Slate Branches

(Little Brother) Used LP $15.00

“Steven R. Smith’s slow but entrancing transformation of his work from … skilled guitar drones and improvisations to something even more mysterious and involved can be sensed at points on this collection of home four-track recordings. Recorded during 1998 and 1999, its eight songs are introduced with ‘Minen Flats,’ which in its own way suggests the murky bowed-cymbal drones of Thomas Köner at the start more, though the percussive work here comes from heavily echoed, haunting bells before a toy piano takes the lead melody. The guitar is appropriately buried in the mix. A song like ‘Cities,’ with its steady, shuffling percussion and careful, structured guitar parts, suggests what Mirza might have done as an art installation project for modernist architecture. A similar sense of control can be heard on ‘Casting Locusts,’ calling to mind the slow descending power of Spacemen 3’s cover of Suicide’s ‘Che,’ but with a background guitar part adding more dreamy swirl to the equation until another more uplifting, ascending arrangement takes over.” Packaged in a silkscreened folder. From 2000