Thurston lets rip with a little bit of that old Sonic Youth magic on this tape, released a while back on North London’s Blank Editions label to celebrate the centennial of that renowned astral voyager Sun Ra.
The two tracks perch somewhere between the lysergic emanations of SY’s A Thousand Leaves and the punk-art-trash of Moore’s Chelsea Light Moving group. Recorded in glorious lo-fi, the tunes mix Moore’s trademark liquid guitar drips with some of those chunkier power chords he’s been playing around with in recent times.
Rosetta kicks off with a rather natty stuttering groove, courtesy of Moore’s long-time collaborator John Moloney, as the man himself intones cosmic poetry inspired by the comet-chasing satellite which gives the piece its title.
Before too long, however, the Can-like rhythm drops out into weightless drift. “Sun truth, sunlight” Moore mumbles as Samara Lubelski’s violin arcs around the lethargic guitar strums.
There’s more bite on Rebellion of Joy, in which scuzzy cluster bomb riffs punctuate an unsettling glaze like some kind of ballroom blitz taking place in the deep void. Eventually, of course, everything gets mashed up into heap of blistered scrap metal noise. Good stuff and a nice appetiser for Moore’s upcoming full-length The Best Day, released later this month.
Meanwhile, over the water in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ryan Hall’s Heligator Records label continues its impeccably curated run of digital singles with this jagged piece of drone art punk rock from CLIPD BEAKS.
Sounding not unlike guitar-era Liars after a diet of broken glass and paint stripper, this is a woozily evil (in a good way) record from the Oakland psych punks.
From the opening retro-goth flanged bassline, to the crashing feedback and fuzz that gives the track its abrasive verve, to the wails and moans which entwine themselves around the nuts and bolts of the song’s structure, this is a three minutes and 30 second-long howl into the abyss.
Space may well be the place but with these fellows around it’s not the kind of groovy cosmos in which you want spend much time.
In short, another great release. But, as well as being purveyors of fine musicks from the fringes, Heligator Records has something of an ulterior motive in bringing these artists to our attention – although, as ulterior motives go, it’s not a bad one. All the money raised from the sales of this and other Heligator releases are used to support a library for refugees in Swaziland.
As Ryan says on the Heligator bandcamp page:
“Every dollar spent at Heligator Records goes directly to the Malindza Refugee Camp Library in Mpaka, Swaziland. The proceeds from Heligator go to maintaining the library (literally keeping the lights on) and providing a small stipend to the volunteer, refugee librarians. The library is home to over 1,500 books, two computers as well as English and French classes taught by refugee volunteers.”
Pretty bloody classy, I think you’ll agree.
Get Thurston Moore’s Sun Gift Earth here
You can find out more about Malindza Refugee Camp Library here.