Smersh - Chronology 122

This tape imperfectly attempts to address a problem that I don't think anybody actually needed solved. According to the text on the cover, "This tape contains pieces from over 100 Smersh songs. This has been done to placate the bastards who find Smersh songs overly long and uncreative." Had enough people actually complained about the length of Smersh songs to merit making a whole album to "placate" them? Smersh songs tended to be usual pop-song length, three to five minutes each. They didn't do side-long jams. Whoever thought they were too long probably just didn't like them at all. And why are they "bastards"? That's a lot of emotion to level at probably-non-existant people. But let's assume that throngs of angry cassette listeners wrote hate mail to Smersh's suburban Piscataway NJ address in 1985 to complain, "Your songs are just too long!". Why would those people be placated by a collage made out of a few seconds each of 100 Smersh songs? And if those people found Smersh songs uncreative, then why would they like this tape any more than previous ones? Maybe I don't get it. Or maybe I do get it, and it simply makes no sense. Whatever the case, "Chronology 122" does exactly what it says on the tin: a few seconds of a Smersh song are cut roughly into another few seconds of a different Smersh song and so on for two 26-minute collages. No attempt was made to make the cuts sound smooth, or mesh together in any way. Listening to it is a weird experience. It's wholly, objectively unsatisfying by design, and so a perfect encapsulation of the freedom embraced by the no-genre no-audience cassette-culture non-scene of the 1980s. Artists and non-artists were free to dive headfirst directly to the bottom of their own nonsensical sonic impulse, which they energetically did. Released on Atlas King in 1986.

Smersh - Chronology 122


Anonymous,  1 December 2014 at 20:28  

Stumbled upon might be a better introduction for newcomers to Smersh. Thanks for all the great music.

Mrs. Inside 2 December 2014 at 11:25  

I agree, the Smersh Library Sampler is definitely a better introduction! So are the other Smersh tapes posted here. "Chronology" is just bizarre, but that's what I like about it.

Anonymous,  7 December 2014 at 18:51  

smersn'em all!