Kim Gordon / Ikue Mori / DJ Olive, Kim Gordon / Ikue Mori / DJ Olive

Lucy O'Brien

By Lucy O'Brien

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A side project from the inscrutable bass player of Sonic Youth that turns out to be a gentle peek into her psyche.

The inscrutable, detached bass player of seminal NYC drone-rockers Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon has been described as “the epitome of cool.” After playing “punk rock bass with a pick” for a decade, it's not surprising that by the early ’90s she was branching out with side projects like Harry Crews (with Lydia Lunch) and Free Kitten. This collaboration with Ikue Mori (drummer of no-wavers DNA) and turntablist DJ Olive is one of her most successful. With them she creates a world of electronic trippy distortion, fading found sounds like flushing toilets and Amtrak announcements into blistering interludes of guitar noise. It's not avant-garde doodling — this album has a subliminal narrative thread, from the tongue-in-cheek banality of “Stuck On Gum” to the low-budget horror feel of “Lemonade” to the manga-style chant of “We Are the Princesses.” Despite minimal lyrics, there's the sense that this record is very personal to Gordon, a gentle peek into her psyche.