Date: Thu, 5 May 1994 22:04:32 -0700
This is the latest Kendra Smith press release from 4AD.
Kendra Smith joins 4AD
Northern California based recording artist Kendra Smith has signed to 4AD, worldwide.
Kendra has begun recording her first solo disc for the label, slated for release in early fall. She currently has ten songs in demo form, with plans to segue the tracks together via sound collage. The disc's instrumentation will be centered around an antique pump organ and will implement a wide scope of instruments such as violin, Turkish drums and Indian harmonium. "And of course, the distorgan, fuzz guitar and bass, three of my favorite traditional instruments," says Kendra. "So far, the music ranges from twisted classical to organic electric pop, but I make no predictions. The random factor is part of the plan."
Kendra was drawn to 4AD by the label's size and artistic focus. "I can deal directly with 4AD without the usual labyrinth of intermediaries and suits." As to the label's music, "I had intentionally stopped keeping up with new sounds on the 'outside', and knew 4AD mainly by reputation, so I was pleased when I enjoyed the tapes that Ivo sent me. Meanwhile I'm still listening to Syd, Can, Faust, Eno and a good amount of Middle and Near Eastern music. Certain melodies and frequencies attract me, but I find them here and there, and not entirely in commercially produced music. It's pretty obvious the artform has been vampirized, and its social and spiritual functions altered bizarrely by narcissism and greed."
Kendra originally achieved critical acclaim as founding member of Los Angeles based outfits The Dream Syndicate, Clay Allison and Opal. After her exit from the latter, she departed from the urban grind of Los Angeles, feeling the need to get out of the system and reassess what was truly necessary. Subsequently, Kendra now prefers to live in the woods without modern conveniences. Her way of life is "primitive and can be physically and 'psychically' demanding." says Kendra, "but it's satisfying to me. There are many opportunities to study nature and conduct scientific experiments. I know enough of humans already..." Regarding her sabbatical from public performing, she adds, "when the music calls for it. Sometimes you learn more by not playing, which makes me a genius, right?"
However, Kendra's break from music was ended on a Northern California road-trip when she discovered an old pump organ in a dusty shop corner. "I touched it once and knew it would open musical doors for me, I began to consider recording again." Then in 1992, Kendra officially returned by releasing "The Guild of Temporal Adventurers" EP (Fiasco). It was written and recorded in two weeks with two members of the elusive Guild, plus an assortment of fellow conspirators. The disc displayed Kendra's penchant for beautiful melodies and as a result, ended up on many year end Top 10 Lists.