Sonic Youth Share Rare Archival Live Album, ‘Blastic Scene’ From 1993

The album was taped in Lisbon in 1993 and briefly appeared as an unauthorised bootleg in 1995.

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Photo: Amanda De Cadenet

Sonic Youth have unearthed a rare live tape from their archives and uploaded it to their Bandcamp site. The album, entitled ‘Blastic Scene’, was recorded at a live show in Lisbon in 1993.

Sonic Youth released ‘Blastic Scene’ as an authorised bootleg in 1995. However, just 1,300 copies were pressed, and the album was only ever available in Portugal. Fans can now purchase the record digitally for US$8 on the group’s Bandcamp site.

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It isn’t the first time in 2020 that Sonic Youth have shared live music from their archive. In March, the band uploaded 12 archival live sets onto Bandcamp, including a 1988 tape from iconic New York venue, CBGB’s. Other notable recordings include a 2007 Glasgow show at which the band played landmark record Daydream Nation in full, and a historic show performed in Moscow towards the end of the Cold War.

“We recorded every night pretty much,” drummer Steve Shelley said of their archival releases in a Rolling Stone interview.

“So there is tons of stuff in the archive, and we’re all self-quarantined right now, so it’s a good time to go through it.”

“When Sonic Youth first went into Portugal, it felt like uncharted territory,” Moore said of ‘Blastic Scene’ in the same interview. “We had blasted through Spain and Italy but Portugal seemed a bit disengaged from hosting any band as on the margins of experimental rock music as us. When we arrived in Lisbon we realized that we were to play in a bullring. The stage was makeshift but sturdy enough with a fairly decent PA. I think anyone with the slightest interest in punk, post-punk and beyond in Lisbon was there, which was not more than a couple of hundred.”

Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore has also been unearthing items from his career outside Sonic Youth. On Sunday, 3 May, Moore posted a rare track recorded with his Thurston Moore Group, entitled ‘May Daze’, to Bandcamp. He has also shared material recorded with his Chelsea Light Moving project.

Similarly, Sonic Youth co-founder, Lee Ranaldo, is using quarantine to go through his own archival recordings. In April, he shared two full-length projects which had previously only merited limited releases, entitled ‘Demons: Music For Stage And Screen’ and ‘Scriptures Of The Golden Eternity’. He also posted a cover of Hanatarash’s ‘My Dad Is A Car’, recorded in 1995, to Bandcamp.

Listen to the Best of Sonic Youth on Apple Music and Spotify.

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