07/14/2008

Sonic Youth

Master-Dik + J’Accuse Ted Hughes

(Goofin’ + SYR)

 

www.sonicyouth.com

www.smellslikerecords.com

 

 

 

These two EPs provide an interesting insight into the band’s legacy. In the case of the reissue of 1987’s Master-Dik, one is reminded of how much venom Thurston & Co. once engendered; the MRR screed by Ben Weasel that was reprinted in the original edition reappears, sellout comparisons to REO Speedwagon intact, but it’s the Sun Ra/Sonny Sharrock name-drops within the songs that refocus just how this rock band’s avant-dilettantism was frowned upon by jazz snobs and prog-rock aficionados.

 

In the case of J’Accuse Ted Hughes – a vinyl-only outing consisting of two tracks recorded in 2001 – Sonic Youth is now an established legacy act, improv credentials confirmed, and fully emboldened to embark upon 20-minute journeys into restless space-jams. Ironically, it’s the Master-Dik EP that’s the bolder of the two. After a more beatbox-y version of the Sister track is laid down, and a cover of “Beat on the Brat” is rushed through, the band embarks upon a cut-and-paste collage that’s pretentious, immature and completely good-natured. In contrast, the sprawling noisemospherics on the newer EP are beautiful improvisations that are completely humor-free.

 

Standout Tracks: “Beat on the Brat” (Master-Dik), “Agnes B Musique” (J’Accuse Ted Hughes) JASON FERGUSON

 


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