‘Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar’, is a recording of an improvised performance from the second night of the Thurston Moore and Mats Gustafsson 2012 two-day residency at the Café Oto. Thurston Moore plays the sort of clanking shivering guitar manipulations familiar from the outer reaches of Sonic Youth’s material, and Mats Gustafsson mainly contributes table-top electronics alongside some limited use of his molten saxophone blurt.
The first side is full of material for the sonically hungry: screaming metal scrapes, revving buzzes, clanking bells, melted gongs; a locked mass of noise, heated and rusty, full of grain and weathered causticity, a fierce acid bath of noise. Moore patiently repetitive before a latter-half tilt tips him into slashes of animal savagery. Gustafsson is constantly on the attack, his contributions thunderous and unrelenting. The sounds made by each blur into one; all gestures are thrown into a collective pool of roaring nastiness. A late freak-out meshes Moore intimately with the destructive electronics. It’s the fluctuations that make this record, while it is never less than savage in delivery, it always reaches for sterner territories just when you think the intensity has peaked. A section near the end sees the duo dialling through space-static on some kind of colossal cosmic radio; occasionally encountering the explosion of solar flares and an ever present lethal flesh-shredding sun wind. It ends in a wobbling high-register shriek from Gustafsson, the bent strings of Moore sounding like the hefting of huge boulders into a lake.
The second side is no less gripping. Gustafsson switches to saxophone during the more demure opening, Moore rifling through draws of clanging bolts, the saxophone like a chattering bird with a rusty hinged metallic jaw, dancing around the tumbling industrial dust of the arid scrabbling guitar. Returning to electronics, Gustafsson reverts to the first side’s scraping dissonance, harsh and burying. This must have rattled the windows live.
This is a duo noise performance of fierce violence, both artists operating at their abstract limits, no quarter given. It buries the listener in a landslide of nullifying sludge. Play it as loud as you can bear, you may be evicted but it’ll be worth it.
Purchase the album here.