Throughout his career as a solo artist, and through membership with the celebrated ensembles Thuja and Mirza, Steven R. Smith has had a hand in creating some of the most compelling and singular instrumental psychedelic music of the past ten years. Smith's latest project, Ulaan Khol, moves beyond the Eastern European-inspired sources and scales employed by his work as Hala Strana towards an approach alternately true to his personal musical lineage and in a realm beyond any pre-existing work. As Ulaan Khol, Smith digs in deep with a palette of drums/guitar/organ to craft a monolithic & expansive free form, feedback-heavy atmospheric din that bonds the disparate realms of Fushitsusha and High Rise with Popul Vuh and Flying Saucer Attack.
As Ulaan Khol, Smith has planned a maximalist three-part suite, 'Ceremony.' In the first installment of the trilogy, I, the tone is overwhelming bleak as the pieces (all untitled) caterwaul, moan and crumble. Dripping with basement doom, Ulaan Khol's cosmic histrionics emanate with the raw essence of White Light/White Heat jettisoned by Harmonia's amorphous drifts.