Sonic Youth – Silver Session for Jason Knuth (SKR) 1998


I’ve never been entirely convinced of the more Avant Garde side of Sonic Youth. I’ve followed them through most of their periods, faithfully buying each new release. For some reason I never dabbled with the SYR series until I picked up the thing they did with Merzbow at the Rokslide festival. Maybe the reason for my lack of adventure when it comes to experimental  Sonic youth is because I don’t think I’ve ever read a review that does anything but treat these releases with stark indifference.

Jason Knuth was a Sonic Youth fan who committed suicide in 1997. The proceeds of this record went to a San Franscisco suicide prevention hotline. The music itself was created when the band were in a recording studio and were being troubled by the music of one of the other bands recording at the time. To get their own back, they rested every guitar and bass they could find against the speakers which had been turned up to maximum and recorded what happened. A beatbox was added to create some “horrendously distorted pulsations”. On the liner notes Thurston Moore states that in a way this is his favourite Sonic Youth record. I’m not quite there but it would be in my top five.  In the end after the mixing and processing that created the eight tracks of Silver Session, this is half an hour of great drone. Like a Metal Machine Menche if you will. Excellent.

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3 Responses to “Sonic Youth – Silver Session for Jason Knuth (SKR) 1998”

  1. SYR 3 and SYR 7 are both fantastic, give ’em a go (SYR 7 is a vinyl only release though). What I love about the SYR series is hearing how they’ve influenced the band’s more ‘conventional’ albums.

  2. I picked that middle video at random and it sounds exactly like some of Skullflower’s more recent stuff!

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