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  • Archives
     

    Ending/Returning [coll] – [Immune Recordings]

    By my ears, Steven R. Smith is one of the most intense emotional
    conjurers within the confines of KFJC’s library. He should be
    scoring major motion pictures, not just the minor post-midnight
    moments in our ceiling-staring lives. This release provides a
    Bruce Wayne/Batman view of Steven and his Ulaan Khol project.
    Two black vinyl records constitute a mirror world for seven
    sound-Smith’d songs. I almost wonder if the Ulaan Khol were
    born first. They bristle with electric rage, thickened by
    a mix of distortion and perservering hope. That is the blood
    essence of Ulaan Khol. Scaling craggy instrumental peaks
    held in place by six mere strings and a humbucking drive.
    Even in that more electric territory, Steven always has a
    pastoral air to his playing. This time around a few gusts
    of Kraut Rock blow through his fractal branches of chords.
    Even without the pedals blazing, on the Steven R. Smith
    A/B sides, there’s a manifest sense of the Old West. Where
    the Ulaan Kolh is more raw and immediate, the multiple
    layers on the Smith sides deliver a fuller and more pensive
    sound. Is that clarinet in the mix, or a more gently
    processed guitar (ebow to the soul?). Piano does drop
    some watery notes into these versions. But still there is
    a desolation of the desert, a half hour before sun stroke.
    A horse has thrown its rider in each of these records,
    the tracks are the same on each, but on the first, we
    see the vantage of the rider, dusted and eyes skyward
    while on the second record, we are the horse, racing
    worstward towards the sun.

    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on March 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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