Smoking Is Green
Economy Of Language Brevity-01
Beautifully presented LP/CD set, the debut release from the duo of Scott Foust (Idea Fire Company/Anti-Naturals/Tart et al) and Frans de Waard (Kapotte Muziek/Beequeen et al): Smoking Is Green was recorded in The Netherlands in 2009 and it’s the perfect synthesis of austere European electronics and tape-work (think Mirror/Asmus Tietchens et al) and the kind of rigorously executed experiments in hallucinatory environments of IFCO et al. The set unwinds with an implacable logic, moving from nagging, repeat-cells of keyboard work that recycle melodies from children’s songs, simple folk motifs and macabre fairground/exotica elements through dark drone works that feel populated with all sorts of night-time activity, combining field recordings and instrumental work in a way that feels intimate and personal while still confoundingly distant and untouchable. Indeed, the set touches on aspects of exotica at points, with dense jungle sounds and slow-motion drones rising like mirages throughout. Closest comparison would perhaps be a more lush mid-period Organum, though even that does little justice as there’s more of a sense of humour at work here, even in the face of the liner-notes heartfelt plea to quit hating on smokers. Presented in an edition of 365 copies on green vinyl, the set also comes with a CD, Smoking Is Green: The Radiophonic Opera, a piece commissioned by WORM/VPRO for Dutch radio in 2011. Recommended!