As co-frontman of fuzzy alt-rockers Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore led an underground indie revolution that swept the East Coast of America in the ’80s. Fast-forward three decades and he’s just released his fifth solo album, Rock n Roll Consciousness. The shaggy-haired icon might not be among indie’s young upstarts any more, but he’s certainly not taken his finger off the pulse. In fact, as founder of alternative US record label Ecsatic Peace!, he needs to be more clued up than ever.
We caught up with the post-punk pin-up to shine some light on his favourite lesser-known bands.
Who: Dynamic all-female trio from London who make Afrobeat-infused punk rock.
What Thurston says: “I saw them at Cafe Oto [in north London] and they blew me away. The music has an African Highlife vibe to it with minimalist, sophisticated rhythms and political, emotional lyrics.”
Essential track: ‘Medicine’
Who: Instrumental three-piece formed in 1997 that fuse rock, jazz & the avant-garde into experimental soundscapes.
What Thurston says: “It’s really hyper-expansive prog rock. They play with such amazing technical dexterity that I can’t even get close. It’ll either make you run away or leave you mesmerised, there’s not much in between.”
Essential track: ‘Heart Stops Twice’
Rome Is Not A Town
Who: Boisterous indie rock outfit from Gothenburg, Sweden.
What Thurston says: “They’re a young band of women and I heard about them because my daughter did some sleeve-work for them. It’s sorta post-Riot grrrl, post-No Wave, experimental music and completely engaging from beginning to end.”
Essential track: ‘Stupid’
Who: British multi-instumentalists who take an improvisational approach to mixing industrial, jazz and psychedelia.
What Thurston says: “They’ve been on the scene for a while but have one record out on Blank Editions – a really great label in Stoke Newington, London. It’s really interesting post-drone, semi-improv. music with mostly electronics and drums.”
Essential track: ‘Liberating Mania’
Who: Leeds hardcore duo that make intense noise rock à la Swans and Sex Swing.
What Thurston says: “They’re insane. Post-avant-garde black metal meets Public Image Ltd.”
Key track: ‘Stromatolite’s Miss’
Thurston Moore’s new album ‘Rock N Roll Consciousness’ is out now on Ecstatic Peace! record label.