Steven R. Smith is back with the final installment of his triptych under the Ulaan Khol moniker. Anyone familiar with the noisy miasma he’s wrought on the first two sections will be amply prepared for the nebulous guitar flotsam that Smith slowly peels out. Ulaan Khol is still space rock at its most minimal and restrained. There’s a cold beauty in moments like “Track 3” and “Track 6” when echoing, tremulous guitar notes hang in the air, reverberating like slowly diminishing afterthoughts. These atmospheric pieces tend to lead the music to the more composition-oriented territory. “Track 2” is a full-blown raver, with frenzied drumming and a thick tangle of heavily psychedelic power chords; it’s a bludgeoning counterpoint to the soft-focus aether surrounding it. “Track 4” comes across a little like the great Japanese psych-folksters Ghost. Smith’s acoustic guitar strum and clattering drums keep this number close to the dusty terra firma, bleary synth, and bass drones that keep things somnambulant. Overall, Ulaan Khol has proven to be a productive outlet for Smith, one that he’ll hopefully revisit if reflective feelings to soundtrack uncharted celestial bodies should strike him again.
Soft Abuse: www.softabuse.com