|The text ahead the backcatalogue says: "Now you can get some of that old Smersh garbage that you've been dying to get your dirty little claws on. Each volume will have the best tracks from every Smersh cassette released on the Atlas King label from 1981 to 1994. Mastered from the rapidly decaying cassette originals. So, we don't want to hear any bitchin' about the soundquality."||
||Thus, the sound quality is pretty good regarding the time when original sources were recorded. For example, the CDR "Gash" (reissue of the classic Smersh cassette from 1983) could remind you the 80's music spirit. The music is very strange mixture of driving EBM-style beats, intricate industrial noise manipulation, and retro synth melodies.|
||A lush hybrid of techno, industrial, dance, and experimental, it sounds like the soundtrack to a cyberpunk video game in which you've just run out of ammunition as the city goes into a blackout. There was also some few LP records and CD on KK Records, but it is sold out years ago. The CDR "Happy Spaceship" released by VUZ as usual in edition of 200 copies and placed in lovely designed computer-game box.|
|It features tracks from
various records across the period 1984-1991, ranging from industrial rock
styled songs with acid vocals to rough edged techno. The "best of" compilation
as I can assume - it could be good for shizoid dance party!
Michael now operates under the name Mirandette and released a couple of CDRs with the more organic and delicate pieces, he calls his style "microdelia".
||Not pretending to be too experimental
or sophisticated, this music is for me a kind of relaxation journey through
the self-regulated toyworld.
This short interview with Michael Mangino
was conducted by Dmitry Vasilyev in August 2000.
How you got an idea to use such strange name - Smersh?
I can't avoid this question regarding the soviet roots of this obscure
I took the name from The James Bond novels I was reading at about the time we were ready to release our first cassette. It seemed like the perfect name to use as we had decided to be as subversive as possible with our recording activities.
What is the difference between the music of Smersh and your previous projects? How do you felt the sense of the music scene in the early 80s?
As Smersh we would record once a week. Every song was written and recorded over a period of about two hours. Nowadays I tend to labor over things a bit more. Recording by myself has made me more critical of what I release. We never felt like we were part of any scene. We were quite isolated here in New Jersey and we definitely didn't fit in with the whole hard-core punk thing that was going on at that time.
I was always interested: how the band like yours
can get known without concerts, without contacts with labels,
without being within trend? For Russia, this is quite impossible...
I guess it was through our shameless self promotion of sending out tapes to whoever we thought would review them. That had to be it because we didn't play live. And we never got played on the radio.
Closer to the music itself (forgive my blind curiosity/impatience)
- if your music was in electro-beat vein, it came before EBM got popularity,
and then it gone in other direction... umm... let's say rough-edged techno.
you would describe your music style and it's dynamic?
I can't really describe my music. While it's always been electronic in nature, it has always changed over time as I get bored with certain sounds or styles.
What is your current activity? Why you decide to
establish Mirandette Popular and what is your aims with this label?
I currently record under the name Mirandette, which is basically Smersh without the vocals. I established The Mirandette Popular CDR label to release my new material and to keep some of the older Smersh material available for those who want it.
Can you state in two words what the projects are
Twill and Mad Monkey? It's yours or someone else?
Mad Monkey is me. It's a name that I used for two CD EPs. It's more of the usual techno/sample babble that I usuallly do. Twill is kind of hard to describe. They call their music stupido-pop. I don't know why. My involvement with them is more on a post production level.
The question that is more important for me than for
you (or maybe not?): can you trace the difference between the underground
music scene twenty years ago and now? I don't have in mind technology,
but the people, the audience, the atmosphere?
Well, it certainly seemed more fun twenty years ago. People seemed more willing to try different things. Now a lot more people seem to be doing it for the money. A lot of people I've come in contact with won't even consider
trading material with you, but they'll sell you a copy of their new CD.
For the noise-ears your music sounds quite poppy
and relax. But I don't believe that it can entertain pop music
lovers. What is you meaning about the place your music takes? (I always think about these little monsters on
"Super-Deformed" EP - maybe your music will be good soundtracks for cartoons :)
This is one of the problems that people seem to have with my music. It doesn't really seem to fall into any one category. I've always considered that to be a good thing.
One - CD-R $5.00
Tracks from 1981 and 1982
Two -CD-R $5.00
Tracks from 1983
Three - CD-R $5.00
One really long live in the studio performance from 1984
Four - CD-R $5.00
Tracks from 1984
Five - CD-R $5.00
Tracks from 1985, and 1986
Six - CD-R $5.00
Tracks from 1987, 1988, and 1989
Seven - CD-R $5.00
Tracks from 1990, 1991, and 1993
Eight - CD-R $5.00
Tracks from 1992, 1993, and 1994
Smersh - Controlling Regret For Fun And Profit
Volume One - Gash CD-R $5.00
The classic Smersh cassette from 1983. Watch who you're callin' industrial around here pal!
Volume Two - Depthcharge CD-R $5.00
Originally released in Sweden (really!) in 1992.
Mirandette - The Tomorrow Trap CD-R EP $4.00
Five tracks of easy listening microdelia.
Twill - Essential Exercises For
The Development And Control Of Thinking Fingers CD-R EP $4.00
Words fail to describe this. It's either total rubbish or utter brilliance. I just don't know. Wait, let's call it hauntingly stupid and leave it at that.
Smersh - Neural Chafe CD-R $6.00
Six tracks from Various Immp releases. Plus one unreleased track. Oh, did I mention that there is one brand new track too!
Mirandette - Your Home Will Be A push-button Miracle CD-R $6.00
11 stunning examples of homemade microdelia. In other words, lots of beats and loops for all you alien space-dwarves out there.
Mad Monkey - Breakbone Fever CD-R $6.00
One reviewer described this as "clickety clackety drum machines patterns with some samples thrown on top". What more could you possibly want? Nine tracks from the two out of print Mad Monkey EPs. Plus one track salvaged from an obscure tape collection.
Twill - Idiot Glee CD-R $5.00
Twelve tracks of stupid, sampledelic improvisations by people who should know better.
Smersh -Emmanuelle Goes To Bangkok CD-R $5.00
11 tracks from 1989. Previously available as a Belgium Import.
Smersh - Escala en hi-fi CD-R $5.00
15 tracks from various singles, EPs, and compilations.
Various - Today's Themes For Young Lovers CD-R $5.00
Two tracks each from Smersh, Hip Hug Her, Peace Hotel, and Quatermass in one great big throbbing continuous mix.
Smersh - Superdeformed EP- 4 song German import 7" vinyl $3.00
Smersh - Dislocation EP - 2 track domestic 7" vinyl $3.00
Some out of print Smersh releases
are still skulking about. Contact me for more information: email@example.com
All prices include postage. All product is available for money orders or cash(or trade, but contact me first!).
Those sending cash should hide it well. Please make all money orders payable to:
Michael Mangino 46 Balboa Lane
Franklin Park, New Jersey 08823