12 May 2016


worstward 2016, edition of 100

i've described STEVEN R SMITH's output under this moniker as "stargazing ambient folk" - this is mostly along those lines, still very much in SRS's post-blues/folk/rock wheelhouse but more progressive than previous PASSERINE titles, threatening to lose the "ambient" association with it's rhythm and anticipation like some brooding drama's critical score - SRS has always had the potential to assemble an impressive score, with CITIES previously being his best example, but i think this usurps it in terms of being the most viable, i think most folks would hear this and expect it to have come from a film - sometimes too much "soundtrackery" can put me off but i'm too big a fan of SRS to complain, the music is fantastic, earthy tones with a cosmic view out where the desert meets the sea, solemn long bow strings bolstered by driving guitar (acoustic / electric / banjo) with minimal yet crucial f/x and well reserved piano and synth atmospherics - four sprawling suites, over an hour across two tapes with rad packaging, all in all this is maybe the most impressive SRS artifact there is, and an excellent gateway, not just in terms of his own twenty year discography but also ambient drone folk as a genre/style and even the weirdo cassette world in general

highly recommended