Kim Gordon - DJ Olive - Ikue Mori - SYR5
Label: Sonic Youth Records
Catalog#: SYR 5
Format: 2 × Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM, Album
Cover: 2 inch crease top right corner
A1 Olive's Horn 4:22
A2 International Spy 2:41
A3 Paperbag / Orange Laptop 6:18
B1 Neu Adult 2:35
B2 Stuck On Gum 4:05
B3 Fried Mushroom 8:25
C1 What Do You Want? (Kim) 3:55
C2 Lemonade 6:38
C3 We Are The Princesses 3:36
D1 Take Me Back
Featuring – Yuka Honda 4:25
D2 Take It To The Hit 7:32
Design [Graphics] – Chris Habib
Mastered By – Steve Fallone
Mixed By – Jim O'Rourke
Recorded By – Wharton Tiers
Part of the "Perspectives Musicales"-series
© 2000 Riptorn Music admin. by Zomba Music / BMI
Recorded at Tribeca Recording Center, NYC. Mastered at Sterling Sound, NYC.
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 does not feature Sonic Youth, but rather an avant-garde power trio of SY bassist Kim Gordon, turntablist DJ Olive, and programming electro-goddess Ikue Mori.
Even the most die-hard Sonic Youth fan must have tiptoed with trepidation toward his or her first listen of the band's major label releases in the 1990s. Yet, even the releases on the band's own SYR label, while concentrating exclusively on the most experimental end of their sonic spectrum, have been consistently fascinating and varied. The first two SYR releases were the work of the core quartet, the third added Jim O'Rourke (as a semipermanent member) and the fourth, Goodbye 20th Century, expanded the ensemble with seven guests. This disc is the first release on the label that is not by Sonic Youth per se--here Kim Gordon has joined forces with DJ Olive and Ikue Mori. Mori, a fixture of the downtown New York experimental scene for two decades, employs a sampler and a pile of electronic percussion that looks like it was soldered together from a mail-order kit. DJ Olive is one third of WE, who are the best of New York's so-called illbient scene. The recontextualization that the new lineup allows suits Gordon well--shorn of any need to "rock," her knotty, distorted guitar textures are settled snugly amidst the whirlwind of sound from the remainder of the trio, and her voice bobs around like a raft on a sonic sea. There's very little in the way of conventionally structured songs here, so she can stretch out a bit with some extended vocal techniques. Often ("Neu Adult," "Lemonade"), the lyrics are spread out in a way that discourages following them as a narrative. Other songs are a little more straightforward, as on "We Are the Princesses," when she's hollering "Donald Duck, kill Minnie!" Then there's the more surrealist "Paperbag/Orange Laptop" where the words are easy to understand but intriguingly difficult to make sense of. You might think that between a DJ and a drum-machine operator, something resembling a groove would emerge, but Mori never obliges and Olive remains equally abstract on this occasion--the two create a complex kaleidoscope of sounds with plenty of percussive chatter but no regular pulse.
Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, ex-DNA drummer/drum-machinist extraordinaire Ikue Mori, and Illbient pioneer DJ Olive embark on electro-acoustic excursions of haunting abstract beauty.
Taking a breather from the snazz that is/was Free Kitten (Miss Julie birthing Alice and teaching inner city high school, Yoshimi about 10,000 miles away and Mark Ibold aswamp in the madness that is Pavement) Sonic Youths femme-mystere has created a distinctly NEW trio of spontaneous composition and prose. Since reclaiming the electric guitar (her original instrument w/ SY) and developing a newfound post-Patty Waters free-vox technique she has enjoined her vision w/ the improvisational meta-talents of Ikue Mori (ex-drummer of no wave legends DNA - currently in a class by herself w/ other-world sampling) and DJ Olive (he of the wizardly WE, coiner of the ill term "illbient" and regarded by those in the heavy underground of post-beat turntable/drum + whatever as "the heaviest").
Together they hit the local boards throughout 1999 and created a unified concept of sound/energy dynamix. They recorded w/ engineer Wharton Tiers and mixmaster Jim ORourke for what will be the first recording on SYR not by Sonic Youth proper (a situation which will be, possibly, expanded upon). The results, which also feature the magic fingers of CIBO MATOs Yuka Honda on a track, are at once sensuous, elegant and completely blistering. This is truly the new illprovisation rising up from ground zero.
The muse behind husband and bandmate Thurston Moore's love of droney, tangent filled guitar lines, Kim Gordon shows her influences here. The fifth in their series of minimal, music concrete-inspired releases, this is a collaboration that collides, twists, and smashes each of its parts. DJ Olive on the turntables mixes the inklings of crackly melodies and slight orchestral washes, while Ikue Mori deals with the scrapes, the swishes, and the organic bleating of beats. Gordon takes care of the affected, alternatively-tuned guitar strumming, and breathy vocal snippets.
Each song varies in its usage of these three talents; the album is full of varying degrees of drone (thanks to DJ Olive's wax tracks), paired with odd sounds and irregular rhythms and blasts (thanks to drummer Ikue Mori's avant guard/no wave-ness), and out of tune vocals singing along with muted, chunky Sonic Youth-like guitar lines. The album screeches, wafts, and dissonantly bleaches out any familiar melodies. Highlights include Cibo Matto's Yuka Honda with "Take It To the Hit," and the surprise reggae sample on "Take Me Back." In "We Are The Princesses", Kim Gordon offers an interesting set of vocals and lyrics, repeating over and over "we are the princesses" and then "donald duck will follow her! kill! kill minnie! kill minnie!" over and over, an example of how interesting and diverse this cd can be, definately a great album to own.
Kim Gordon, Ikue Mori - What do you want?