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Silver Session

3.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 14, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

This album was put together by Sonic Youth in the memory of one of their most devoted fans Jason Knuth who had taken his own life. Filled with roaring and howling sounds like an airplane buring over the Pacific. Thurston Moore describes this as his favorite album. First time ever on CD. Proceds from this CD will go to fun the San Francisco suicide prevention hotline.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 14, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sonic Youth Records
  • ASIN: B000007RVT
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,482 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The liner notes talk about how the band plugged every guitar they owned into every amp they had and turned everything up to 10 and recorded the ear-splitting oceans of feedback in their Tribeca studio one day in a fit of frustration over an upstairs band that was drowning out their attemts to put vocals on what would become "A Thousand Leaves". Apparently they then took the tapes of this apocalyptic noise assault and mixed them down into something very, very different from what you would expect from such a description.
I am very familiar with the band's side projects so I thought this might sound like something along the lines of "Terry's Carrot" or Thurston's "Barefoot In Your Head" w/Borbotomagus.
The "Silver Sessions" EP is unexpected! The result is gorgeous and very, very soothing. What a beautiful album! Grating, ear-splitting and annoying? Nope. Minimal? Yep. Dense? Yep. Ambient? Weirdly... yep. The sounds on this CD sound like distant airplane or dolphin noises far off on a breezy Summer day. Like something out of a wonderful dream. A beautiful, beautiful CD that I listen to again and again... and I think is as transcendant as Brian Eno's "On Land" album.
Also... recorded as a tribute to a troubled fan (Jason Knuth) who commited suicide... and all prodeeds go to the suicide prevention hotline or something.
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By A Customer on September 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I have seen reviews of this calling it Sonic Youth's "Metal Machine Music". Well, I don't really rank that as an insult, but I guess that is for another review... The idea would be by labelling it as such, the listener would find this harsh, chaotic, even unlistenable. Nothing could be further than the truth. This is what guitars would sound like if played by glaciers. Feedback rolls in and out, creating beautiful beating patterns as the different waves of noise crash against each other. This isn't music to get you pumped for a Saturday night on the town, nor should you throw this on for a first date (if you could, though, that one's a KEEPER) - this is music to be absorbed by and to get lost in.
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Format: Audio CD
Granted, this isn't actually music. But the sound etched onto this CD is a glorious one, like stars conversing to each other across space. It sounds reverent, glistening, and multidimensionally spacious. And all it is is guitar feedback and amp noise. This is the only CD I can actually fall asleep to; actual music keeps my attention and thereby keeps me awake, but this stuff just streams out of the speakers and flows over you like radiant waves. Not for everyone, sure, but I like it a lot.
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Format: Audio CD
This disc could very appropriately be titled 'the Freezer Burn EP'.. and that's a good thing. I would consider this, without too much pretending, to be a genuine ambient record. I was expecting searing, winceworthy shards of noise in the tradition of SY's album freakouts; what I got was half an hour of rather soothing, sedate drones of feedback. Short guitar washes occasionally make an appearance and serve as small melodic fragments in this ocean of vague aural bliss. The track separations seem a little haphazard and gratuitous, but I suppose some editing was necessary to make it reasonably accessible. In some ways, I could've used a good noise record, but this is actually a nice change. Very relaxing stuff. Part of the conceptual appeal of this record is its purity: no vox, no melodies per-se, little rhythm.. I can see why this is one of Thurston's favorite recordings. There's plenty of documentation on this record, so I won't beat a dead horse. Bottom line: not a good intro to Sonic Youth, but essential if you are a fan, or if you like well-done (but unconventional) ambient music.
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Format: Audio CD
Sonic Youth has been experimenting alot with guitar/feedback style noise for awhile and have used their own SYR label to release a lot of these endeavors, none really come through like Silver Sessions. Out of the madness of their blaring amplifiers and a broken beat box, the band mixed and mastered a smooth, sonic soundscape that perhaps fulfills this side of sonic youth more than any other recording. Other SYR releases have offered some very interesting material, but this one is the most consistent piece. It's not for everyone and is a big departure from the structured rock of their Geffen releases. Silver Sessions is actually quite un-abnoxious compared to SYR3, or Thurston Moore's side projects like "Barefoot in the Head". If you are just getting into sonic youth, this probably isn't a representative introduction, but it is the perfect intro into the band's independent noise outings.
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Format: Audio CD
What to say? This record is beautiful. Respect to Sonic Youth for putting out records like this which will go right over the heads of a lot of people. If like me you appreciate the pleasures of gently pulsing soundscapes (The washing machine IS an instrument!) then you will adore this album. Listen to this album on good headphones and you can hear the electricty of the recording. Forget about 'melody' and 'song structure', this album is timeless,endlessly listenable perfection.
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Format: Audio CD
The band leaned all of their instruments against their amps (to drown out the metal band recording upstairs at the studio), patched in a beatbox thru the p.a., and turned up all volumes to maximum. Later mixed it into smaller pieces. Nice pieces, but sometimes they don't extend as long as I wished they did. Proceeds to the album go to the suicide prevention hotline, by the way.
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