Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lifesmyth - Music For The Third Ear (us 2003)

Lifesmyth - Music for the Third Ear (us 2003)

- Label: Camera Obscura CAMCD058
- Release Date: 2003-07-22
- Release Country: Australia

Debut official release follows a slew of underground cassette/cdr releases for young Syracuse, NY native Scott Smith who makes vintage acid cum progressive folk. His compositions have the musicality of the twilight period of UK psych pop when they were giving way to early prog. His vocals hold a similarity to early Robert Wyatt whose songs brim with w/cosmic themes. Fans of the Tower Recordings/PG Six school will be ecstatic.

* Scott Smith - (vocals, guitar, mandolin, sitar, keyboards, bass, drums),
* Derrick Acker - (vocals, tambourine),
* Denise Arram, Rashad Arram - (sitar),
* Rebecca Zlyatt (cello).

* Derrick Acker (tambourine).
* Derrick Acker.

01. Approaching
02. Being Alive
03. Ride, The
04. We Have Come from the Earth
05. Alone We Go
06. It's All the Same Forever You Know
07. What I Came With
08. Polish Question, The
09. Beyond a Star
10. Watcher of the Skies
11. Sailing on the Way Home
12. Last Chance

It is fitting that the first of Scott Smith's home-brewed progressive psych-folk to be officially released is "Music for the Third Ear" because it comprehensively showcases Smith's playing and writing skills, both solo and with collaborators. His compositions have the timeless fluidity and musicality of the twilight period of UK psychedelic pop, around about the time when fairground trip-scapes were giving way to the expansive fields of early progressive rock. His vocals, whether straight or multi-tracked into divine choruses, have something of the quality of the early Robert Wyatt. "Third Ear" bursts with invention and surprising twists, from the short introductory instrumental redolent of Soft Machine, to lilting folk-rock like the "Being Alive" (recalling the legendary folkies Fresh Maggots with its acidic burst of electric lead guitar), and the intricate and dynamic "Alone We Go", on which Scott is assisted by friends to expand the instrumental palette - the duel between electric guitar and sitar at the conclusion of this track is worth the price of admission alone. Cosmic themes are micro-dotted throughout as the titles suggest - "We Have Come From the Earth", "Beyond a Star", and the stunning "Watcher of the Skies". This is definitely a CD for lovers of new folk by artists such as Greg Weeks, P.G. Six, Tower Recordings, Pothole Skinny and Six Organs of Admittance. (It's could even be said that these 2000 recordings were somewhat ahead of the game.)
~ By
Scott Smith, the one-man operation behind the moniker Lifesmyth, already had four home-brewed albums under his belt when Music for the Third Ear became his first official release. Concocted and privately released on CD-R in 2000, this album showcases Smith as a storyteller. Between "Approaching" and "Last Chance," the first and last tracks, he sketches the journey of a lifetime -- from birth to death -- and ties it with a cosmic/extraterrestrial theme that gives the album its psychedelic feel. The drums, alternately programmed or stiff, trap the music inside too cold a cage; it deserved to be warmer, looser at the ground level. Keyboards, guitar (electric and acoustic), sitar, and mandolin form the main instrumentation, along with Smith's low, dreamy vocals. The odd dynamic shifts recall some of the artists revolving around the American underground avant psych-folk scene (Tower Recordings, Sunburned Hand of the Man), although Lifesmyth's songs are always more defined and somehow straightforward. It is their grouping into what can only be called a concept album that produces such a strange, destabilizing atmosphere. The D.I.Y. production means that most listeners will find half of the tracks endearing and the other half annoying, but no two persons will separate them the same way or for the same reasons. Composition-wise, Music for the Third Ear is an intriguing proposal. If Smith can find a few good, likeminded musicians to straighten up the performance, he'll become an addictive fellow.
~ By François Couture.

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...and also...
Lifesmyth - Music For The Third Ear (us 2003).rar (58.3 MB)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent album! Nice songwriting and guitar playing. Thanks!