|steven r. smith
floor of the sky (btv090)
Buy Online | one-sided LP
Initial conversations about the one-sided LP began around steven r. smithʼs work with Hala Strana and Eastern European music with a common love of Woven Hand. steven r. smith began working on the one-sided LP in 2008 and sent an early draft. The timing for release wasn’t right, so smith took advantage of the extra time re-working the songs, updating the recordings and even adding a track. Many difficulties ensued getting an etching accomplished. Our friend Tim Hoover saved the day initially, but the design required three different sets of etchings after problems getting a successful test pressing. The final etching was lost at the pressing plant for nearly seven months.
So, finally, after several delays, Burnt Toast Vinyl is proud to announce that this recording is now available in 2012. Floor of the Sky is the latest addition to the btv series of one-sided LPs which has featured such artists as Damien Jurado, Early Day Miners, Aspera, Emperor X, Isolation Years, Mt. Eerie, Efterklang, Yume Bitsu, Ester Drang, and more. Itʼs six songs spanning nineteen minutes of intricate guitar-based instrumentals that rise from ambiance to roaring, related to steven r. smithʼs solo output without falling into any sort of categorization. Itʼs experimental and ambient, sprawling without becoming monotonous.
American multi-instrumentalist steven r. smith has been releasing a steady stream of solo records for well over a decade as well as playing in various improvisational groups including Mirza, Thuja, Hala Strana, and most recently Ulaan Khol. This music has ranged from sparse solo guitar improvisations to Hala Stranaʼs re-workings of Eastern European traditional folk tunes to the dense, psychedelic fuzz guitar workouts of Ulaan Khol. Floor of the Sky was recorded in smithʼs California based Worstward Studios on all analog equipment.
Musically, smithʼs work over the years could be summed up as a struggle to contain a series of opposites: light and darkness, sorrow and joy, despair and hope. smith has recorded for numerous labels including Immune Recordings, Important Records, Catsup Plate, Soft Abuse, Emperor Jones, Last Visible Dog, Jewelled Antler, Digitalis, and Darla.
“one of Americaʼs great hidden artists.” – Dusted Magazine
“Smithʼs cinematic sound taps into a huge well of American music and simultaneously forges ahead with fruitful experimentation, clearing new ground.” – Ptolemaic Terrascope
“Smith [has a] deft ability to extort haunting beauty from the strings of modified instruments, bowing, scraping and plucking his way through” – Boomkat
“a rich and washed out soundscape of wheezing melancholy melodies all wrapped up in a dense sonic fog…plenty dark and enigmatic, lovely and mysterious.” – Aquarius