Instrumental musician and experimental composer Sean Smith conjures fire and sweat, dew and ash through his medium - the guitar. From his Bay Area locale, Smith has been elevating the language of the acoustic steel string and exploring volume-shredding electric excursions concurrently for the better part of the last decade, forging a tightrope-walking hybridization of two seemingly disparate worlds into one highly complex and compelling sonic vision. Smith claims four solo steel string albums to his name, including the more instrumentally-decorated Eternal (originally a ltd 300 LP on Gnome Life; reissued on Strange Attractors in 2010 on CD/MP3 formats as part of our Resurrection Series)and the Christmas collection of holiday ditties (Tompkins Square, 2010). He is the driving force behind the highly-lauded Berkeley Guitar and Beyond Berkeley Guitar compilations (Tompkins Square), both which he curated, produced and performs on. Illustrating his stylistic breadth, he was co-lead in the star-streaking guitar force of Citay, touring all over the globe and appearing on their last album Dream Get Together (Dead Oceans, 2010). At some point, Smith hunkered down and allowed his amorphous approach to the guitar and composition to coalesce into Huge Fluid Freedom, a boundary-shifting synthesis of his yin-yang guitar worlds resulting in his most far reaching and highly detailed work to date.
Huge Fluid Freedom was produced by luminary Tim Green (The Fucking Champs) at his Louder Studios in San Francisco, California, and it shows, as his sonic fingerprints are all over the place. At the same time, the album represents a much wider scope of collaboration than Smith's previous works, resulting in a moving sonic experience ranging from straight up solo acoustic exploration to breathtaking cinematic rock soundscapes. Those who have followed Smith and his evolving role in the new guard of solo acoustic guitar alongside Glenn Jones (who was an early and ardent advocate of his work) Jack Rose, James Blackshaw et al are bound to have furrowed brows as Huge Fluid Freedom kicks off right out of the gate with humming feedback, prog-rock rhythms and angular guitar riffs. "I Know You Are Tired, But Come. This is the Way" funnels Smith's two-headed electro/acoustic vision into a burbling cauldron complete with ghostly vocal sirens and tribal drumming. "The Real" is a heavy, soul-shredding rock interpretation of the same tune found on Eternal; "Ourselves When We are Real" is a new recording of the winding solo acoustic composition first revealed on Beyond Berkeley Guitar; and the closing title track unfurls like Fripp & Eno colliding with Neu! No corner of "epic" is left untouched.
Huge Fluid Freedom is a new chapter in the ever-evolving work of Sean Smith - a singular melding of American Primitive and instrumental guitar rock by one of the most important young guitarists currently mining the underground.
*Sean Smith curated, produced, and appears as an artist on the acclaimed solo acoustic guitar concept compilations Berkeley Guitar and Beyond Berkeley Guitar (Tompkins Square).
*Accolades for Smith abound in publications ranging from Acoustic Guitar Magazine (feature), Dusted, The Wire, Downbeat, Fluid Radio UK, Delta-Slider, Work and Worry, Music Emissions, Bay Bridged, etc.
*Was a member of Citay (Dead Oceans) through multiple tours, and appears on 2010's Dream Get Together
*Produced by Tim Green (Fucking Champs). Mastered at Greymarket Mastering by Harris Newman.
*RIYL: Robbie Basho, Citay, Jack Rose, Fripp & Eno, Glenn Jones, John Fahey, Peter Lang
released 30 August 2011
Recorded by Tim Green. Mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering.
Strange Attractors Audio House is a micro-indie record label from Portland, OR. Splintered from its' long-running radio
program antecedent "Strange Attractors" on KAOS Olympia 89.3 FM Community Radio, Strange Attractors Audio House is inspired by and strives to document challenging yet sincere "out" music loosely in the realms of steel string guitar, psych rock/folk, fire jazz, post-rock and more....more