Ambient Soundbath Podcast #52 – Kelvin L. Smith

kelvin_l_smith

 

So, I have to go way back for this one… It was late 1999, early 2000 maybe, there was a wonderful experiment going on with a website called Mp3.com… The internet bubble was happening and Mp3.com was trying to create and capitalize on a site for bedroom artists and would-be producers, such as myself, looking to get exposure for their work and make it big… Maybe even ‘get signed’… it’s funny now, but that used to be a thing… a really big thing! In any case it was through Mp3.com that I discovered and met many great artists, and also received the first bits of encouragement to release my own music… Many of those folks are still actively creating work today, and some have disappeared from the musical landscape altogether… This episode is dedicated to one such artist, Kelvin L. Smith.

From the first time I put on his music it struck a deep chord with me… thinking back to that time, I could only think that it was like a music that I wanted to make. I hadn’t yet heard Steve Roach, Tangerine Dream or much in the way of electronic synthesizer music of an ambient or spacey variety, so for me, Kelvin’s music was brilliant, peaceful and easy to immerse myself in, sonically. There was also a textural and melodic aspect to his music that put its hooks in me and didn’t let go. Those same hooks were stuck in me when I got to thinking about how I hadn’t heard his music in years; through many computer and CD collection swaps I wasn’t sure I even had the music anymore. So I plugged his name into Google and found… well… not much… apparently, Kelvin isn’t doing much online these days… He released a recording in 2003 on Farfield Records and had a Google reference to a Bandcamp site that has since been removed… I kind of couldn’t believe it. Such great music lost to time…

Now, I was really wanting to hear his music, so I began digging through old CDs and back-ups hoping for something, anything. Sure enough I found a collection of 15 tracks… All of the classics that I remembered… they had aged well and as I sat and listened to them I was transported back to that time just before my first recording, For Running Time was released, that period just as my creative life was beginning; it was beautiful. Kelvin’s music is beautiful.

I didn’t know much about Kelvin. We had a brief exchange via Mp3.com’s messaging system, but little more. I knew that he didn’t just make ambient space music, but did other music and that he was from the United Kingdom. That’s it, not much…

What I can offer as far as program notes is not much more comprehensive, as those 15 tracks I found lacked any kind of meta data, no track titles, copyrights, web links, nada. I don’t know the names of any of these tracks, when they were made, where they came from or really anything else, I just know that Kelvin L. Smith, like so many people who touch our lives only for a moment and leave a lasting impression, created these works. With that, I say please enjoy this collection of untitled tracks. If you know the track names, please send them in, if you know of Kelvin, send him to the site, and let him know that his work is important and matters, which, for artists and creative people, like myself is really what we hope for most. If you know that Kelvin is still creating, perhaps under a pseudonym, please send links…

Now, please enjoy the music of Kelvin L. Smith.

– Matt

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