INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Record Collector APRIL 2012 - by Spencer Grady
MARS: LIVE AT ARTISTS SPACE
No Wave white-knuckle nostalgia trip
This, the first in an ongoing archival series to be curated by Byron Colely and Thurston Moore, documents the sound of the experimental jet set in embryo, capturing the finest and most enigmatic of the original No Wavers in all their iconoclastic, self-haemorrhaging glory.
Listen. That's Brian Eno you can hear during the intervals, scribbling furiously as he maps out the future of rock'n'roll. Back in May '78 he was among the bewildered, rubbernecking on the final night of a five-day fest at NYC's Artists Space. This was the formative event of the No Wave era, and here's Mars with two identical sets (one appearing on each side of this disc; the second a brassier exploratory reading) blazing a blistering trail that would extend as far as Sonic Youth, The Dead C, Fushitsusha and beyond.
If snarling opener 3E looks over its shoulder to San Franciscan proto-punkers Crime then, from that point on, minds and circuits get decidedly blown. Helen Fordsdales' scattergun cacophony combusts angular chime with feral throb, establishing a template for Sonic Youth's entire career. Vocals babble nonsensical tirades throughout; think Happy Flowers fermenting bloody insurrection at fortress South Park. Meanwhile, highlight Hairwaves is a total broody creep out, with caustic scrapes and primal moans presaging the spectral blues of Keiji Haino at their most harrowing.