Artist: Chas Smith
Album: Twilight of the Dreamboats

Released: 8 September 2015
Label: Cold Blue

Twilight of the Dreamboats Chas Smith
Chas Smith is the best friend a steel guitar ever had. Using self-modified versions of this instrument, as well as objects custom made in his workshop, Smith produces weird and odd, but organized audible works of art. Listening to his EP Twilight of the Dreamboats (24'58"), it is easy to feel small within the vast space it opens up. A man of great sonic intelligence, a seeker made of flesh and blood, using instruments he built from steel and strings, Smith does not observe time in a conventional manner. Any compositional motion in his music comes, not from the notes on a music staff, but by subtle shifts in timbre. For the tech-addicted, suffering from digital overload, the solitary track on Twilight of the Dreamboats offers a soul-to-soul connection - something that texted words and gigabytes of random data cannot come close to. As truncated guitar notes resound, echo and layer up, hanging metal forms gently swell alongside the murmuring of bowed iron rods. The atmosphere of expectancy enlarges into one of doom, then dissipates amidst ethereal resonances into a fragile stability. Bulky drones distend under pressure from within. Protean tones divide, then unify. The placid mood breathes, lightens. As all the buzzing, ringing and humming of Smith's coalescing soundspace interacts with itself, the listener is uplifted into infinite spaces. Twilight of the Dreamboats possesses a rare raw power. It protests all forces that try to suppress any facet of it. Observed from its exterior, we may not find much of a message. After all, no words, no distinct political message, no protest. But, Smith's higher purpose is to commune with his audience; he provides the atmosphere, while we make a narrative. So, this recording is actually among the most significant opposition music of our times... its message, the most potent one of all... to think for one's own self.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   18 February 2016

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