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Super Roots 9

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Album Review

It's been a while since the Japanese band Boredoms parted with their noisy, Dadaist conception of hardcore music and took the leap towards their current Krautrock-infused, drum circle aesthetics under the Boredoms moniker. What we are offered in the ninth volume of their glaringly uneven Super Roots series is a follow-up to those Motorik leanings. Recorded live in 2004, Super Roots, Vol. 9 finds the Boredoms adding a 24-piece choir to their regular line-up of three drum kits handled by Yoshimi, ATR, and Yojiro, plus Yamataka Eye on CDs and analog turntables. Eye manipulates the ethereal choir parts live, creating oscillating melodic phrases above the cloak woven by the pounding rhythm section. The music here follows the trail of earlier Boredoms efforts "Vision Creation Newsun" and "Seadrum/House of Sun," with their linear, impetuous polyrythms, rudimentary electronics, and ecstatic wordless chants. However, unlike those stellar turning points in the band's career, Super Roots, Vol. 9 leaves a disappointing taste of deja vu. This symphony of sorts flows for 40 minutes without any remarkable surprises, stressing on angelic vocal samples and repetitive drum patterns that end up eroding the listener's interest, with Eye's shamanic yelling and the music's dance-like nature unable to keep the ship afloat. Super Roots, Vol. 9 shows that the line between hypnotic and tedious is sometimes too thin. ~ Efrén del Valle Peñamil, Rovi


Formed: 1986 in Osaka, Japan

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Of all the artists in Japan's thriving noise-music community, the Boredoms undoubtedly had the most fun. Although their maniacally extreme cacophony was by no means accessible listening, it was underpinned by a gleeful sense of humor that helped them find a limited (but still surprisingly wide) audience among alternative rockers. A typical Boredoms track might feature massively distorted guitars, squealing synths, any number of odd found-object noisemakers, or studio-manipulation effects; conventional...
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