Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar is the latest missive from the long-running duo pairing of Mats Gustafsson (The Thing, Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, etc) and Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth, Chelsea Light Moving, Dream/Aktion Unit, etc).
Thurston had first come across Mats’ playing on a duo disc with Barry Guy and had assumed he was one of those older beardy European improv guys – Remember this was before the internet and everyone knew everything. Their first actual meeting goes back to the early 90s at Blue Tower Records in Stockholm (now Andra Jazz – arguably the greatest jazz record store in the world) on one of Thurston’s frequent soundcheck-skipping discaholic binges. The young guy behind the counter was blowing his mind with side after side of crazy rare jazz, test pressings, acetates and more. Running late, he offered Thurston a lift to the gig and en route asked if there was any particular records he was looking for. “There is this sax player – Mats Gustafsson – I’m looking for some of his stuff”
“That’s me” says the young guy – and there started an intense friendship that has manifested intself in music through their discaholics anonymous trio (with Jim O’Rourke), Gustafsson’s large scale HIDROS 3 composition for Sonic Youth and much more besides…
The recordings presented here are continuous excerpts taken from the heavyweight, high volume duo sets that topped off each night of their two day residency at Cafe OTO in September 2012. Mats mostly plays a selection of amplified table-top electronics as well as some knotty soprano saxophone at the beginning of the second side whilst Thurston offers a fine example of the kind of liminal intensity he is capable of generating from his guitar complete with the low frequency/octave doubling dive-bombs that have had us replace the speakers in our fender twin twice since he relocated to London last year.
The title ‘Vi Är Alla Guds Slavar’ translates as ‘We Are All Slaves Under God’ and is taken from the painting by Edward Jarvis that also serves as the three colour screenprint for the LP sleeve. Printing by Patrick Wells at Heavyrock on archival quality card stock. Mixed by Robert Harder. Mastered by Andreas ‘LUPO’ Lubich @ Calyx. Pressed on high quality 180g vinyl at Record Industry in The Netherlands. First pressing of 1000. Also available as a digital download in MP3, FLAC and AAC formats.
“Mats is the most modern of players where the genre tags of jazz, noise, experimental, avant-whatever are finally transcended to a new millennium – where compositional concepts are at once in check with open improvisation and a super-postmodernism becomes what we always wanted: rock & roll!” -Thurston Moore