Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Sonic Youth - Lights Out (Simon Werner a Disparu)

To be honest, sometimes I totally lose track of Sonic Youth's output. It doesn't seem like a month passes without some kind of release from the band or many of their affiliated outfits, from the Ecstatic Peace label, Lee's solo work, Free Kitten, various collaborations, a tour, a show, another full-length. It's endless, but the standard is unshakably high every time.

Their soundtrack to the French thriller Simon Werner a Disparu (translation: Simon Werner has Disappeared) is the latest addition to their swelling body of work. After watching the initial rushes by director Fabrice Gobert last spring at their Echo Canyon West studio in Hoboken, New Jersey, the band took to the studio, recording short cuts to accompany the visuals. They later returned after a few months had passed and rearranged their pieces, forming a completed soundtrack that even works as a stand-alone record, removed from the movie entirely.

I haven't yet seen Simon Werner a Disparu, but after spending a few days with the soundtrack I'm interested to see how the two will fit. The record is a constantly evolving presence, devoid of vocals and saturated in their iconic scratching and ringing guitars, but lacking in their wall-of-noise aesthetics. 'Thème d’Laetitia' is the stand-out prevailing menace, rumbling and chillingly utilising the threat of silence.

If you're searching for another 'Kool Thing' then go and take your Goo tshirt elsewhere, but for a fully formed collection of ominous sounds that once again show off the group's capabilities, then look no further.

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