Label: Sonic Youth Records
The fifth release in Sonic Youth's SYR series doesn't even feature Sonic Youth at all, but rather an avant-garde power trio of SY bassist Kim Gordon, turntablist DJ Olive, and programming electro-goddess Ikue Mori. The music is ultra-abstract and mood-driven, filling the listening space with a dark ambience constructed by Olive's incredibly resonant choice of samples and Mori's carefully tweaked bleeps. Gordon predictably contributes with a dose of noise guitar, though the source of sounds on this disc is heartily confusing -- Gordon calling into question the identity of the electric guitar while Olive and Mori try to carve out identities for their respective instruments. Throughout, Gordon contributes a free vocal style she has been experimenting with since the first SYR discs, released in 1998, and on the two intervening Sonic Youth albums, A Thousand Leaves (1998) and NYC Ghosts & Flowers (2000). In combination with the lyrics, which dance the line between abstract poetry and frustrating downtown pretentiousness, many might find Gordon's vocal approach quite grating. It is more than made up for, though, by the utterly weird and compelling soundscapes the group creates -- a true headphone head trip. Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda contributes on "Take Me Back."
Cat. number: Syr5