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Chas Smith: Chas Smith: Nikko Wolverine

Track List

>Nikko Wolverine
>Tons Tons Macoutes
>Genus, Sho-Bud
>Near the Divide

Album Notes

Chas Smith's Nikko Wolverine proposes strange new sonorities obtained through his own invented instruments. These metal resounding objects (sometimes wired) bear exotic names like the copper box, the bass tweed, the Lockheed, or the DADO. They produce sounds that feel part percussion, part string, part electronics. Smith uses them to produce meditative alien soundscapes where time comes to a halt. The three-part suite "Nikko Wolverine" makes a beautiful aural experience; one wishes he could see the composer/performer at work to understand how the sounds are produced. "Tons Tons Macoutes" is a harsher piece on the same instruments, closer to electro-acoustic works, although not that cinematic. The two last tracks, "Genus, Sho-Bud" and "Near the Divide" are pedal steel guitar compositions. The former is a slow-evolving soundscape while the latter is more rooted in the instrument's tradition, providing unexpected country overtones as a CD closer. Both works feel very tonal compared to what came before. The luxurious 16-page booklet contains many photographs of Smith's instruments that help nourish the listener's imagination. Definitely recommended. ~ François Couture


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