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Boredoms - Super Roots 9

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Artist: Boredoms

Album: Super Roots 9

Label: Commmons

Review date: Jun. 8, 2007


Remember the first time you heard Boredoms? I canít forget, even if I wanted to. It was sometime in the mid-í90s, and I was wandering my adopted hometown under the effects of LSD. The drug had largely lost its charm for me, so I thank Boredoms for making that trip (one of my last) more tolerable. In subsequent, hallucinogen-free years, I kept abreast of the bandís doings, but stopped paying close attention after its shimmering 1998 classic, Super Ae. Iíd occasionally hear weird little things about leader Yamataka Eye, but there wasnít a lot to hang your hat on.

Now Boredoms (or V∞redoms, or whatever the fuck they call themselves) are back with a three-percussionist attack, a handful of Vice re-issues and the odd live show. They arenít as heavy or spastic as they once were, but thatís OK Ė Iím not as high.

The bandís latest, Super Roots 9, was recorded live in 2004. The first SR EP since the millennium, it captures the band in its drum-heavy incarnation, with Eye working orchestral vocal samples while presumably jumping around a lot. Like the groupís most recent full length, Seadrum/House of Sun, itís a propulsive take on radiant psychedelia. Pink Floyd may have set the controls for the heart of the sun, but Boredoms pierce the solar surface.

The disc consists of one track, called ďLIVWE!Ē It opens with a celestial chorus and twinkling bells. The crowd begins to cheer as the percussionists (including longtime member Yoshimi) make their presence known with cymbal washes and kettledrum thuds. Before long, well-plotted rhythms come together in a full-on tribal workout, over which Eye twists vocal samples into sonic Colorforms. The sound is at times seasick, but also strangely soothing, like a Tilt-A-Whirl refitted with La-Z-Boy recliners.

The ďsongĒ certainly goes on for a while Ė 40 minutes, to be exact. I had some dishes to do, so I multitasked while listening. The clatter of pots and pans did little to detract from Boredomsí radiant rumpus, and at one point I found myself in a profoundly meditative state. It was like househusband nirvana. Unfortunately the water went cold well before the album was over, and I didnít feel like vacuuming.

If youíve ever lain in the sun for a full afternoon before heading back inside, youíll know how it feels when Super Roots 9 comes to its luminous close. Itís great while youíre out there, but overall, the experience is draining. And thereís no sunblock for the mind.

Iím glad to know that Eye and associates are still flying the Apollonian skies, but next time I might cash in my miles for some magazine subscriptions. Maybe Iíll even get Vice.

By Casey Rae-Hunter

Other Reviews of Boredoms

Seadrum / House of Sun

77 Boa Drum

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Find out more about Commmons

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