Ulaan Markhor returns with Helm, a new batch of songs that explore the dissonant, dark corners of post-punk and it’s many permutations. Steven R. Smith’s first recordings as Ulaan Markhor surfaced in 2012, and since that self-titled debut LP he’s continued to refine the sound and feel of the project. Once more the focus is the intersection of rhythmic groove and scorched guitar (“The Meters-meets-Amon Duul”), but on Helm the nuanced, meditative pieces built around spike fiddle or organ are as evocative and commanding. Just like the many great records he’s made before now, Helm is gorgeous, moody, deep and above all, killer.
released June 22, 2018
Steven R. Smith: guitar, drums, organ, fretted spike fiddle, synth
Artful drama, a brooding tension and numerous shifts in atmosphere define these two instrumental tracks – both offering plenty to admire as they repeatedly change their form and focus, finding kindred variations in tone and composition. Truly beguiling. Michael Reilly