Their haven’t been a lot of truly breathtaking moments in music this year so when a record full of them comes into your possession, you take note. Ulaan Markhor is the new project of guitarist Steven R. Smith and stands out as his best material to date. There are canyons of blissfully fuzzed out soundscapes providing a cinematic scope. Elements of both Explosions in the Sky and Earth are brought to mind and Ulaan Markhor seems to represent the perfect middle ground between the two. Unrelenting in its propulsive nature and unforgiving in its suspenseful tone, Ulaan Markhor has crafted a genuine work of art. Ulaan Markhor is a completely unexpected year-end list contender. From brilliant start to unnerving finish, this is an outstanding release.