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SMITH, STEVEN R. - Old Skete

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Worstward Recordings wst001
Release Year: 2011
Note: solo-album by this long time active guitarist and member of THUJA (also known as ULAAN KHOL and HALA STRANA) - wonderful pure & meditative e-guitar miniatures, atmospheric and lonely, completely unprocessed and with no overdubs... very recommended if you like stuff as LOREN CONNERS or PETER WRIGHT...lim./numb. 500
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €14.50

More Info

"Eleven stark performances on hand-made electric guitar by the man also known as ULAAN KHOL, HALA STRANA and ULAAN MARKHOR, and for work with THUJA, MIRZA and Amsterdam-based clarinetist GARETH DAVIS. Absence of overdubs, loops, samples and delay pedals leaves Old Skete open and unadorned, a spare work akin to Smith's 'Kohl' (Jewelled Antler 2002). Edition of 500." [label info]


"Multi-instrumentalist, musician, and printmaker Steven R. Smith's fifteenth solo album (from a staggeringly extensive discography of almost 40 releases) presents the artist at his most raw and vital: an album comprised entirely of solo guitar, with no edits, overdubs, loops, or studio trickery. The result is a haunting minimal record that retains the common thread of modal, droney, Eastern European folk-inspired chord progressions and movements that Smith is known for, while simultaneously giving his compositions appropriate room to breathe. Since the artist himself recorded the album live, there is an intrinsic candid and intimate nature to this release that is both intangible and captivating. Old Skete could very well be considered Smith's sketchbook; the intuitive nature of the pieces provide a glimpse into Smith's process. The works presented are not perfect in terms of performance or duration, but they are immediate, emotive, and vibrant. There are few times where more instrumentation is missed, but towards the end, when Smith starts banging out chords and allowing the pieces to crescendo (especially on the final track), you can't help but think how a killer rhythm section could close this record out perfectly." [James Woodard]