Many Mansions
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Many Mansions

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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Many Mansions is the weaponized funk-form of Jamaica Plain weird-beard collective Whitehaus, loading up the psychedelic strangeness of that art-mad odd-squad into aural salvos of intolerable vibe. Tune in to some good craziness as these renegade acid casualties drop some serious, Peter Max-type mind expansion on … sigh. So, basically, a bunch of niños blancos fresh off their shifts selling raw milk at the farmers market will be belting out trippy Afro-beat at O’Brien’s, if you’re interested. They’re pretty good, really. Great for, like, dancing and stuff. - Boston Weekly Dig


Part of Jamaica Plain collective Whitehaus, Many Mansions began in 2005 with the recording of their debut on 4-track cassette. Since then, the band has blossomed into an amorphous eletro psych-pop assemblage known locally for their home-made releases on cassette and CD-R and collaborations (with acts like Chicagoist favorite Truman Peyote). Unfortunately, they don't often wander far from their Boston neighborhood, so their off-kilter grooves go largely unheard around these parts.

Their latest release, Whales, is a 4-track EP of ambient soundscapes and funky, synth-driven beats. The album opens with a low, rhythmic vocalized murmur that runs through the entire first track, “Whales pt. 1.” This hazy, blissful feel - sort of like what the inside of a womb might sound like - is a constant throughout the album. Perhaps the album’s strongest track, “Whales pt. 2,” takes the album in a much funkier direction. It opens with a tribal drum beat and slowly develops the melody, experimenting with organ, Jew’s harp, glitchy synth sounds, wah pedal, and ultimately the sound of a mooing cow.

The album, like most of Many Mansions’ work, is mostly instrumental. The repetitive rhythms, afrobeat hooks and swirling psychedelia make for the perfect soundtrack to an acid trip or interpretive dance.

If you haven’t been to Panchos since it began regularly booking music, there’s no better time than this Thursday. Along with Many Mansions (headlining), the line-up features pop collective Quiet Hooves and psychpop weirdos Bubbly Mommy Gun, both hailing from Athens, Georgia. Also playing are local dreampop duo Architecture and psych jammers Nude Sunrise.

Coincidentally, Thursday is Cinco de Mayo, so show up early and enjoy some cheap but delicious Mexican/Cuban cuisine at Cafeteria de Pancho (we recommend chicken tacos and café con leche), before heading over to the adjoining venue for a full night of music and maybe a few mojitos. - Chicagoist


Last month we mentioned a split 12" featuring Truman Peyote's "Sidewalk Sludging (Airbud)", and now we've got the other side of the disc-- Many Mansions' aptly titled "Sparkly Portal", which shines with some effervescent synth chimes and rolling tribal drums, a nice pairing for Truman Peyote's dubby "Sidewalk". Order this split from Whitehaus later this month. - Pitchfork


You've probably seen that anti-smoking commercial on the television, where a man who sort of looks like a black-sheeped member of Billy Bob Thornton's family is crossing the street and then hoofing it on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette. He pulls it from his mouth, gives it a cross look and then stamps it out on the pavement only to find that the other hand - through some form of magicianship - is outfitted with another lighted cigarette. He goes to scratch an itch on his face or brush off a stray hair that had blown onto his cheek and he's attached to another stick of nicotine. There's no escaping the powers that the drug has on him. A similar scene could be played out with Many Mansions' Shane Donnelly, the tinkerer and composer for his Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, musical project. One can easily imagine him with a tendency to reach to his mouth, absentmindedly or with purpose, and finding himself popping another mushroom into it. One after another, the psychedelic mushrooms enter the mouth and slowly, but surely, everything gets confused, everything blurs into a sweeping wash of diseased dance music that makes legs, eyes, arms, crotches, hearts and ears feel drunk and stoned as hell. If it wasn't pleasant, we'd just pretend as if it didn't exist, but it is pleasant - damned pleasant, in fact - and it gets you thinking about the buckets and buckets of mushrooms that Donnelly seems to have to fall back on and we're wondering where that stash happens to be. We have our cash in hand and we'd like to slip him some code words, the password, the money, whatever it might take to join him, to get some of those drugs handed over.

The music that Donnelly makes seems to be all-inclusive. We hear in it as an invitation to join in the kind of party that will make your mind vaporize into a den of bobbing movements and involuntary motion. It's music that can and will make you feel as if you're losing control of things while becoming considerably more in control of vacationing craziness. It's not wild craziness, but a slow move toward a night that you'll wake up the following morning from, thinking that nothing at all went awry, when you begin to get phone calls and text messages from friends who were with you, asking how you're doing, all in an accusatory tone, with a rising inflection as if they know a considerable amount more than you can possibly remember. You did some stupid things and now you know that you did some stupid things. You hear particles of conversations that sound vaguely familiar and you find yourself asking for more details. Many Mansions music is the kind of sweet, fruity alcoholic drink that's deceptive. You drink two or three, tell yourself you're not feeling anything and then a half an hour later, after two or three more glasses, the high-proof of potent booze kicks in and you're entranced. Donnelly, the music maker, is deceptive - like those drinks -- with his beats and his melodies, all fitting a certain kind of Caribbean aesthetic and a rum punch taste, luring you in and letting the ease of the capture finally knock you on your ass. You pull yourself from the ground hours later, with a huge, sloppy grin pasted across your face.
- Daytrotter


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Feeling a bit camera shy

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Currently at a loss for words...