CHAS SMITH – THREE
In the spirit of Harry Partch, Chas Smith creates his personal musical world by creating his own instruments. With these, he creates “a world of expansive musical tapestries, carefully woven textures, that evolve via slow, constant processes of change.”
His music and his instruments have featured in many film scores and on recordings by artists such as Harold Budd, Rick Cox, and others.
Other than you may think, Three is not his third album. In fact this is already his ninth for the Cold Blue Music label alone. Three refers to the number of tracks on this album: three tracks each around fifteen minutes in length, carefully taking time to evolve and display the broad scope of possibilities of the instruments Smith uses.
From the list of instruments, you’ll probably only recognize the steel guitar and the bass steel guitar. The other instrument names are a fascinating list in itself: JrBlue, Guitarzilla, Pez Eater, Bertoia, Lockheed, Que Lastas, Copper Box, Replicant, Lockheed, Sceptre, Parabaloid, Towers, Big Ti. You can only imagine what these may sound like – an accompanying video demonstrating the instruments would definitely be appreciated.
However: you won’t learn about the sound of these individual instruments by listening to this album. Together, they are mixed into immersive and evocative drones and soundscapes in such a way that it’s no longer necessary to know hów these soundscapes are created: it’s best to simply surrender to it.
CLARICE JENSEN – IDENTIFYING FEATURES
Following up the music she wrote for the score of Ainu Mosir, this is Clarice Jensen‘s contribution to the Mexican feature film Identifying Features (Sin Señas Particulares). Like on Ainu Mosir, Jensen’s contribution is too short to call it an album: the four tracks only take 19 minutes to complete. But they come with so much emotional intensity that these 18 minutes are enough: there’s no need to say more than this.
Identifying Features is a movie about the subject of immigration across the Mexican/U.S. border, and “on the many hundreds of immigrants who go missing or die on their journeys.” No light-hearted subject, and fittingly Clarice Jensen‘s contributions “are laced with a visceral, heavily psychedelic sense of darkness”.
After her previous albums For This From That Will Be Filled and The Experience Of Repetition As Death, these two EP’s will definitely confirm her status as a soundtrack composer.