Joseph Suchy


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Smi2le Review

by Fran├žois Couture

Smi2le is Josef Suchy's first release. Allegedly, it was announced in 1978 but completed only in 1999. The German guitarist and producer presents a continuous 47-minute piece. The indexation in nine tracks doesn't reflect parts in the work, but simply "bookmarks" to help the listener. Although Suchy is only credited for playing guitar, the sound palette is definitely broader, including electronics and various samples of found sound, radio transmission, etc. The first 20 minutes are a brutal feedback-ridden electric guitar attack. The instrument is not treated (except for distortion) and sounds rather muted -- could this portion date back to 1978? Afterwards, things get clearer (from track two onward, sound quality is crystal clear) and more complex, as the guitar is heavily treated and multi-tracked, creating fascinating soundscapes, at times spacy, at others downright skin-peeling. There is important depth in textures, proof of Suchy's artistry. Actually, after the first 20 minutes, the listener completely forgets this is a "guitar album." A reference to Merzbow comes to mind, but Suchy's music tends to be a little more contemplative and varied, less extreme -- more bearable.

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