A musician, a builder, and, most importantly, a dreamer, Chas Smith releases striking works of enigmatic proportions. Fully invested in making its own kind of magic in its own time his album Three (48'50") fills the air with an unremitting expressive force. As this music's innate surrealism fully flowers, we venture into the musical terrain of a unique innovation. Listeners will need to be brave and just jump into this metalized universe. Conversing using, not any established language, but rather through the sheer manipulation of steel sound, Smith thoughtfully and purposefully bows, bangs, taps, raps, rubs and otherwise manipulates his hand-fabricated ferrous instruments. Producing a range of sustaining burnished tones - which mingle and layer into everything from imaginative soundscapes and floating textures, to thought zone drones and nightmarish metal fields - we sense a tremor of floating lustrous shapes in disconnected geometries. When the product of this metallurgic encounter surrounds shuddering, steel strings electric, the unsettled meditation grinds with an industrial intonation. Humming over the shifting shapes and expressive shades of sound, trivial tones reside alongside the apocalyptic in such proximity that they combine - and point toward something beyond itself. In what furnace did these dreams forge? Behind the toll of no earthly bell Smith's Three goes on into its own vibrating wilderness, and invites the listener along on the journey. Traversing distances of thought, we follow the drama, where we may meet the spirits of Harry Bertoia and Robert Rutman - and their proclamations from the deep.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 21 October 2021