Sonic Youth - In/Out/In (Maroon) LP
In mulling over their career, it’s staggering to realize that Sonic Youth not only delivered a healthy slab of releases as a unit but also have a myriad of shelved material still waiting for broader ears. While the group’s current Bandcamp abode lays out a generous amount of it, a bunch more has yet to surface. And it’s a massive mountain to chip away at in the sense of the group output alone; individual members’ projects are a whole other game, needless to say. "In/Out/In" ably delivers a new slab of mostly-unheard Sonic righteousness, with a scope on the post 2000-era band in especially zoned/exploratory regions.
"In/Out/In" reveals their last decade to be still heavy on the roll-tape and bug-out Sonic Youth. Not all recorded in one session but rather spread out over 2000-2010, the sequencing here is especially well thought out. Opening with the 2008 “Basement Contender” we get a super-unfiltered glimpse of the band at Kim and Thurston’s Northampton house creating a gentle springboard of Venusian choogle, with phased Lee lappings at cascading Thurston figures forming a simmering soundtrack. “Machine” offers another instrumental track from "The Eternal" sessions and is a steamy exercise in stop-start rhythmic grunt amidst a jungle of chiming and upward spiraling chord progressions. We’ve also got the extended score offering “Social Static” from the Chris Habib/Spencer Tunick film of the same name, draping white sheets of noise over your head then descending into a gauzy maw of car-alarm guitars and ambient-yet-disruptive turbulence that eventually subsides into a smoky coda. Two more tracks round out the set both culled from a Three Lobed box set of various artists from 2011 called "Not the Spaces You Know, But Between Them": “In & Out” quietly resembles Can in a cave with dripping stalactites of Kim’s wordless tone rumble and was recorded at a soundcheck in Pomona California and their home Hoboken turf in 2010. “Out & In” from 2000 was done in their late downtown NYC studio and serves to close out this LP’s last 12 minutes as a reminder of what they got up to with O’Rourke there. More gentle time shift chord framework erupts into molten fury three minutes in, before mutating into the sonic equivalent of a slowly collapsing star.
1. Basement Contender
2. In & Out
4. Social Static
5. Out & In