Boomkat Product Review:
Previously unreleased recordings by a co-founder of Smegma, one of USA’s pivotal free-improv groups
At the heels of their Smegma LP, Alga Marghen peer into the early recordings of their co-founder, Eric Stewart aka Ju Suk Reet Meate. Much like his pseudonym may suggest a greeting in a Yorkshire butcher’s shop, his sound suggests a documentarian approach to uncovering the oddness of upended convention, revealed in two extended movements recorded with no remixing or overdubs, and now released to the public for the 1st time.
Comprising exclusively unreleased solo material, this is quite the historic artefact, looking right back to the earliest period of his involvement with Smegma in the A-side’s four-part Something New Opus I-IV (1975-1977), which takes in spindly, bluesy string figures and unnervingly acousmatic magick with two sections of frankly fuck-knows-what smears of free jazz, concrete electronics and thumb pianos, while the B-side’s Or Feets Opus I-III (1980) checks out three solo pieces ranging from psychey guitar jamming, extended vocal technique and plunderphonics to an amazing piece of processed vocals and The Caretaker-esque shellac warping with a proper outsider bent.
“Sidestepping all normal expectations on this album, Ju Suk Reet Meate (founding member of Smegma) directly goes about casting musical spells, utilizing primitive "inner mind" techniques on hammered dulcimer, tape loops, thrift store records, a homemade synthesizer, electric guitar, saxophone, mouth sounds, and manipulated christian radio broadcasts. Recorded in Portland, Oregon, these previously unreleased recordings reflect a similar "inner-mind over limited technique matter" aesthetic as the acclaimed but seldom heard classic Solo 1978-1979, originally released on Pigface Records in 1980.”