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Smersh - The Greatest Story Ever Distorted


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We and our partners use cookies to personalize your experience, to show you ads based on your interests, and for measurement and analytics purposes. By using our website and our services, you agree to our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy. New Jersey residents Chris Shepard and Mike Mangino formed industrial duo Smersh inrecording noisy proto-techno tracks on primitive analog synthesizers and drum machines in their basement studio in Piscataway.

The duo convened every Monday, wrote a song from scratch, recorded it, and never performed it again, existing solely as a studio project and never giving live performances.

The duo's Smersh - The Greatest Story Ever Distorted combined harsh, screaming vocals and distorted guitars with experimental yet danceable machine rhythms, creating a lo-fi precursor to much of the more popular industrial and EBM music that would emerge during the following decades.

Smersh developed an international following through their countless self-released tapes, leading to vinyl and CD releases on a few Smersh - The Greatest Story Ever Distorted labels, but they largely remained obscure, and ceased to Do You Believe In Love (Radio Edit) - Ultra-Sonic - Do You Believe In Love when Shepard passed away in A full Smersh discography would be difficult to compile, as most of the group's recordings were released in the form of limited cassettes on their own label which was initially nameless but became known as Atlas King inbut the duo became a significant presence in the '80s cassette underground, Strong Nation - DJ Dean - House Nation on influential tape labels such as Sound of Pig and Ladd-Frith.

After Chris Shepard lost his battle with cystic fibrosis inputting an end to Smersh and the Atlas King label, Mike Mangino continued with other projects, and eventually established Mirandette Popular, a CD-R label that released archival Smersh material as well as recordings by his newer musical endeavors. Many years later, Smersh finally began to receive long-overdue recognition, as blogs and free form radio stations like WFMU rediscovered their pioneering industrial and proto-techno recordings.

San Francisco-based Dark Entries run Smersh - The Greatest Story Ever Distorted Josh Cheon, a Rutgers alum who used to DJ at a student radio station located on the Piscataway campus of the university released Cassette Pets, a double-LP compilation containing 17 tracks from throughout Smersh's entire lifespan, ranging from harsh, guitar-driven industrial to electro instrumentals.

Three years later, the label released Super Heavy Solid Waste, a more streamlined single-LP collection focusing on harsh, rhythmic industrial dance tracks. The following year, the label released Sideways, a 12" consisting of an minute Smersh track recorded inbacked with remixes by Tadd Mullinix under his JTC and Charles Manier monikers.

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