Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar is the latest missive from the long-running duo pairing of Mats Gustafsson (The Thing, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, etc) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth, Chelsea Light Moving, Dream/Aktion Unit, etc).
Thurston had first come across Mats' playing on a duo disc with Barry Guy and had assumed he was one of those older beardy European improv guys - Remember this was before the internet and everyone knew everything. Their first actual meeting goes back to the early 90s at Blue Tower Records in Stockholm (now Andra Jazz - arguably the greatest jazz record store in the world) on one of Thurston's frequent soundcheck-skipping discaholic binges. The young guy behind the counter was blowing his mind with side after side of crazy rare jazz, test pressings, acetates and more. Running late, he offered Thurston a lift to the gig and en route asked if there was any particular records he was looking for. "There is this sax player - Mats Gustafsson - I'm looking for some of his stuff"
"That's me" says the young guy - and there started an intense friendship that has manifested intself in music through their discaholics anonymous trio (with Jim O'Rourke), Gustafsson's large scale HIDROS 3 composition for Sonic Youth and much more besides…
You can watch a video interview with Thurston where he tells the story of their first meeting here:
The recordings presented here are continuous excerpts taken from the heavyweight, high volume duo sets that topped off each night of their two day residency at Cafe OTO in September 2012. Mats mostly plays a selection of amplified table-top electronics as well as some knotty soprano saxophone at the beginning of the second side whilst Thurston offers a fine example of the kind of liminal intensity he is capable of generating from his guitar complete with the low frequency/octave doubling dive-bombs that have had us replace the speakers in our fender twin twice since he relocated to London last year.
The title 'Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar' translates as 'We Are All Slaves Under God' and is taken from the painting by Edward Jarvis that also serves as the three colour screenprint for the LP sleeve. Printing by Patrick Wells at Heavyrock on archival quality card stock. Mixed by Robert Harder. Mastered by Andreas 'LUPO' Lubich @ Calyx. Pressed on high quality 180g vinyl at Record Industry in The Netherlands. First pressing of 1000. Also available as a digital download in MP3, FLAC and AAC formats.
"Mats is the most modern of players where the genre tags of jazz, noise, experimental, avant-whatever are finally transcended to a new millennium – where compositional concepts are at once in check with open improvisation and a super-postmodernism becomes what we always wanted: rock & roll!" -Thurston Moore
Digital download available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC.
Thurston Moore started Sonic Youth in 1980 and has been at the forefront of the alternative rock scene since that particular sobriquet was first used to signify any music that challenged and defied the mainstream standard. With Sonic Youth, Moore turned on an entire generation to the value of experimentation in rock n roll – from its inspiration on a nascent Nirvana, to Sonic Youth’s own Daydream Nation album being chosen by the US Library of Congress for historical preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2006. Thurston records and performs in a cavalcade of disciplines ranging from free improvisation to acoustic composition to black/white metal/noise disruption. He has worked with Yoko Ono, John Zorn, David Toop, Cecil Taylor, Faust, Glenn Branca and many others. His residency at the Louvre in Paris included collaborations with Irmin Schmidt of CAN. Alongside his various activities in the musical world, he is involved with publishing and poetry, and teaches writing at Naropa University, Boulder CO, a school founded by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman in 1974. Thurston also teaches music at The Rhythmic Music Conservatory (Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium) in Copenhagen. Presently he performs and records solo, with various ensembles and in his own band, The Thurston Moore Group.
Hailing from Umeå in Northern Sweden, Gustafsson is a saxophonist/composer/improviser working across noise, electronics, contemporary rock and free jazz as well as contemporary dance, theater and art projects. He has performed both as a solo artist and toured internationally with Peter Brötzmann, Sonic Youth, Merzbow, Jim O´Rourke, Barry Guy, Otomo Yoshihide, Yoshimi, Ken Vandermark and in working groups The Thing, Sonore, FIRE!, Gush, Boots Brown, Swedish Azz and Nash Kontroll. He also participates in the large ensembles Barry Guy New Orchestra, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet and the NU – ensemble.