Monday, January 26, 2009

Ulaan Khol - II

Steven R. Smith picks up where he left off in March with eight more untitled tracks of ceremonial guitar to storm the gates. Where Smith’s first release under this pseudonym featured hints of delicate folk acoustics, possible held over from his work in Halana Strana or Owl, another release this year under his own name, II is more about darker electric noise. Most tracks yowl with layers of distorted guitar that enfold one central psychedelic line as it dodges the branches of noise. Occasional drums and organ further enshroud the pathways or lift off like dark mist to reveal what lies beneath. These gyring tracks compare favourably to Alexander Tucker’s occasionally dense experiments with guitar stratification. As with I, each track is fairly brief, dispensing with build up and after effects and just burning from entrance to exit. In this way they appear as chemically smeared snapshots that hold more blurred detail than can be immediately absorbed, only poured over repeatedly to unlock hidden truths.

Soft Abuse

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