Reviews that mention Thurston Moore

January 11, 2016

Merzbow/Balás Pándi/Mats Gustafsson/Thurston Moore

Cuts of Guilt, Cut Deeper
RareNoise Records RNRPR 052

Akira Sakata & Jim O'Rourke with Chikamorachi & Merzbow

Flying Basket

Family Vineyard FV88

On of the defining indicators of distinctive 21st Century improvised music is how it`s now being built on more than a Free Jazz or possibly aleatory so-called classical music tropes. Rock rhythms, electronic extensions and the acceptance of so-called noise as ends in themselves often characterize these performances and separate them from earlier avant-garde strategies. These sets, featuring Jazz-identified saxophones, Rock-wedded guitarist and the doming electronic pulses of Japan`s Masami Akita, known as Merzbow are distant example of these concepts. However one allows the noise to dominate the CD’s improvisational character, while the other subordinates the non-Free Jazz elements so that like detailing on an auto with a powerful motor, they complement rather than engulf graceful free music. MORE

October 6, 2015

John Russell

Emanem 5037

By Ken Waxman

As the musicians of the so-called second generation of British improvisers move into their seventh decade, many celebratory concerts are marking their undiminished skills. One of the best, preserved on this 78-minute disc, took place last December as 60th birthday boy guitarist John Russell playing four sets with six improvisers. The result confirms the adage that Free Music keeps you young.

Measuring all four, the two shorter meetings are like extended bagatelles. On “The Second Half of the First Half” Russell matches wits with his contemporary, sound-singer Phi Minton, who has never found a noise he couldn’t duplicate. As Minton bellows, burbles, moans, whistles and hiccups, the guitarist’s folksy picking is perfect accompaniment for a bawdy verbal Punch & Judy show with the singer taking all the parts. “The Second Half of the Second Half” signals a rare return to the electric guitar for Russell to battle the psyched out, dial-twisting distortions from Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore. Propelling electronic shrieks, flanges and trebly rebounds likely not heard since Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck worked together, Russell rocks out while keeping the duet chromatic and with unexpected aleatory highlights. MORE

April 24, 2001


Hurricane Floyd
Sublingual Records SL R007

Frequently crossing the thin line between noise improv and noise rock, HURRICANE FLOYD is as aggressive and all encompassing as its namesake. And like homes reduced to rubble when caught in the path of its namesake, some of the results here are less than appealing

On the plus side there are the probing sonic outings of Seattle alto saxophonist Wally Shoup and Philadelphia percussionist Toshi Makihara. But, unfortunately, the featured performer appears to be Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore, playing what seems to both unsubtle rock-inflected guitar lines and guitar amplifier. His contribution to the proceedings decrease with his audibility. Subtlety may not be the point of a session like this, but rock star self-aggregation doesn't help matters.