Sonic Youth

SYR 3: Invito Al Cielo 12"


This third installment of the SYR series issued in 1998 continues to showcase the home-brewed outer explorations of Sonic Youth running concurrent to their busy mid-decade major label run with the Washing Machine LP, world tours, and Lollapalooza engagements. As the millenium neared, SY took time to investigate a particular interest in exploring its identity within a 20th Century classical/compositional spirit (already evidenced on SYR 1 and 2), the opportunity to build its own homebase studio environs, and further blur barriers between its pure rock/avant heritage and the possibilities to dissect and rebuild new/organic Euro-flavored directives in their sound. Jim O'Rourke, already long-steeped in this universe via work with Gastr Del Sol, Faust, Henry Kaiser, Tony Conrad and others became a perfect collaborative foil to bring into Echo Canyon to explore this expanding playground of limitless, improvised potential.  Taking some downtime from a NYC event involving Takehisa Kosugi and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (of which Thurston was also a participant), the new SY+1 rolled tape in house and tackled adventurous avenues rife with subtle guitar/amp/synth/trumpet pulse, evocative whispered vocal textures from Kim Gordon, and tasteful tonalities in percussion augmented by Steve Shelley. Adding to the mystery are compositional credits in Esperanto (Wharton Tiers' engineer credit being that of the "Ĉefsoninĝeniero"), and track titles such as "Invito Al Ĉielo", "Hungara Vivo", and "Radio-Amatoroj". Ringing in near the one hour mark, the collaboration eventually opened the doors to O'Rourke's full-time recruitment into the Sonic fold for the next seven years. His tenure included helping direct studio hardware acquisition, and augmenting the band instrumentally into denser, deeper scapes that wedded with their songcraft, as evidenced on their next full LP 'A Thousand Leaves'. A further SYR release in 1999 with O'Rourke and other collaborators taking a headfirst dive into 20th Century interpretations followed, but this SYR 3 jammer is the moment some lights switched on brightly, to new peaks to come.

Track Listing:
1. Invito Al Cielo 20:51
2. Hungara Vivo 6:12
3. Radio-Amatoroj 29:15

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