Wild Mercury Sound
The World Of Thurston Moore, and some other stuff
Back to work after the long Easter weekend, and we're being lulled into action by the debut album from Original Silence. Original Silence are ostensibly The Good, The Bad & The Queen for men of a certain age who went to All Tomorrow's Parties and never came back. Their ranks include Mats Gustafsson - a great, spluttery, avant saxophonist from The Thing - one of The Ex, Jim O'Rourke (who claimed he'd quit music a while back, with Sinatra-esque implausibility) and, perhaps inevitably, Thurston Moore.
"The First Original Silence" is not quite as obliteratingly noisy as you might imagine, though it's still pretty wild. It's a bit like half a dozen men in a record shop having an intense argument about "Funhouse", and chiefly about how better that record would have been if Steve Mackay had stood at the front rather than Iggy Pop. Or, as Phil in the office just put it, it sounds like someone strangling Sooty.
The best thing about Original Silence, though, like so many Thurston Moore projects, is the rampant and infectious sense of joy that making a racket can bring. It's a spirit that flows through so many releases on his Ecstatic Peace imprint, which currently seems to be hoovering up great tracts of the American underground. He's just signed up Sunburned Hand Of The Man for an album, "Z", which is pretty good free jamming, but which never quite finds the lumbering funk of their best albums (track down "Jaybird" if you can). Moore's also put out an album by an avant-garde bagpipe player called David Watson which I haven't got my head round yet, and a brilliant new Wooden Wand album which I'll write more about in a few days.
I made some notes about Ecstatic Peace here in one of my very first blog entries. And without turning this into one of those awful self-referential blogs that constantly doubles back on itself, there are a couple of things I've been playing a lot since I first wrote about them. The Lavender Diamond album due next month on Rough Trade is, I think, a little classic of folk-pop (blogged about here). My wife refers to it as "folk Abba", which I think is spot-on.
And since I wrote this, the whole Lightning Dust album has turned up, and is great, too; if you've heard the Black Mountain album and wanted Amber Webber to make "Heart Of Snow" last for 35 minutes, this one's for you.