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Thurston Moore – ‘Screen Time’

Southern Lord Recordings
Laurie Anderson, Boris, John Cage, Karl Stockhausen
Release Date
Southern Lord Recordings
Ambient Post Rock/Experimental Rock/Instrumental

So, what is it?

For one thing it is not a follow up to the sprawling and heavily Sonic Youth flavoured “By the Fire”. Neither does it revisit any thematic or stylistic nuances from Thurston’s extensive back catalogue of works. Most of this wholly instrumental record barely qualifies as “songs”. Recently Devin Townsend gave us a seemingly formless meditation with the warm and lugubrious “Snuggles”, a long-form exploration of shifting chromatic semblance around a common key. This is almost entirely not like that.

So, what is it?

Well, it’s not a soundtrack. The title may suggest so, however the largely abstract and ambient guitar and keys noodling here isn’t a by-product of working with a film-maker or TV producer. This is a stand-alone piece of work; eclectic explorations of sounds and textures from anywhere forward of the tuning pegs. There is almost no structure, flow, hardly any discernible compositional or thematic elements. It also seems to go on for quite some time.

So, what is it?

Frankly, not very interesting. Almost nothing other than for Thurston Moore completists or people who like to feel more important by talking animatedly about music nobody actually likes. It might make perfect sense if you’re really fucking high but even then, I doubt it. Sometimes albums like this make you doubt your “listening” abilities. What am I missing? What is the blatantly obvious concept I’m just not getting? Then again, sometimes artists just release seemingly pretentious bollocks like this knowing the hardcore fans will just buy it anyway because their name is all over it. It’s highly likely he really got it while making this, but somehow, I really can’t see how.

**“So, what is it” paraphrased from Rob Grant and Doug Naylor originally voiced by Danny John Jules as The Cat in “Red Dwarf”


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