardcore solo project MANIPULATOR has unleashed a new single, “The Mask You’ve Made“. This latest offering serves as a prelude to the November debut of the act’s sophomore album, Drawing Secret Circles.
With a runtime of just fourteen minutes, Drawing Secret Circles delivers twenty tracks, showcasing the singular talents of project founder Andrew Notsch, who assumes responsibilities for both vocals and instrumentation.
The album, however, doesn’t stand alone. It’s complemented by a video game crafted by SpaceMicroscope, with each track corresponding to a game level. This interactive experience is further enhanced with an art book which visually aligns with the music video and video game, ensuring a multi-dimensional engagement for fans.
The album’s lineup boasts collaborations with Derrick Karg, Tim Bradley, and Juan Vargas, with a standout guitar performance by Lucas Wyssbrod on “Fear And Mystery Drown”. Adam Tucker of Signaturetone, known for his work with notable bands like Ulthar and Thou, took the helm for the album’s production and mastering. The album artwork, a brainchild of Notsch himself, reflects the same visceral energy that courses through the tracks.
Speaking about “The Mask You’ve Made”, Notsch shares, “It’s an unfiltered reflection on the facade people often wear, betraying a far more inflated sense of self than reality dictates. This track, in particular, captures what I consider my most raw vocal performance to date.”
The merchandising for Drawing Secret Circles is as eclectic as the album itself. Alongside the traditional offerings of shirts and patches, fans can also purchase a DVD version of a music video that spans the entire album. Vinyl enthusiasts have the choice between two limited edition variants: Purple Splatter and Silver Swirl, made available in collaboration with a consortium of record labels including Wise Grinds Records and Psychocontrol Records.
Bearing the mark of a true artist, Notsch doesn’t merely restrict himself to the sonic realm. He takes the reins of MANIPULATOR’s entire visual aesthetic, spanning music videos, media assets, layouts, and merchandise. The lyrical narratives, infused with relentless urgency, are crafted by Tim Bradley, a longtime collaborator. Bradley’s prowess extends to samples and sound work, orchestrating them with the precision of a maestro.
MANIPULATOR, while paying homage to Notsch’s previous engagements like Sunless and This Is The Last Time, stands distinct in its ferocity. Rather than reimagining genres, the project’s primary objective remains clear: to deliver an unapologetic auditory onslaught that’s as invigorating as it is aggressive. It’s an invitation to revel in chaos and find solace in its midst.
Drawing Secret Circles will officially hit the airwaves on November 3rd.