Saturday, 26 December 2009

Mp3 of the day #1 - Tremens by Sonic Youth

Firstly, I hope you all had a nice Christmas. I did!

I'm going to start doing an mp3 of the the day as often as I can while the show takes a break (hopefully daily). Here's the first. Not topical at all. Sorry.

Our first mp3 is by one of my favourite bands, Sonic Youth. It comes from the first in their SYR series of records, an outlet for their even-more-out-there-than-normal tendencies. I think it's the stand-out track on the EP, three minutes of brooding guitars, spacey echo and Steve Shelley playing some of the funkiest drums I've ever heard on a Sonic Youth record. It doesn't have a catchy tune or clever lyrics (or indeed any lyrics at all) but what I like most about this one is the whole aura of subdued dread, like the feeling I get from Spiderland or something like that. When the guitars do go noisy they don't overwhelm the song, brutal but restrained.
This is the sound of walking through the dark parts of a city at night - a feeling that a lot of Sonic Youth stuff evokes, but in a different way. Very nice.

Sonic Youth - Tremens

The first two tracks of the EP are well worth listening to if you like fairly minimalist and atmospheric improvisations. The last track is an anomaly, 6 minutes of very Merzbow-y noise. You probably need to be a big fan of both Sonic Youth and the Merzbow type of sound in order to get too much out of it. An interesting departure from almost anything else the band has done though.

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