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Sonic Youth Anagrama

The Anagrama EP became the first in a series of the SYR label's Perspective Musicales releases seemingly cementing Sonic Youth's connectivity to an increasing public awareness in experimental composers of the 20th century (French or otherwise). The irony was that many of those original avant composers being rediscovered by the indie audience (Partch, Neuhaus, Reich, Messaien) often found themselves on major labels anyway! So, perhaps this reverse approach was a necessary concept/comment given the music biz climate of the 90's. Regardless of how apples and oranges fell in Xenakian probability/theory, it was clear that both Sonic Youth's stature in progressive music, aided by now unlimited taperoll time thanks to a home base studio downtown established after their Lollapalooza stint, gave the band plenty of trailblazing time for their self examination of untraveled avenues. "Anagrama" unfolds into nine minutes of delicate textures, starting with thick drone segueing into moments reminiscent of the post-crescendo flutter/comedown of "Marquee Moon's" trail-out; Thurston, Lee and Kim's guitars all circling round each other taking delicate pokes and stabs before drifting into some post-rock rhythmic moves tapered with delicate percussive guidance from Steve Shelley. "Improvisation Ajoutée" reaches further out into dissolve with whirring oscillations, guitars hissing and clanking radiator-style in a short blast format that continues into "Tremens" and a spooked-out landscape of gelatinous notes snaking up slowly. The sparseness of attack is colorful, textures emit and linger, silent spots shine, all flanked by tasteful drumming that provides the thread to all the abstraction. Shelley's approach here is interestingly sideways to any kind of usual rock action, it's tempered, mutant and metronomic simultaneously. The finale track "Mieux: De Corrosion" is a real pedal-palatte showcase. Here, Plutonian guitar wash flanges upwards to buoy a myriad of colorful eruptions of amp-spuzz, chopped up tone blasts and general confusion. Out of the blue, some metallic one-note choogle kicks in and threatens to explode into some Judas Priestly motion, before it all sputters into aural glass showers, clang, and finally a ferocious wave of more flange hiss that crashes down on a dime.
  • Anagrama
  • Anagrama
  • Anagrama
12" IN
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