Tom Smith is the founder of the now-defunct music collective To Live and Shave in L.A., a group responsible for the insanely fantastic anomaly (not really) that is 30-Minuten Männercreme (1994) and a group that has featured everyone from Andrew W.K. and Thurston Moore, to Don Fleming and Weasel Walter. Yet despite TLASILA’s quiet yet deep-rooted influence, and despite Smith’s vibrant and multifarious activities of music-making (Rope Cosmetology, Boat Of, Ohne, etc.) and music-releasing (via his imprint Karl Schmidt Verlag), he has always existed in an aesthetic vacuum. Even his latest projects require proactive fans to discover (Did you know, for instance, that he’s in a trio called Psychotic with Kevin Drumm and Aaron Dilloway?).
One of those projects sees Smith looping and manipulating fragments from Talibam!’s 2012 rap album, Puff Up The Volume, a spirited approach to appropriation that Talibam! themselves have been taking to artists like Frank Ocean and My Bloody Valentine in their Launchpad series. In a way vaguely similar to his work in To Live and Shave in L.A., Smith energizes the music “at the juncture of aesthetic revulsion,” the original material itself being a source of distate and repugnance, a sort of revitalization through estrangement.
Listen to a preview from Smith’s upcoming The Flux Rectorate, his “Launchpad” version of Talibam!’s Puff Up The Volume, here:
Meanwhile, stay tuned for more Launchpad versions both from Talibam! and of Talibam!’s music. And like I said, Smith has a lot of things going on, but one of the more visible ones was the recent To Live and Shave in L.A. box set released in April on Monotype.
• To Live and Shave in L.A.: http://toliveandshaveinla.blogspot.com
• Karl Schmidt Verlag: http://karlschmidtverlag.blogspot.com
• Talibam!: http://talibam.bandcamp.com
• Critical Heights: http://www.criticalheights.com