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Chas Smith
2009 Cold Blue Music (CD)

Iconoclast composer and instrument builder Chas Smith's music has always been a favorite at steveroach.com HQ. His classic NAKADAI has at last made its way from vinyl LP to CD. The textures found inside these rising and falling sheets of sound and harmonically compacted drones are simply chilling, evoking the vast interior of a forbidden desert region or maybe Nevada's Trinity test site in its current day.

"Intense and drony, yet luscious. A welcome reissue of microtonal pieces by this important Los Angeles-based instrument builder and pedal steel guitarist." -- Electronic Musician magazine

"Chas Smith's pedal steel and 12 string dobro are as evocative and quintessentially American as a crackling neon light outside a desert motel at sunset." -- Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic

"'A solitary genius,' as Susan Alcorn describes him, Chas follows no particular school of composition but his own." -- Paris Transatlantic

NAKADAI, which KPFA-FM's Folio/Other Minds Radio called "one of the most explosive LPs of the '80s," is a set of works that offer a catalog of musical "waves", from ripples to tsunamis. It features Smith playing pedal steel guitar solo, overdubbed, and with a mallet percussion quartet of Bob Fernandez, John Fitzgerald, M.B. Gordy, and Theresa Knight. This CD reissue of NAKADAI allows today's listeners to hear prototypical Smith -- music composed when his present style was in its nascent state. In addition to the original five NAKADAI tracks, this release includes two "bonus" tracks: 2008's evocative "Ghosts on the Windows" and 1991's "Joaquin Murphey", a tribute to the pedal steel legend of the same name.

1. Nakadai 14:37 
2. HollisterMP310:30 
3. A Judas Within - SeductionMP36:00 
4. A Judas Within - BetrayalMP315:08 
5. The Ghosts on WindowsMP311:56 
6. Joaquin MurpheyMP37:01 

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