Smokey Quartz, Terminations LP

Blake Gillespie

Smokey Quartz

Long ago, as in just over four years, Matthew Beck had a sound collage project called Up Mine, Sunshine that operated from the exotic inland Southern California locale of Temecula. Up Mine, Sunshine bled experimental ticks into the warm rays of California synth pop. Artists like Jeans Wilder would later tread similar SoCal waters, but with a discerningly closer allegiance to the surf rock of the times. After four years of silence, Matthew Beck has a new project called Smokey Quartz that exists in sonic polarity to the terrain explored on Up Mine, Suhsine.

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Terminations is Beck adopting a dystopian vision of his surroundings, as though the fallout is upon us and there is no sunshine to stuff into someone's up-hole, only gray skies of chem trails that keep the sun out entirely. Smokey Quartz began as a fascination with vacuum tube equipment, particularly the Metasonix S-1000 and D-1000. As Smokey Quartz, Beck punishes the sound space with heavy drones over beat machine breaks. On “Laugh The Goblin Song” Smokey Quartz collide the organic sounds of exotic percussion into the industrial clang of drones and hammers against steel beams. Terminations is the soundtrack to a bleak existence in which monoliths, pumping out black smoke, keep us in the darkness; sirens ring out and police states keep us herded and afraid.

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