The psychedelic sensation has been described as ‘prolific’ by some, and his sixth studio album Sleeper (2013) was nothing short of a sensational work of art. In many ways, the more recent Manipulator — released August 2014 via Drag City — seems to create a sense of peaceful reflection following the passing of Segall’s father and subsequent estrangement from his mother (which were also major influences in Sleeper). Each of Segall’s albums follows a phenotypic trend, revealing the varying emotional states and psychedelic signatures of its creator. Manipulator arrives as evidence of consolidation and personal comfort after a shakier state and more fragile frame of mind.
To start, Segall has taken his aesthetic priority and craftsmanship on the new record to a more artistic level, spending a personally unprecedented 14 months to complete the 17-track album with extensive care and attention to detail. He sticks to his comfortable ’70s psychedelic rock feel, emanating the idiosyncratic Ty Segall mojo, with a bit more rock ‘n’ roll groove. Whether you want to experience an escape from reality into a personally-customizable world where time has no bounds or dance around a beach bonfire under the influence of emotional ecstasy, Manipulator is a must-hear.
However, the album still clings to modern reality with lyrical criticisms of issues such as privacy concerns, technological addictions, and surveillance, to name a few: “The Clock,” a personal favorite from the album, lashes out against our modern technocratic slavery. An interesting riff sparks curiosity, just as Segall begins with:
You think you remember
the times you had outside
Still the clock will never show
The wearing and tearing of the mind
The juxtaposition between tranquility and concern is unique in this seventh studio album. Meanwhile, his eager attitude towards future material, a truly wonderful element of Segall’s musicianship, can be felt throughout. San Francisco, to say the least, will be feeling Manipulator‘s spiritual ascension this weekend.
Article by Nikos Zarikos