Thurston Moore


Glass Modern • 2018

First off: if you don’t like noise rock, this album certainly won’t convert you. How could it? After all, »Klangfarbenmelodie… And The Colorist Strikes Primitiv« by Thurston Moore and drummer Tom Surgal is more to be understood as a historical document. The two musicians got together for a short improvised set in the early 90s, the recording circulated afterwards as a CD only through the New Zealand label Corpus Hermeticum. Sonic Youth were on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough at the time, but it never came. The band established itself in the New York underground, then on college radio and at festivals – and after that it was more the arts sections and art gallery that followed. What is quite evident here. Melodies rarely appear, but rather a sound emerges that Thurston Moore permanently transforms, interweaves and decomposes. Over the course of three tracks, this takes on impressive features in places, but some moments simply fizzle out, remaining only noise and no music. Some sounds briefly hint at a structure, for example in the second part of the performance, but then the next change comes, and everything shifts and fades away. Neither rhythm nor melody determine, the pure sound shows itself. The whole power of this improvisation cannot be reconstructed from the recording anyway, such performances have to be experienced, the sound has to press itself directly into your ears at an appropriate volume in a suitable atmosphere. Feedback is the trump card. This requires concentrated listening. Then noise rarely fascinates as it does in the great moments on these three tracks.