Release Date 03/01/2011
SMM: Context is the first release in Ghostly International’s new yearly compilation series of evocative, exploratory music. In 2004, Ghostly International introduced SMM, an unknown acronym used to evaporate the already-unspooling musical boundaries between classical minimalism, electronic and drone composition, film soundtracks, and fragile imaginary landscapes. SMM: Context features a hand-picked selection of some of the world’s finest musicians from Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, North America and the UK who traffic in SMM’s slow-moving, texture-focused compositions, simple in instrumentation, but infinitely complex in execution.
SVARTE GREINER’S “Halves” creates a David Lynch-ian dreamscape out of slowly undulating drones and distant creaks and scratches. Wire magazine favorite LEYLAND KIRBY contributes “Polaroid”, a wide-open vista of barely plucked nylon strings and deep synthesizer swells. Guitar-and-turntables duo THE FUN YEARS patiently fold loops and spy-guitar noodles into “Cornelia Amygdaloid”, a patient, minimalist take on psychedelia. RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI(aka The Sight Below, the compilation’s lone Ghostly artist) tips his hat to “furniture music” pioneer Erik Satie in “Moments Descend on My Windowpane”, a soulful piano-and-noise meditation. Context closes with PETER BRODERICK’S “Pause”, a time-stopping slice of acoustic-guitar melancholia.
The songs on SMM: Context can’t be categorized. They do their work in a multitude of ways, seeming to change depending on when and how they’re listened to, providing a backdrop for life’s small movies, or—if you’re not into the whole “ambient as life soundtrack” thing—acting as their own context, existing simply as elegant, heartbreakingly beautiful music.
NOTE: The 2xLP version is a limited edition of 800 units and comes in a 4-panel gatefold “tip-on” vinyl jacket (thick and heavy), 180 gram vinyl, and includes inner art sleeves. The artwork above includes the front and back covers, inner-panel jacket art and inner sleeve art.