Abigail Smith is a multi-disciplinary artist currently based in New Mexico. She primarily works with small scraps of paper, crafting surreal and colorful collages, with several lovely art books under her belt. Smith's published work has been collected and presented several times alongside the original photography of co-conspirator / fellow artist at large, Justin Clifford Rhody, propagator of the great Vernacular Visions series, head honcho of record label Friends & Relatives, and credited here with the editing and mixing of the raw recordings on hand.
There was an old 8mm film series that was called "Armchair Tours", or something similar. I've seen several of them, all black and white, grainy texture glorious. And the whole pre-TV idea was that you could "travel" from the luxury of your own home. See the sights, witness the elephants in India, or the lions of the Sahara, without ever having to take off your slippers. It's a nice thought, even though the reality of those films are often sad when viewed through today's lens and considering the devastating, long lasting effects of those early "explorations" into "savage" countries. But I digress, the idea is solid. Visit a foreign land for the cost of a roll of film.
But what we get here transcends the idea of pure document or "Armchair Tour", and offers a complex and dynamic range of experiences, bits of reality captured from distant corners of the world. Smith's deliberate sensibilities provide an immersive experience, so much more deeply psychedelic and transportive than the "Armchair Tours" could ever be. Mind travel through the incredible power of sound!
The succinctly titled Indochina Soundscraps is just that, a carefully curated collection of raw field recordings captured during Abigail Smith's travels through Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in November through December of 2016, mixed and edited by Rhody in 2019.
Three cheers to Eh? Records (sub label of Public Eyesore) for birthing a physical form to this round trip ticket, a fleeting 100 copies total for the world.
Professionally duplicated white shell c46 cassette with black imprint comes packaged with full color cardstock J-card featuring front photography by Justin Rhody, and inner collages by Abigail Smith, includes digital download. Don't let the $10 price tag scare you off. It's worth every penny, and way cheaper than a plane ticket to Cambodia!