October 3rd, 2009
A hazy, floating atmosphere permeates this music wrought by Los Angeles-based, Harry Partch-inspired composer Chas Smith and his arsenal of self-built metal instruments*, including the Adkins, Bass Tweed, Copper Box, Guitarzilla, Junior Blue, DADO, Majestic and Mantis; plus a little flute, cello, choir and wind ensemble thrown in here and there.
Yay, verily! Get this into thy head: vigorously bowed single notes with ultra-long sustain, heavily reverberated knocks, and deep, echoing, metallic ambience. All aboard! All of the above abounds. Indeed, Aluminum Overcast is the perfect title for this ever-glimmerin’ Mammoth Cave o’ vastness. Fans of Harry Bertoia and the Baschet Brothers would do well to investigate this little platter of perpetual pleasure. Way recommended.
*“Resonators that sprout rods, which are bowed and struck; large, clangorous sculptures of titanium; metal strings strung across multiple resonators; and vibraphone-like arrays of metal plates.” Also featuring Oja Fin on voice, Anon on flute and cello, the Reseda Women’s Choir on voices and the Reseda Wind Ensemble on flutes.
Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0007 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 6 Total Time: 49:46 Country: United States Released: 2001 More: Artist Direct, Forced Exposure, Last FM
Text ©2009 Arcane Candy
September 17th, 2009
Chas Smith is a performer and composer who plays pedal steel guitar and designs and builds his own sculptural metal musical instruments that combine the influence of two prominent 20th century Harrys—Partch and Bertoia. Most of his music effortlessly floats within the ambient category, as his first CD on Cold Blue from the year 2000, Nikko Wolverine, proves. Layers of bright, shimmering tones supported by low-pitched clouds wrought by the Adkins, Bass Tweed, Copper Box, DADO, Lockheed, Mantis, Pez Eater, SS Disc, Tio and thundersheets drift through your head with the greatest of ease. Even the Reseda Women’s Choir and a pedal steel guitar blend in with the haze in a most indistinct manner. Although the last track is played in a more traditional country slide guitar vein, the overall feeling this CD exudes is as relaxing as a gigantic marshmallow puff gently hovering in a lavender evening sky.
Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0003 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 6 Total Time: 53:26 Country: United States Released: 2000 More: Artist Direct, Forced Exposure, Last FM
Text ©2009 Arcane Candy