Sonic Youth – Master-Dik + J’Accuse Ted Hughes

January 01, 1970

(Goofin’ + SYR)




These two EPs provide an
interesting insight into the band’s legacy. In the case of the reissue of
1987’s Master-Dik, one is reminded of how much venom Thurston & Co.
once engendered; the MRR screed by Ben Weasel that was reprinted in the
original edition reappears, sellout comparisons to REO Speedwagon intact, but
it’s the Sun Ra/Sonny Sharrock name-drops within the songs that refocus just
how this rock band’s avant-dilettantism was frowned upon by jazz snobs and
prog-rock aficionados.


In the case of J’Accuse Ted
– a vinyl-only outing consisting of two tracks recorded in 2001 –
Sonic Youth is now an established legacy act, improv credentials confirmed, and
fully emboldened to embark upon 20-minute journeys into restless space-jams.
Ironically, it’s the Master-Dik EP that’s the bolder of the two. After a
more beatbox-y version of the Sister track is laid down, and a cover of
“Beat on the Brat” is rushed through, the band embarks upon a cut-and-paste
collage that’s pretentious, immature and completely good-natured. In contrast,
the sprawling noisemospherics on the newer EP are beautiful improvisations that
are completely humor-free.


Standout Tracks: “Beat
on the Brat” (Master-Dik), “Agnes B Musique” (J’Accuse Ted Hughes)


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