Barton Smith – Reelizations

Bedroom electronics from a relatively unknown experimental composer on Folkways circa 1980. This one is the first of a two part “Reelizations” series. While there are a few acoustic guitar-only tracks on here, the majority of the record contains a real wide selection of instruments; ranging from heavily processed synthesizers to Roland drum machines to zithers to brake drums. In other words, this is something that fits right in on this label.

One of the standout tracks on here (and maybe even the label’s entire electronic series) is “Roland #119“. According to the liner notes, this track premiered March of 1980 in Los Angeles, California by the Institute of Dance and Experimental Art (this place sounds totally amazing). The notes go on to explain that “no matter how frantic things may appear on the surface, there is always some type of order and form.” Well said. The track is driven by a drum machine rhythm while distorted synths come in and out throughout the song — basically this would work perfect for your next drone/noise dance party.

The b-side contains “Feast” — a tape manipulation of an earlier work (“Calophonoy”) in which no traditional instruments or electronic devices were used. This one definitely ranks just as high as the aforementioned “Roland” as one of the best tracks in their electronic music catalog.

There is a double-cd reissue of this and Smiths’ “Reelizations 2” available for purchase on the Mimaroglu Music Sales website. If you can’t seem to track down the original LPs, I’d highly suggest purchasing the re-release. Essential Folkways Heatâ„¢.


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