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Before It Is

by Julius Smack

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  • Clear 7" Vinyl
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

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Before It Is 06:12
Red Wine 04:12


Julius Smack queers the orchestra with a shimmering single recorded on a fjord in Norway last autumn. Bursting with polyrhythmic composition, soaring vocals, and acoustic instruments from flutes to pipe organs, “Before It Is” unites past and future music sounds with its mysterious compositional strategies and ambitious production.

Originally composed in transit on laptop between Los Angeles and Berlin, “Before It Is” was arranged in Norway for a three-piece woodwind ensemble. Co-producer Busy Gangnes expanded these ideas, producing a world of sound with brooding pipe organ, and a frenetic drum performance reminiscent of Gangnes’ work in her band Telepathe. Those recordings were then mixed with MIDI choir voices and flutes with the intention of crafting an ambiguity between past and future sounds.

Regarding the influences behind the lyrics, Julius Smack offered this statement: “Between the liberal left’s ineptitude and the breakdown of truth in the political sphere, there seems to be a devaluation of the potential of conflict to promote change. ‘Before It Is’ embraces conflict as a methodology for enacting a future determined by truth, rather than industry and capital.”


released November 28, 2017

All songs written and produced by Julius Smack. Co- produced and mixed by Busy Gangnes. Mastered by Also Names at Office of Analogue and Digital. Oboe performed by Maria Karpinets. Clarinet performed by Linn Astrid Skjerve. Violin performed by Anna Laborová. Additional organ and drums performed by Busy Gangnes. Studio engineering by Sondra Moyls. “Red Wine” samples “Canticum Sacrum” by Igor Stravinsky. Recorded in Stavanger, Norway between November ‘16 and March ‘17. This recording was funded by Rogaland Kunstsenter.




Practical Records Los Angeles, California

Practical Records is an independent cassette label. Our mission is to cultivate community and exposure for emergent queer artists from the Bay Area & Los Angeles.

Since 2014, we have released an extensive catalog of music and zines. In addition, we produce concerts and DIY workshops that provide opportunities to interact with Practical Records artists.
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