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Thurston Moore’s latest solo album, Rock N Roll Consciousness, is a work fuelled by the meditative effects that record collecting has had on the celebrated former Sonic Youth man and Jazzmaster-wielding noisenik’s psyche. Chris Parkin meets a pioneering artist who takes inspiration from the most eclectic of sources…


There are plenty of songs that obsess over records. Pet Shop Boys’ The Pop Kids, The Carpenters’ Yesterday Once More, Adam Ant’s B-Side Baby… it’s a long list. There are also a bewildering number of albums inspired by the practice of meditation – Alice Coltrane’s sprawling back catalogue, for a start. But albums inspired by the meditative effect of record collecting? Not so much. Thurston Moore’s latest (fifth) album under his own name, Rock N Roll Consciousness, might just be the first.

The former Sonic Youth man still collects obsessively, hunting down records of a freejazz persuasion and rare anthologies and journals of underground post-war poetry. This long-term habit, which started when Moore was still a pup and took off during punk, continues to inform most of what he does – from the sounds he conjures up to the Ecstatic Peace publishing imprint he runs. Moore was even invited to run poetry workshops at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School Of Disembodied Poetics – the name of an actual literary arts program; look it up on Google if you don’t believe us – after they heard about his collection.

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