Ryan Martin’s Secret Boyfriend project (a singer, songwriter and noise artist from Carrboro, North Carolina) is described in typically verbose terms as “heart-rending but hard-edged synthesis of downer folk, small hour tape experiments, noise etudes and basement-mildewed pop for edgeland fuck-ups, wanderers and malcontents”. Martin’s music is a post-hypnagogic expression of the lo-fi rock tradition (as originally pioneered by the likes of Jim Shepard, Peter Jefferies, The Dead C, et al.). Much like those artists, he creates grainy home recordings that cut across a number of styles, in the process extinguishing the distinctions between song and sound collage, self-expression and sonic experimentation. Listeners will be exposed to guitar-driven slowcore, harsh drone, Giallo pastiche, primitive synth-pop & intimate experimental.
"When I make music I go into -I don't want to say a dream state, but maybe a world that exists in my own mind where it's a little bit creepy, I guess."
"I looked up and saw, if you can imagine, an invisible man walking with black paint splashed on his upper abdomen and thighs. I've never experienced anything malevolent, only weird things. I'm not sure if I believe in intelligent entities or if it's just a weird lingering energy, like the memory of a place."
"It works for some people, but I like hearing things that are all over the place, which to me makes them more personal."
"I like the physical aspect of performing—it creates a feedback loop where you're choking on something and the more uncomfortable you get, the more it influences the sounds. Ideally, I'm getting sort of personal and raw," he says. "I'm not a private masochist, just a public one. It's an externalization of whatever's going on with you, not a grim thing."
"There's a hollowness or maybe like an apocalyptic kind of mood, where you go outside and things aren't quite right, kind of desolate. Maybe it seems like it's daylight and 3 a.m. There are people with maybe no faces creeping in your periphery."
"All these horrific monkey creatures with human faces crawling down from the trees, overpowering everything. Or being in this room full of invisible people sleeping, where you can see the dust rise off their bodies when they breathe. I recognize them as nightmares, but I'm also like, 'That's so fucked. That makes me feel so weird. I love it.'"