Steven R. Smith S/D

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there has been scattered discussion of this guy, but his discography is and i have no idea what is what. i do know that i like hala strana and some of the other stuff i've sampled so far. but is he some sort of globe-trotting charlatan or is he florian fricke or who is this person?

I haven't travelled to any other desert region, other than out here in California, so it's hard to say. I'm certainly drawn to the idea of the desert. It's sort of like when you are on the phone or back in school and not really paying attention and you find yourself doodling on a pad of paper - what comes out? For me it's always this sort of sketch of a barren, horizon line landscape, and these sort of wrecked structures or cities, just like on the album covers. It's what comes out and I don't really question it much. My guess is that this music is coming from the same place as the doodling on the pad of paper. It's not intentional, but if you're playing honestly and without preconceived ideas then what comes out is sort of what's humming down deep in there all the time. I guess for me it's this sort of barren vista.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 06:09 (four years ago) Permalink

wish i had something to say other than vague ums and ahs, but i am willing to join you on this journey of exploration

rp boo bryson (NickB), Friday, 6 December 2013 06:32 (four years ago) Permalink

i suppose thuja are the most high profile thing he's been involved in (well they got written about in the wire anyway) cos that was with the jewelled antler folk

rp boo bryson (NickB), Friday, 6 December 2013 06:37 (four years ago) Permalink

First time I heard him was in Mirza (with Glenn Donaldson, later of Ivytree/Birdtree and co-founder of the Jeweled Antler label), which (going on memory) started off kinda post/space rock and wound up moving towards a more improvised sound that anticipated Thuja and such.

Thuja was more free-folk/drone stuff that was pretty but hasn't left a permanent mark on my brain.

Hala Strana was somewhat more defined folk/psych stuff but still clattery, with other musicians contributing.

I'm totally not an expert in his massive catalog! But his solo stuff has always reminded me of Popol Vuh, Bjorn Olsson's first solo album, and I'm already running out of comparisons. I've never heard anything I disliked, maybe some of it didn't grab my attention.

Ulaan Khol is probably my favorite - like his solo work but noisier, with some freaked out bits interspersed with the meditational drones. There are two other Ulaan projects (Ulaan Passerine and Ulaan Markhor) I haven't heard.

alan watts, he made me hot (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Friday, 6 December 2013 09:16 (four years ago) Permalink

I THINK the Ulaan releases are related and he just changes the name for each record, but really most of what he does these days is by himself I think, so maybe in a way all the records are related? I have heard two of them at least, and they are both good. I like everything of his I have checked out (and own that Ulaan Khol and a couple of Hala Strana records). Cool guitar player, but he covers a lot of ground.

I am fairly certain you can cruise through (and stream) a large portion of his catalogue here:

grandavis, Friday, 6 December 2013 14:26 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah, that's why i started this thread for guidance. i cruised and i streamed -- and eventually i was like uh all these songs are slow and long and there are multiple zillions of them and i here we are

i really like his sound from what i've heard

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 14:34 (four years ago) Permalink

oops there's an extra i in there but isn't there always one i too many

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 14:35 (four years ago) Permalink

Sorry, missed that you had linked to that already! We need a much more knowledgable Smith listener to school us. I like what I have heard, but yeah, there is a lot of it. Mostly slowly unfolding stuff as you say.

grandavis, Friday, 6 December 2013 15:20 (four years ago) Permalink

If I have to become that person, I will accept the hardship of listening to all of his music but it's going to be a while. I bought the digital version of Autumn is the End because I liked the title, cover, and first song but I haven't given it a good listen yet. In the meantime, if there's someone who knows more about this guy's stuff, I am super interested in finding out more!!

This is useful information imo

It is perhaps no wonder that I read many of your records as being situated somewhere between Popol Vuh's early mystical workouts and Michael Gira's unforgiving, unrelenting, unyielding slogs. Very different artists, but both using musical force to ascend, escape, or in Gira's case annihilate the corporeal body. Is this a continuum with which you would identify?

SRS: Yeah, definitely, I'd agree with that. I love both of those groups and I saw Swans close to the same time that I saw Dog Faced Hermans. That Swans show, man, it was heavy in all the right ways, and it was transcendent. It was really something. Coincidentally, that period is also when I first started seeing those Herzog films and discovered Popol Vuh—another group that just spoke to me for whatever reason. I love Daniel Fichelscher's guitar playing, so lyrical.

You know at that time, for me it was say, 1993-96, I was in my early twenties, and that's just when all these things started coalescing. I'm not trying to get nostalgic here, because this is old stuff and nowadays it seems all this music is so easy to find, but I guess that time period for me is when a lot of whatever trajectory I'm on was really being formed. You know, that's when you're putting it all together and figuring out what you want or need to say. And that's when I discovered all that stuff, musically. Everything was opening up for me, whether it's free jazz or avant-garde film, modern composers, obscure folk music, etc. etc. and you know, you try and make sense of it all and make some music.

It's interesting that you say coalesce, regarding what is clearly a broad pallette of influences and touchstones, because that suggests drawing the disparate elements together into a single, rich broth. Yet, you seem to have chosen a path of multiple identities; Hala Strana, Ulaan Khol, Thuja, Mirza. That pattern seems set to continue with your new record, under yet another new name – Ulaan Markhor - coming out in May.

SRS: Confusing, eh? Ulaan Markhor is sort of an offshoot of Ulaan Khol, I guess, but it's got more rhythmic elements involved, drums on every track, a lot of percussion and less guitar wankery, but it's still sort of relating to Ulaan Khol with the fuzz textures and some heavier elements. Mirza and Thuja were groups…they were improvisational groups with strong personalities involved. Mirza was sort of a really noisy psyche band, very loud, whereas Thuja was much more delicate and very quiet. Thuja used all sorts of non-instruments and hand made instruments and field recordings, we played and recorded in spaces where the environment played an important role in the process.

The solo-based projects (Ulaan Khol, Ulaan Markhor, Hala Strana, SRS, etc.) I see as being all on differing parts of a continuous line, with maybe the quieter, sparse pieces being on one end (the solo SRS material) and then moving through more acoustic and structured material (Hala Strana) and then sliding down to more heavy and dense music (the Ulaan Khol stuff). Just different spots on the line. I wish, and am trying, to widen that line out even further and try and push this music into further places, other tangents...

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 15:26 (four years ago) Permalink

hi folks I am a casual fan as well, I have a Hala Strana record and a Thuja record, I think I have one of Smith's solos on MP3. That's all I got here, though. I have always been interested in checking him out more.

sleeve, Friday, 6 December 2013 15:26 (four years ago) Permalink

also is the markhor the coolest animal or what? good choice, SRS.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 15:34 (four years ago) Permalink

Owl is a good 'un.

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Friday, 6 December 2013 15:55 (four years ago) Permalink

He seems like a cool guy. I am glad to slowly go down the SRS rabbit hole, just kind of picking a record here and there and filling in the pieces of the catalogue. But feel free to be our guide La Lechera, would be interested to hear some rundowns of this stuff. I mean, he did mention Popol Vuh, so perhaps this is not an option for you.

grandavis, Friday, 6 December 2013 16:05 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm not a very good guide! He does seem cool -- talented, modest, genuine, curious. Apparently he is also a (relatively) new dad. I bet Ian knows something about him.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 16:26 (four years ago) Permalink

I wonder what he does to earn a living. Does he play shows in LA? Does he have a day job?

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 16:28 (four years ago) Permalink

weird I went to school with this guy. lost track of him after the first couple of lps

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 December 2013 16:28 (four years ago) Permalink

i knew someone would have gone to school with him! i knew it! ha.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 16:29 (four years ago) Permalink

last time I saw him (over 15 years ago) he was living in SF and had some legal asst type job

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 December 2013 16:31 (four years ago) Permalink

Hah hah. The long arms of ILM ....

I bet Ian does know something about him as well.

grandavis, Friday, 6 December 2013 16:32 (four years ago) Permalink

we had a bunch of classes together at UCSC. I remember noticing him one day because he had a Killdozer t-shirt on lol. at the time the Santa Cruz music scene was very very small, there was nowhere to rehearse, nowhere to play, only one local label going etc. so you would see the same couple dozen people at whatever shows happened and we were both one of those dudes. later we both moved move to SF and I would occasionally run into him on the bus, this was around the time his first couple solo records came out, towards the end of Mirza and I would pick up copies of his stuff when I saw them at Aquarius. Been years since I've seen/thought about him though.

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 December 2013 16:34 (four years ago) Permalink

that is quality info!! is he nice? please say yes.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 16:36 (four years ago) Permalink

on second thought, i guess if he's not nice i'd rather not know.
i only know one person who went to UCSC -- an arty girl who transferred to my school at the same time i transferred there. she was a year older than me and her name was meredith and i am 99% sure she wouldn't remember me because i think we only spoke on 2 occasions before she disappeared.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Friday, 6 December 2013 16:56 (four years ago) Permalink

ok he is name checking popol vuh AND dog faced hermans I need to hear this guy.

yes, i have seen the documentary (Jon Lewis), Friday, 6 December 2013 17:34 (four years ago) Permalink

he was totally nice

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 December 2013 17:46 (four years ago) Permalink

I mean, I didn't know him real well or anything but he was always friendly when I saw him

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 December 2013 17:47 (four years ago) Permalink

I remember talking to him about mid-period Floyd stuff (ie post-Syd but pre-megastardom) and he was really into that shit, can easily see how he got from there to Popul Vuh etc

Ayn Rand Akbar (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 December 2013 17:48 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm giving him bonus points for referring to his playing as "guitar wankery."

alan watts, he made me hot (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Saturday, 7 December 2013 03:29 (four years ago) Permalink

I can now recommend Ulaan Markhor (try 100 birds)
Def has the drone/repetitive rhythm element (?) of heavy PV only without as many cymbals (at least as far as i've listened, which is not far) More toward the Swans end of the spectrum only - gira.
Worth my $7 to bandcamp, but would totally buy an LP if I ever came across one. His covers are beautiful and done with extra TLC.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Saturday, 7 December 2013 17:47 (four years ago) Permalink

hahaha i was trying to figure out who was playing drums on this album and my googling revealed that the amg review was written by one ned raggett
i still don't know who is playing the drums though

sweat pea (La Lechera), Saturday, 7 December 2013 17:53 (four years ago) Permalink

a friend of mine gave me one of his albums (digitally), i remember liking it and i dont own a lot of music that sounds much like it (this friend is v much into psych)

to BRR! is humane (m bison), Saturday, 7 December 2013 22:19 (four years ago) Permalink

Of the earlier albums released under the SRS name, I'd make a direct line to Tableland. Reminds me of a lost Roy Montgomery album.

I really like the Ulaan Khol Los Angeles EP from last year. Ulaan Passerine ideal if you're looking for lengthy Popul Vuh/Stars Of The Lid para-drone.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 7 December 2013 22:26 (four years ago) Permalink

I also knew Roy Montgomery would make an appearance! Will def check out that one.

sweat pea (La Lechera), Saturday, 7 December 2013 22:43 (four years ago) Permalink

Ulaan Passerine ideal if you're looking for lengthy Popul Vuh/Stars Of The Lid para-drone.

Listening to this now and you're absolutely correct. Beautiful!

alan watts, he made me hot (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Sunday, 8 December 2013 05:24 (four years ago) Permalink

I've really been enjoying Autumn is the End -- if you like layered rhythms and wordless singing, there's some really great stuff on here. Strongly recommend "This Fleeced Reel" for a powerful/beautiful dirge and "Redivivus" for wordless singing. Honestly I've been listening to the first half a lot so that I can save the second half for when I get sick of the first half.

I guess his stuff is categorized as "experimental" but to me it just sounds more like it's influenced more by non-Western music, making it more folk (in the traditional sense) than experimental. Regardless, I like it!

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Wednesday, 11 December 2013 18:55 (four years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I'm digging thru a few old cdrs and I've come across one that compiles 4 different releases in the Jewelled Antler 3" library. I think that the Hala Strana release is included on it. Actually, I thought I had found it but I am pretty sure this is the Kemialliset Ystavat one that I am hearing now.

Anyway...something from this disc is getting airtime tonight.

Trip Maker, Thursday, 23 January 2014 02:23 (four years ago) Permalink

You should post the link where people can listen to it

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Thursday, 23 January 2014 03:00 (four years ago) Permalink

Is there any way for your brother to get out of this house deal now? Thrre is no way this is going to end up okay for your brother, his marriage or his children

I remember talking to him about mid-period Floyd stuff (ie post-Syd but pre-megastardom) and he was really into that shit, can easily see how he got from there to Popul Vuh etc

mean-spirited schadenfreude-loving spewer of sleaze (sunny successor), Thursday, 23 January 2014 03:01 (four years ago) Permalink

OK, I'll say it... Huh?

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 23 January 2014 08:34 (four years ago) Permalink

I will join the group on this journey

Beatrix Kiddo (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 23 January 2014 11:25 (four years ago) Permalink

Sorry, guys. I was thinking of posting the listen live link and never got around to it.
The Hala Strana material ended up not being on the disc. But there is some cool stuff from Smith's Thuja bandmate, Glen Donaldson, in his Ivytree guise.

Trip Maker, Thursday, 23 January 2014 19:13 (four years ago) Permalink

I LOVE the Jewelled Antler library series, some great stuff on those

sleeve, Thursday, 23 January 2014 19:14 (four years ago) Permalink

really like this guy. ulaan passerine, ulaan khol i-iii, cities, and crown of marches are some of my faves but I've liked everything I've heard.

original bgm, Friday, 24 January 2014 16:09 (four years ago) Permalink

Ending/Returning is pretty cool on first listen - I wouldn't have checked it out if it weren't for this thread priming my attention.

a man with legs made of sausages - that's not real! (seandalai), Tuesday, 28 January 2014 02:51 (four years ago) Permalink

Good piece in "The Out Door" by Marc Master (page 2):

grandavis, Friday, 7 February 2014 16:53 (four years ago) Permalink

Choice quote in re all the names/approaches he uses: "Fuck the brand! We're having fun here."

grandavis, Friday, 7 February 2014 16:54 (four years ago) Permalink

that picture of him in the yard with all his instruments! this guy is the best. i love what he does with sounds but his approach is top notch too. very thorough piece, lots of details, and i'm glad he is being recognized as singular!

we slowly invented brains (La Lechera), Friday, 7 February 2014 16:58 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it is a cool piece. I think Marc Masters does a great job, and it will maybe get S. R. Smith a bunch of listens. Pretty amazing output for one guy, especially with the quality he maintains.

grandavis, Friday, 7 February 2014 17:07 (four years ago) Permalink

Agree -- he's a good role model for caring about the things that matter to him and also not caring about the things that don't. The Ulaan Markhor album I have is emerging as a personal favorite, over time.

I hope this piece gives him a sales boost! For a while I was starting to get a little embarrassed because I think I bought 3 of his albums within a week or something? It's nice that he has physical releases as well as bandcamp too. If I had to track down all his records, I probably wouldn't have been able to hear them. I dig his approach to the whole thing tbh.

we slowly invented brains (La Lechera), Friday, 7 February 2014 17:19 (four years ago) Permalink

Yeah completely agree, he has a great attitude about it all.

grandavis, Friday, 7 February 2014 17:22 (four years ago) Permalink

people piss and moan about pitchfork but that marc masters column has turned me on to more good stuff than most of the other places i could think of

night boat to mega therion (NickB), Friday, 7 February 2014 17:44 (four years ago) Permalink

Oh man gotta check this out, thanks for reminding me! Underdeveloped in the best sense, i.e., open to possibilities.

grandavis, Monday, 17 November 2014 21:53 (three years ago) Permalink

This is the most conventionally rock thing he's done in a long time, isn't it?

Temple of Infinite Grohls (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:20 (three years ago) Permalink

I don't know, this is sounding pretty out to me.
I like it a lot!

Trip Maker, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:40 (three years ago) Permalink

Oh wait, I am listening to Byzantium Crow.

Trip Maker, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:41 (three years ago) Permalink

I'm really enjoying the new one! The way the last 15 seconds or so of The Nocturnal in Daylight basically turns into a different song makes my heart leap. It kinda reminds me of The Church? He has a really great sense of song dynamics imo.

La Lechera, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 14:35 (three years ago) Permalink

Man, I need to get this.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:14 (three years ago) Permalink

It's really cool. My first exposure to him! Nice to know there's a deep body of work to get into.

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:21 (three years ago) Permalink

:D that's how i felt when i started this thread
i was like what magical planet did this guy come from (california, i guess)
i still really admire his dedication and work ethic and style and general approach to making music

La Lechera, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:24 (three years ago) Permalink

not really familiar w/ this dude but the ulaan markhor album is killer.

tylerw, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:26 (three years ago) Permalink

Tyler and Global, there is a LOT to check out in re S.R. Smith. Definitely listen to some Hala Strana (a lot more acoustic playing and great mix of influences), as well as all of the Ulaan ... records (he changes the second word in the name from time to time but the "Ulaan" remains).

grandavis, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:43 (three years ago) Permalink

I am sure this is posted above, but just for easy reference here is Marc Masters very good profile from "The Out Door", which lots of tunes linked:

grandavis, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:45 (three years ago) Permalink

With lots of tunes obviously.

grandavis, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:45 (three years ago) Permalink

all of my choices are the best ones obvs -- i like the ulaan markhor stuff the best, then SRS self titled stuff (iirc?) and then the more gypsy folky stuff but honestly it's all really good!
"lot to enjoy" otm

La Lechera, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:45 (three years ago) Permalink

Hala Strana 3" CD on Jeweled Antler (collected on the library Series 4CD set) is very very good

sleeve, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:49 (three years ago) Permalink

everything i have is good. and i have a lot. all vinyl though. probably missing out on some good cd and cdr-only releases.

scott seward, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:50 (three years ago) Permalink

Scott, probably not your thing too much, but there is a lot available for streaming on his Worstward Recordings bandcamp site. Seems like you have a lot already, but if you were looking to fill in some gaps they may be here (also posted above):

grandavis, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:55 (three years ago) Permalink

thanks for the recs! obviously a whole lot to dig into judging from that bandcamp...

tylerw, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:56 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah it is nuts, but very well organized and handy when used in combination with Marc's "Out Door" rundown.

grandavis, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:57 (three years ago) Permalink

Problem with listening to S.R. Smith in depth is, if you play somewhat similar music yourself you come to realize that he has already been there and generally covered that ground already. And probably done it better.

grandavis, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:59 (three years ago) Permalink

I want to reiterate the suggestion for "Tableland" mentioned above, a really good one under his own name.

grandavis, Wednesday, 26 November 2014 17:01 (three years ago) Permalink

Problem with listening to S.R. Smith in depth is, if you play somewhat similar music yourself you come to realize that he has already been there and generally covered that ground already. And probably done it better.
I have been thinking about this -- I can see it being true from a guitar perspective, but his rhythm section could use some beefing up
good thing this totally random internet person has come to the rescue ;)

La Lechera, Thursday, 4 December 2014 21:27 (three years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Found three SRS CDs I didn't have in a dollar bin. Tableland is sounding pretty good right now. Got that Vuh thing happening but with a little Labradford circia A Stable Reference twang.

Jawn DWYCK (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 5 March 2015 05:20 (three years ago) Permalink

ulaan markhor owns

adam, Thursday, 5 March 2015 15:03 (three years ago) Permalink

wow, dollar bin! that's good fortune. i've seen a couple more people talking about Steven R Smith and it makes me happy. Apparently he has no interest in playing shows, but I wonder if he could be convinced.

groundless round (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 March 2015 15:11 (three years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Ooh nice, gonna check this today! Also, good job on that reworked SR Smith tune random internet person :)

grandavis, Tuesday, 12 May 2015 13:42 (three years ago) Permalink

EP sounds pretty nice, with some Vuh-ish piano on the second side. I want that on vinyl.

It's raining out today and I'm listening to Slate Branches. Which is really kind of desert-y but then again so is California anymore.

See the Belz up in the sky, somebody cancelled SVU (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Thursday, 14 May 2015 21:17 (three years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

his new thing (under the moniker Ulaan Khol) on soft abuse is totally great. this guy is fantastic.

tylerw, Thursday, 3 December 2015 16:57 (two years ago) Permalink

Yeah, he is a force of nature essentially. Glad he keeps putting stuff out there (as hard as it is to keep up).

grandavis, Thursday, 3 December 2015 17:01 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah one of those guys who might have a higher profile if he stuck to one band name and put out just one thing a year. but whatever, he is great.

tylerw, Thursday, 3 December 2015 17:02 (two years ago) Permalink

Seems comfortable with the process and being in control of what he does/when he does it. Nice example actually of someone who seems very much to be a "music first" kind of dude.

grandavis, Thursday, 3 December 2015 17:22 (two years ago) Permalink

Yes! He's the best. Music first!

La Lechuza (La Lechera), Thursday, 3 December 2015 17:52 (two years ago) Permalink

no! he needs a "brand advisor"!!!

tylerw, Thursday, 3 December 2015 18:00 (two years ago) Permalink

[ jk ]

tylerw, Thursday, 3 December 2015 18:00 (two years ago) Permalink

i'm a humongous fan and i definitely can't keep up. but it's okay.

scott seward, Thursday, 3 December 2015 18:24 (two years ago) Permalink

It is there when you need it.

grandavis, Thursday, 3 December 2015 18:46 (two years ago) Permalink

i mostly buy the vinyl. when there is vinyl.

scott seward, Thursday, 3 December 2015 19:29 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

In his own words -- when given the opportunity to speak he is generous and modest. <3

La Lechuza (La Lechera), Monday, 21 December 2015 14:22 (two years ago) Permalink

That Brute Heart record SRS mentions is excellent - closest to his Hala Strana work.

juggulo for the complete klvtz (bendy), Monday, 21 December 2015 17:13 (two years ago) Permalink

got ulaan markhor spiral horns on vinyl. so good. so much of his vinyl for sale on discogs and i don't think i've ever paid more than 15 dollars + shipping for a record. even the old stuff. best value for your dollar in my opinion.

scott seward, Monday, 4 January 2016 15:49 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

new one

(spoiler: it's great)

moans and feedback (Dinsdale), Sunday, 28 February 2016 22:12 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

of course it is! i figured i'd splurge on the cassette if i was already shelling out for the download and it's really nice!! there are decorative cards enclosed.

here's something funny -- apparently there's a ulaan markhor odds/sods collection and SRS annotated it. not at all surprisingly, he is funny and modest

Odds n’ sods collection of tracks written between 2010 and 2016. Compiled, re-worked, recorded, etc. Nov. 2015-Jan. 2016 at Worstward Studios, Los Angeles.

“Life on the Ground”: Trying to salvage parts...two different songs edited together, take the best bits and see what you get…a brief field recording of my son’s elementary school helped bridge the gap.

“Oso Varoun Ta Sidera”: This is a traditional song from Crete and it seems to me that this song is covered by just about everybody, maybe sort of like the “Morning Dew” or “Hey Joe” of Greece? I don't know, maybe not, but there sure are a lot of covers of this song floating around out there. This take is based on a version by the great Psarantonis.

“Property!”: This song is really just one riff with things piling up on top as the song continues on. I do this a lot…lazy songwriting is what that is.

“The Trembling Sea”: Not much to say about this song except that the guitar on the right is maybe getting a little too funky for my taste. Seemed like a good idea at the time. I was hoping to make it sound a bit like mid-70’s Bowie or something, or maybe as if one guy in the band wished he were in the Pop Group regardless of what everyone else in the group was doing.

“The Walking Maze”: Another one with just one riff throughout. There’s some clanking percussion in the background that’s kind of nice.

“Beyond is Also Here”: The main riff here is very close to a Lungfish song. Once I realized that, I even went back and finally tracked down the original song on their record and checked it out. It’s different enough that no one’s going to get sued, but still, let’s just say it’s an homage. Subconsciously, I was probably trying to rip them off and just didn’t do it well enough. I love Lungfish--it was bound to happen at some point anyway. The drum machine used on most of these tracks was also sort of a nod to Zomes (Asa from Lungfish’s other excellent project) so there you go.

“Spring”: The intro reminds me of Harmonia so I guess that’s one thing going for it. Oh yeah, the guitar solo sort of fell apart half way through and so it was just lopped off…more lazy songwriting/musicianship.

“In Threes”: The main part of this track was originally recorded for the second Ulaan Markhor record and was in the running all the way up until I had to send it off to be mastered and then I abruptly pulled it from the record. Something about the mix wasn’t right and I don’t think it really fit on that record anyway. Since then I’ve fixed a few things and tacked on the handheld tape intro which does feature a brief riff from “The Nocturnal in Daylight”, a song that did make it onto the second Ulaan Markhor record.

“Olive”: The main riff from this song also appears as a piano piece on an Ulaan Passerine 7” which will be released soon. I had totally forgotten that I even recorded that piano version until I heard the test pressing a couple weeks ago. Also, the middle part of this song--that quick chord change before the end roll out--is a straight rip-off of the chord progression from Richard Thompson’s “Calvary Cross”...I’ll cop to that.

-Steven R. Smith, March 12, 2016

La Lechuza (La Lechera), Monday, 14 March 2016 00:45 (two years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

new one

cookware regression (Dinsdale), Friday, 23 September 2016 20:07 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Moss Cathedral is great. "Sanahin" especially has that "American Popol Vuh" vibe, makes me want to drive through the desert.

rudy githyanki (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 28 November 2016 21:10 (one year ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

RIYL SRS but don't mind sparing use of vocals

Better known for their louder music but this has a really nice Smith-y vibe.

The Man Who Saw The Midwife (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 11:28 (eleven months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

got an email about a new Ulaan Passerine
two tracks, the first one starts out acoustic and then keeps adding and adding elements, changing etc
haven't listened to the second one yet

i love the way he builds his tracks -- he's so patient!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 17 November 2017 19:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

I look forward to giving this an ear later for sure.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 17 November 2017 19:58 (eight months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

There are some songs on the Walking Timebombs vs. Tribes of Neurot CD that are SRSy. Seriously. Don't hit me.

my dreams in the hell-pits (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Saturday, 17 February 2018 06:53 (five months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

My these preview tracks are fine! Always different always the same.

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Friday, 15 June 2018 17:45 (one month ago) Permalink

"Holy Hitch" is the equal part In Through the Out Door sounds and Tender Prey sounds I needed.

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Friday, 15 June 2018 17:51 (one month ago) Permalink

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