Dragon’s Eye Recordings is proud to present A Skeleton, soon and then Forever by Marc Manning. A Skeleton, soon and then Forever addresses the underlying notion that life is only a fraction of the time that the body endures on earth. The songs attempt to communicate the insight that our bodies will in fact be skeletons for most of their existence. The album is sparse and melancholic with a focus on room sound and analog tones. It treats the guitar as a chime-like instrument that falls in and out in kaleidoscopic phases. The first 100 copies of the record sold online are accompanied by a small booklet of drawings that were made during the recording and mixing sessions.
About Marc Manning
Marc Manning is a artist and musician living and working in San Francisco. He has released music under the monikers, legend of boggy creek, everything is fine, red weather tigers, and heavy lids. He has performed extensively on the east and west coasts over the past 10 years. Manning is a veteran of several Philadelphia atmospheric bands, the shoe gazer art rock of “the legend of boggy creek” and cave core rock of “everything is …
Manning’s trademark tinkering returns with the guitar-and-amp A Skeleton, Soon and then Forever, an accessible take on experimental and psychedelia. His strings randomly hum and buzz and whistle the way wind chimes do, driven less by rhythm and design intent, and more by that fickle, sometimes cruel force of nature. It is hard to divine whether the album was crafted over months or improvised live. Track names tell an unfolding story: “Now and then forever,” “Not any time soon,” “Not forever but for a long time,” yet this release could have been delivered as a single cut, a near hour of examining the all-too-postmodern concept that, for all our posturing, little changes, and little is really all that changed. The best track is the second one, a blue period adagio that could represent a rookie axeslinger with a microphone in his bedroom, or Explosions in the Sky playing at ATP. Unpopulated, unpretentious, and delicate, A Skeleton, Soon and then Forever is comfortable in its own skin.
– The Muse in Music
Marc Manning’s A Skeleton, Soon and Then Forever flips that precept, and its inherent value as well. Rippled guitars are treated like chiming rhythm machines, born in a groundswell of echo and ostination, approaching tonal oblivion by their sheer repetitive motions. Manning’s skilled at adapting a room’s natural ambience to give his pieces heft; conversely, it’s a Riley-esque feel he’s courting, and his own minimalist bearings seem to abhor a vacuum. However, had Manning explored some more radical tunings or expanded the recording’s vocabulary, A Skeleton… would have benefited from the extra gristle on its bone.
– Signal to Noise
“Life is only a fraction of the time that the body endures on earth”. That is the concept behind this CD by Marc Manning, a San Francisco artist and musician whose work has been produced under various aliases and is defined as a “veteran of several Philadelphia atmospheric bands” (although the names “The legend of Boggy Creek” and “Everything is fine” don’t report to my memory). This could be described as an ambient/installation album based on a mixture of clean and just slightly saturated guitar tones, overlapping and superimposing until a wavering sea of chimes, plucks and notes is generated. Many records have utilized these winds to sail towards the same shores, and Manning is not exactly innovative in using his bag of tricks that contains no actual trick. Most of these wanderings revolve around the standard six-string tuning (namely the typical open E chord) and there’s no way – especially for guitarists – to avoid a sense of “extremely well known”, to use kind words. We can’t really say that this is a bad record, as there are sections that gently accompany your activities without disturbing. But the whole results rather inoffensive to these ears: a few changes should have been introduced along a path of over 50 minutes. Exclusively for collectors.
– Touching Extremes
This edition of 250 showcases the work of guitarist, Marc Manning. Occupying territory somewhere between the delicate restraint of a typical 12k release, and with slight jazz infusions, not dissimilar to some of David Sylvian’s recent forays, this is an elegant work of textural strings, using reverb, multi-tracking, and a variety of other elements to build around. The album consists almost solely of guitar, and effects are used to form atmosphere and dynamics. Manning deploys a variety of compositional techniques, creating scrolls of delicacy, wispy tracts like “Not any time soon”, or “Not forever but for a long time”, with their dreamy, almost transcendental moods and shifts. For guitar experimentalists out there, don’t expect Fennesz’s influence here, as Manning uses the instrument in it’s purest form, unadulterated,and unaltered,a work of profound beauty, and stark simplicity.
Marc Manning San Francisco native artist is a Portland based musician who explores the possibilities of the guitar. He has a discography of 5 releases on Tract Records, Dragons Eye Recordings, hinah and Not on Label and collaborates in a bunch of albums, EP’s and singles. One of his latest collaborations is with Dragons Eye label director Yann Novak on ‘Pairings’ (2007). Manning verges in Ambient music and craft six gorgeous pieces ranging from delicate guitar chord to hidden guitar discrete distortion. He evolves in subtle finger picking creating spirals of soft string sections. An endless guitar soundscape runs the whole album which is very melodic, melancholic and moreover with captivating atmospheres.
Oh, this is just a beauty of a release. Simple, lush, beautifully played guitar pieces with a lightly ambient touch which emphasises the nature of the room it was recorded in. Earthy, warm and fragile sounding there’s an honesty here that will please your ears no end. I can’t fault it really and have been enjoying it for some time. It’s one of those things I keep going back to as it has a timeless quality which suits many different moods. Truly gorgeous and another outstanding release from Dragon’s Eye.
With this CD comes a nice small booklet of minimalist lines and drawings that were made during ‘recording and mixing sessions’ of this CD. Either the music is not very hands on, or someone has too much time. Marc Manning plays guitar in these recordings, using flageolet playing, bits of echo (sometimes a lot of bits of echo) and in one track a firm dose of distortion. Ambient and microsound would be the first words that spring to mind, but its more hands on than much of that. Manning has to continue to play the strings and make a sound. It’s a pity that each track is built in the same way and that there’s only one that has some more variation to it, which is the one with the more distorted character. The other four float by in much the same fashion, which makes it a bit too much of the same for me. It’s certainly a nice clean break from the world of laptops, but landing in the ambient scene with not enough variation throughout.
– Vital Weekly