PRINT Summer 1997


Yo La Tengo

If Yo La Tengo’s 1995 Electr-O-Pura slipped in as one of the last great guitar records B.E. (Before Electronica), their first studio album since claims no such aural purity. I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One shows that the Hoboken rock archivists have taken note of neighborhood transitions and signed up for Dance Music as a Second Language. Of course, they don’t even try to mask their native accent: the newly bumptious bass occasionally surfacing here doesn’t dilute the trio’s usual late-night guitar groove so much as recontextualizes it.

At least on the face of it, rock ’n’ roll trance differs from dance trance in its relation to time: one pushes forward to an inexorable ending, the other is endlessly present. With I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, Yo La Tengo play rock and electronica techniques off each other to enter into and interrogate momentum and stasis. How do such opposing

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