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About this item
Back in 1981, bedroom autuers and rhythmic anarchists Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard founded Smersh as an experimental offshoot of their Pop Tarts day job. Operating with a strict dogma in place, the duo would rehearse every monday night, record their improvisations and never play live. Following their strict guidelines the duo went on to record more than thirty LPs and cassettes during the 80s and 90s. Now Amsterdam's Knekelhuis imprint cherry pick a couple of their favourite moments from that extensive discography, chuck in a remix from family friend Parrish Smith and whack the whole lot on a weighty 12" pressing.
"M Appeal" opens proceedings with a little percusso-weirdo a la drumbox, pinging and phasing away like a right ketmess. Solemn bass and mournful keys add a welcome level of musicality to this strange wave wonder, flirting with the funk but maintaining a miserablist distance. "Kiss Me Stupid" steps up the intensity thanks to a machine gun snare, squalls of guitar feedback and floaty sequences, attaining the same level of industrial pop brilliance as Propaganda or Cabaret Voltaire. Over on the flip our attention turns to Nieuwegein's most warped mind, Parrish Smith, who transforms "M Appeal" into a biting, buzzing, basement belter. The freaky beat is amplified and rewired, topped with bitcrushed bass swells and disembodied, mechanical vocals. Lurching hits of metallic percussion break up the dark and brooding tone, hinting at an afro-futurist dream which never quite materialises. It's not all about the k-hole though, keep listening and you'll feel the warm embrace of poppers-laced melody. One for the fReAkZzZzZ.