Cleveland-based sound and performance artist Marcia Custer makes her recording debut with Stacey’s Spacey, a tape suspended somewhere between overloaded noise collage and twisted Casio pop songcraft, all topped off with the vocal histrionics of a exaggerated femme persona known as Stacey. While speaking or singing as Stacey, Custer dips into flights of crooned baby talk, valley girl vocal fry, and maniacal yelping. Far from the realms of shock humor and irreverence, her pieces land as pointed takedowns of misogyny and general idiocy, both inside and out of the “noise scenes” / “art worlds” that Custer inhabits. Her monologues, woven within peals of synth noise and bursts of peppy keyboard melody, fuse together tropes from the vocabularies of children’s entertainment, self-care / mental health advocacy, depersonalized corporate jargon, and Stepford Wives suburban vapidity. Presented as a flowing narrative that encompasses everything from bursts of throbbing industrial grit to a cheery, chipmunk-toned conversation with a personified keyboard named Barb La Croix, Stacey’s Spacey shines with Marcia Custer’s unquestionable magnetism as a vocalist, her sublime timing as a comedian, and her wild tonal sensibilities as a noise head.
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A goopy juicy monophonic synth pile that you'll want to say is "a soundtrack to a lost 80s film gem" but that would be facile and repetitive, don't you think? Judicious use of samples and other studio fun help this stand out from the competition. Ennis Pea