💽 The Collective by Kim Gordon

💽 The Collective by Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon has made a hip hop album. The miasmic, hair-raising beats on The Collective have more in common with the youth vanguard of plugg rap than they do with Sonic Youth’s pioneering noise rock. Her corrosive guitar in dialogue with Justin Raisen’s industrial production delivers a writhing, taut record that seems to skew past its 40 minute runtime.

It’s only fitting that The Collective channels the distorted grime favored by rappers like Playboi Carti and Trippie Redd. This rage rap scene bubbling to the mainstream from rap’s underground, has inherited punk aesthetics and antagonism to make maladjusted music that teenagers of any age can mosh to. It’s a full circle moment for Gordon—an early experimenter in what punk does when stretched and re-formed—to embrace these timbres.

Not to say that this is a rap album. Well—except for the â€śThe Candy House,” where (I assume) Gordon really does spit a sick verse through a distorted voice filter. Otherwise, Gordon deadpans potent clipped phrases straight from her chest. Like rage-rappers who emphasize repetition, mumbling, or ad-libs over crafted bars, it’s equal parts what she says, and how she says it.

On the opener â€śBYE BYE,” she savors each syllable of a packing list, daring us to read into things:

conditioner…YSL, Eckhaus Latta/ eyelash curler/ vibrator, teaser.
So what if I want the big truck? Giddy-up, _giddy-up!

she challenges in â€śI’m A Man.”

On â€śTree House,” she seethes,

We fucked some way.

Luxury fashion? Cars? Sex? She’s adapting rap’s classic flexes for a snarl deeper than bravado. It’s inspiring and utterly badass that at 70, Kim Gordon is still making confrontational, forward-looking music that brushes off easy labels.

One More Thing

I’m quite mesmerized by the massive, engulfing pop-art paintings of James Rosenquist. This native North Dakotan came out of a commercial sign-painting trade to create elusive, yet disarmingly earnest images of commercial Americana.


Jersey Star’s rollicking and tender EP, â€śLoser,” drops on Tuesday April 2nd. These songs have an intimate opacity, but the idiosyncratic bops still sound like they were made just for me. Anyone near New York will be equally fortunate to catch this troubadour garage rock trio at their EP release party on April 4th, at the Living Gallery with support from Reaux Cham Beaux and Waterghost.

—Will Kaplan

Writing artist based in Queens, NYC


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