Ulaan Khol - Ii
Kohl is actually one Steven R. Smith, and this second psych set continues in the ambient guitar drone vein of his first release under this moniker (he also has played in Mirza and Thuja). "II" features eight untitled tracks that wash, dreamlike into and out of one another. Always there is the guitar, which anchors the songs and provides the vehicle for the songs to expand their structure and emotion.
There is a noisy passion to this set, equivalent to the "enlightenment through jamming" path taken by the likes of Ash Ra Tempel, Keiji Haino, Mahavishnu Orchestra and a slew of Krautrock bands. Smith's guitar can snarl when it wants to, but often provides a solid, evocative bottom beneath the ambience. Melodies are a counterpoint to the continuous sheet of sound that incubates each track.
Ulaan Kohl' "II," like its predecessor, is all about creating a world, and then drifting in and out if it, observing and then urging its growth. Though that is one of the more purple of prose sentences I've ever written, it fits this music. There is an intention as well as an improvisational point to be explored, and Smith explores it with grace and bite. This is the third in a proposed trilogy called "Ceremony."
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