sonic youth - syr5 kim gordon, ikue mori, dj olive

.:: SYR5 is a 2000 album by Kim Gordon, DJ Olive and Ikue Mori.

Following the tradition of having the liner notes of SYR releases written in foreign languages, SYR5 has them in Japanese.

The fifth release in Sonic Youth's SYR series doesn't even feature Sonic Youth at all, but rather an avant-garde power trio of SY bassist Kim Gordon, turntablist DJ Olive, and programming electro-goddess Ikue Mori. The music is ultra-abstract and mood-driven, filling the listening space with a dark ambience constructed by Olive's incredibly resonant choice of samples and Mori's carefully tweaked bleeps.

Gordon predictably contributes with a dose of noise guitar, though the source of sounds on this disc is heartily confusing — Gordon calling into question the identity of the electric guitar while Olive and Mori try to carve out identities for their respective instruments. Throughout, Gordon contributes a free vocal style she has been experimenting with since the first SYR discs, released in 1998, and on the two intervening Sonic Youth albums, A Thousand Leaves (1998) and NYC Ghosts & Flowers (2000).

In combination with the lyrics, which dance the line between abstract poetry and frustrating downtown pretentiousness, many might find Gordon's vocal approach quite grating. It is more than made up for, though, by the utterly weird and compelling soundscapes the group creates — a true headphone head trip. Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda contributes on "Take Me Back."

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sonic youth su tim barnes - syr6 koncertas stan brakhage prisiminim

.:: SYR6: Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminimui is an EP by Sonic Youth. The sixth in a series of experimental releases put out on the band's own SYR label, the album is a live recording from an April 13, 2003 benefit show for the Anthology Film Archives. The band, joined by percussionist Tim Barnes, played along with silent Stan Brakhage films.

SYR6 follows the tradition of having the liner notes in the SYR series written in foreign language titles, in this case in Lithuanian. The meaning of the title is "A Concert in Memory of Stan Brakhage".

It is the first in the SYR series to receive no release on vinyl.

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sonic youth - syr7 j'accuse ted hughes

.:: SYR7: J'Accuse Ted Hughes is the seventh release in American group Sonic Youth's SYR series. It was released only on vinyl--the first in the series to receive no compact disc release--and features two songs: "J'Accuse Ted Hughes", and "Agnès B. Musique".

SYR7 follows the SYR series tradition of liner notes in foreign languages. The language used on the artwork is Arpitan.

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sonic youth med mats gustafsson og merzbow - syr8 andre sider af sonic youth

.:: SYR8: Andre Sider Af Sonic Youth is an album by Sonic Youth with Mats Gustafsson and Merzbow. It is the eighth release in the SYR series.

Andre Sider Af Sonic Youth-- the eighth album in Sonic Youth's self-released, experimental series known as Sonic Youth Recordings, or SYR-- risks suffering from expectations. A live 2005 collaboration between Sonic Youth (in its quintet formation with the redoubtable Jim O'Rourke) and special guests Merzbow and Mats Gustafsson, here the noise rock fountainhead invites an extreme electronics pioneer and one of free jazz's most ferocious instrumentalists ever over to jam. Things could get crowded.

The album is recorded the first July 2005 on the Roskilde Festival. The album title is in Danish and means "Other sides of Sonic Youth".

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moi dix mois - nocturnal opera

.:: Moi dix Mois is a Japanese musical project founded by Malice Mizer's front, Mana. As part of the visual kei movement it is marked by Mana's selection of guest performers rather than a typical band structure, and exhibits a combination of classical elements of gothic metal.

Apart from playing guitar, Mana composes all of Moi dix Mois' music and lyrics, arranges, produces, and designs the stage costumes and acts as overall artistic director. In contrast to Mana's previous bands, Moi dix Mois is explicitly billed as Mana's solo project; while the project members have input during the performance and recording of the music, Mana essentially determines the band's artistic direction on his own. All of Moi dix Mois' music is released via Mana's own independent record label, Midi:Nette.

(Japanese pressing of sophomore album from Japanese gothic rock act featuring guitarist Mana of the legendary Malice Mizer)

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amen ra - mass III

.:: Amen Ra delivers a brilliant, from every point of view, mini-album. “Mass III” crawls somewhere between “Through Silver In Blood” of Neurosis, “Celestial” of Isis, the first Cult of Luna albums and Knut’s slow moments. To be more poetic and descriptive, this shit is laden with heavy guitars, huge riffs, an aura that makes you asphyxiate and bitter, aggressive intentions.

The shredding vocals add more power to this already dynamic presence and the “unholy” layout offers a very attractive black metal aesthetic to the visual aspect of the band’s music. It’s obvious that Amen Ra don’t feel comfortable just learning their lessons by the aforementioned bands well, since with “Mass III” they prove that they surpass the level of “good students”. They offer great music and add their own little something to the history of the genre. The opening track “The Pain It Is Shapeless” is a perfect example.

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alec empire - futurist

.:: Alec Empire is many things to many people: a man with an extraordinary recording history, the musical revolutionary behind avant-garde noise-punk outfit Atari Teenage Riot, an electronic music experimentalist who has made records on a Gameboy, and a consummate musician who has worked with an extraordinarily broad range of peers.

He has remixed artists as diverse as blues legend R.L. Burnside, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Bjork, Rob Zombie, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Slayer, Einstürzende Neubauten, and members of the new hip-hop generation like Company Flow and Prince Paul's Handsome Boy Modeling School. He has toured with Rage Against the Machine, Wu-Tang Clan, Beck, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails.

Alec Empire's new album, Futurist, is the most fully integrated vision of his twenty-first century rebellion yet. A blistering alliance of primitive punk fury and advanced technological overload, Futurist heralds the return of the guitar to the center of Empire's musical vision.

The characteristic shockwave aggression of his previous outings is still channeled for maximum impact, but the gun-to-temple blasts of tracks like "Gotta Get Out" and "Vertigo" deliver their powder-keg payloads with a newly discovered blood rush of excitement. Futurist is the most brutally uplifting Empire has ever sounded.

"Empire has tapped into something vital, dangerous, and all-too-absent from so much rock music today ... this isn't the death of rock `n' roll but a blasting, needle-in-the-red affirmation of its power. Turn it up." - KERRANG

"Simply a great punk rock record." - TERRORIZER

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ramona córdova - the boy who floated freely

.:: Ramona Cordova, a.k.a. Ramon Alarcon, took his grandmother’s name to record this project, and one-half a minute into the album it seems fitting. Cordova’s falsetto is more gender-bending than any hair metal singer’s could hope to be. His high, theramin warble is a perfect match for his heartbreaking brand of folk music.

The Boy Who Floated Freely tells the story of a boy named Giver, who washes up on an island and meets, among others, a girl he falls in love with. The album seeks to track his trajectory and starts off strong. The Spanish-sung “Inside the Gypsy Bar” is full of hand claps and sweat and manages to pump energy into the album without relying on volume. “Giver’s Reply” starts off with the boy pining over keys before the song breaks out in pan-banging as precocious as our young, wistful narrator. After that, the album settles into a pattern of simple acoustic folk tunes.

Standing alone, songs like “Heavy on My Head” and “Sung with the Birds” are aching and wonderful songs sung with heart and originality. However, stacked together, the songs have a hard time coming together as an album, since the repetition of the guitar belie any trajectory of the album’s story. Cordova’s voice also might push a little too far in some spots, and while it might be trying overall, when he nails it his voice sounds as imperfect and beautiful as any you’ll hear. --words: Matthew Fiander

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alonso arreola - labA

.:: Musician and journalist, former bass player of La Barranca, has participated in several rock and jazz recordings and recently edited his first solo project: Música Horizontal, of which he made ten thousand copies in a deluxe package, featuring several outstanding musicians from Mexico and other countries, such as Trey Gunn, Michael Manring, David Fiuczynski and Jaime López.
He also writes in several magazines, newspapers and internet sites.

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