Posts Tagged ‘Thurston Moore’

Karlrecords – 27th August 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

Well this is an interesting one, and it was, admittedly, Thurston Moore’s name that compelled me to give it some ear time. While listening to the first pounding space-rock psychedelic jazz freakout, it dawns on me that this isn’t actually my first meeting with Turkish free form ensemble Konstrukt, and that I was blown away and bewildered by their 2018 collaboration with Keiji Haino, A Philosophy Warping, Little by Little That Way Ahead Lies a Quagmire (Live).

It’s hard to tell what’s going on and who’s doing what on this first piece, especially what Moore brings to the mess of noise that is, ‘Yapayalnız (Gezerler Sokaklarda)’, which sees a motoric rhythm hold steady amidst a vortex of punk-infused chaos until, ultimately, everything collapses. There are some shouted vocals, but they’re muffled and drenched in so much echo that it sounds more like a riot than a performance, and it makes for an eye-popping, headache-inducing ten minutes. The fact that this was recorded live makes you wonder what it must have been like to witness first-hand: on the one hand, it’s exciting, unpredictable, while on the other, it’s vaguely frustrating, because you don’t know where it’s going – or where it will end.

Turkish Belly is the fifth and latest entry in the ongoing series of collaborations between the four-piece ensemble and an array of guests, and it’s certainly experimental and freeform, to the point at which one could question whether there really is much form at all, and it’s extremely difficult to extrapolate precisely what Moore brings to the chaotic party. Perhaps it’s simply another layer of chaos.

‘Kurtadam’ in two parts is very much percussion-dominated and almost hints at the conventions of rock – but it’s only a hint, and more to do with the solid rhythm section than anything else. It does nail a groove, which is welcome, but everything else especially the horns, are all over and flying every whichway.

The final track, the eleven-and-a-half minute ‘Uğultular’ is a braying beast of a tune – if you can call it a tune as such. The deadened drum beats thwack out a damp rhythm amidst a serpentine sway of seeping discord and disarray. There’s murky bass and some wild, reverb-soaked guitar work, and the whole thing lumbers and lurches, bleats and brays blindly. Wordless vocals growl and grunt amidst a buzz and a howl that yawns and churns and crawls its way to conclusion.

The audience’s applause and cheers after jolt the listener back to reality, and the fact that this a document of a live performance. Maybe you had to be there to fully appreciate it, as it seems those present on the night very much did, but on record, it’s interesting, but at times a bit of a slog.

AA

KR084_front

February 19th sees Blank Editions release a very limited and hand assembled seven inch single from their Stoke Newington neighbour, Thurston Moore, to coincide with Not My President Day.

‘Mx Liberty’ raises its torch of truth and justice, as the poet Radieux Radio and Thurston Moore unleash a punk rock broadside to the current man-boys of the USA government in response to their mockery of democracy. The lyrics (included in a collage insert with the single, which also includes a pin badge) describe ‘Mx Liberty’ climbing over any and all fences with our so-called “enemies” in a radical heaven.

Thurston, with members of his London-based group, Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine), James Sedwards (Nøught) and Jem Doulton (Dead Days Beyond Help), recorded the music in a studio near the early ‘70s HQ of Britain’s Angry Brigade on Amhurst Road, N16. This non-violent group of anarchists, poets and writers of resistance remain a source of radical inspiration for Thurston and Radieux.

On the flip is ‘Panik’, Thurston’s cover of one of the great generation zero punk rock records of all time. Originally recorded by the legendary Metal Urbain from the 1977 streets of Paris. Burning with insolence and primal angst energy, its lyrics are even more pertinent today in the face of contempo-demagoguery.

The sew single will be available from Blank Editions at their Stoke Newington HQ here:

Limited Edition 7” Package Contains:

– 7” Single

– Lyric Sheet Insert (Designed by Thurston Moore)

– Risograph Printed / Hand folded Covers

– Download Code

– 25mm Pin Badge

Thurston Moore

We don’t normally replicate press circulations wholesale, but this… well, this is huge It just had to be shared, and requires no input from us here at AA:

‘WHERE DOES A BODY END?’ is the first-ever authorized documentary of the band Swans. A Kickstarter fundraising effort is being launched to raise production funds and help see the project to fruition.

The film will not only focus on the various historical stages of the band’s career but also investigate band founder/leader Michael Gira’s vision and determination, which have been the powerhouse that has fueled this group’s run of unprecedented, explosive art for 35 years, a burden shouldered by him for better or worse the entire time.

The aim of the documentary is not to be just a traditional music documentary about a band but more of an artistic piece to help put the band and its music in their rightful place in the annals of cultural history. Marco Porsia, the filmmaker, has gained great personal insight into the band by filming them live since 2010.

…and collected hundreds of hours of never before seen archival video and photographic documentation of Swans from 1982 to 1997.  This will capture the intensity of the band throughout the years and will be supported with interviews from past and present band members and journalists, as well as importantimportant musical figures of the music industry – Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, JG "Foetus" Thirwell, Karen O, Amanda Palmer, Kid Congo Powers, Daniel Miller (Mute), Jehnny Beth (Savages), and Jarboe among them.

Consistently at the vanguard of music, as Swans in its current incarnation approaches its ‘end’ with a final album and tour, it is important to capture one of the most influential, unique and powerful bands in history at its peak.

35 years of perseverance, creativity and self reliance has seen the band Swans maintain a unique position in modern music.  From its inception as a NYC ‘noise experience’ to its current maelstroms and intensely focused grooves, Swans have not only survived the music industry, they have transcended musical preconceptions by consistently delving into new musical territory.  This is a band of collaborators, linked by one man, its leader, Michel Gira.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1000942931/where-does-a-body-end-a-documentary-on-the-band-sw

Unsounds – 54U

Christopher Nosnibor

This is one of many releases I’ve been sitting on – figuratively speaking – for a long time without getting round to playing. I tend to listen to CDs while at work in my day-job, and digital promos at home (because I can’t stream or download on work systems), and while I can stuff a bunch of regular CDs into a jiffy and carry them to and from the office, the packaging of this release made it simply impractical. That, and the fact I had to battle long and hard with myself to resist the urge to burn the thing.

It’s not that I have any kind of objection to any of the artists in this three-way collaboration, or take issue with its premise, namely a series of portraits of radical heretical figures from across history, spanning Caravaggio and the Marquis de Sade, to William Burroughs and Johnny Rotten. In fact, it’s a concept I can get on board with, and for months I’ve looked at the magnificent packaging, a box-type affair which folds out to reveal a CD, a DVD and a book containing all of the words to the tracks – some in French, some in English, some in a combination of the two – forming a rich linguistic tapestry. Published in an edition of just 1,000 copies, including 26 lettered copies, it’s a work of art, not a disposable piece of trash. But the box is a giant flip-front matchbook. The front cover is made of fine sandpaper, and glued inside the flap, on its own, stark and inviting is a match, a full fore inches long. What would be more in keeping with the spirit of the project than burning it without hearing so much as a note, and reviewing the sound of the fire taking hold and the rustle of art burning, the colour of the dancing flames and the texture of the ash? It would hardly be Watch the KLF Burn a Million Quid, but nevertheless… I’m a pussy. I was also too curious to explore the contents of the package. And having heard the album and watched the film, there was no way I could even pretend to burn it. I’m weak. I’m no heretic.

Chaton, Moor and Moore are no heretics, either: they’re artists who appreciate heretics. It’s not always obvious to whom each piece relates, and perhaps a priori knowledge of the individual heretical figures is beneficial, as is an ability to translate French. ‘The Things that belong to William’ does not mention Burroughs by name. However, the bilingual text, in referencing ‘a Paregoric Kid’, ‘Pontopon Rose’, ‘Joselito’, ‘Bradley the Buyer’ and a host of characters and scenes from Naked Lunch and beyond, the connection is clear – to those versed in the author’s work. ‘Poetry Must Me Made By All’ is, then, presumably, a dedication to Comte de Lautreamont, pro-plagiaristic precursor of the Surrealists, Situationists and Neoists, as well as the cut-up technique of Burroughs and Gysin.

Textually – these are texts and not lyrics, delivered in a spoken word / narrative form – it’s an erudite work, researched, intertextual, referential. Sonically, it’s no more immediate. Oblique, obtuse, challenging: these are the first descriptors which volunteer their services in untangling Heretics.

‘Casino Rabelaisien’ is a tense effort, with angular guitar clanging perpendicular to a gritty, awkward bass grind. Chatton remains nonchalant and monotone amidst the chaotic no-wave cacophony. ‘Dull Jack’ begins with Thurston’s voice alone, before churning guitars slither in. There are no regular rhythmic signatures here, no ‘tunes’, no hooks or melodies: instead, this is a set which uses instruments in a more abstract way, conjuring uneasy atmosphere and often simply attacking the senses.

With the guitars of Moor and Moore duelling, playing across one another as much as with one another, the effect is jarring, uncomfortable. Both players employ atonality and discord within their performances, and when discordant passages collide, it’s a brain-bending experience.

Heretics is a work which delivers on its promise and conveys the spirit of the outré, unconventional artists who inspired it. It is, in addition, a true work of art. Don’t burn it.

Heretics