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Monday, 22 March 2010

Boredoms - 'Vision Creation Newsun' (Birdman)

My god, it's been ten years since this beast from the East was unleashed! This was the Boredoms' big reinvention, or for those listening more carefully, the next logical step in their progression. Super Roots 7 (or was it 8?) started off with the formula - long, extended pieces built around polyrhytmic insanity, with the usual shrill electronics, pulsing organs and disembodied voices layered in slow crescending waves. Vision Creation Newsun expands it to a whole double album-length, and the result is astounding. I remember getting this CD back in college and totally losing my shit over it. It was also one of the first "big" albums that I heard in its entirety via NAPSTER before it was released domestically though I don't know if that is somehow significant. Maybe I can say that this was a record that changed the way I heard music, arriving at a time when the ways we listen to music were changing. Ugh, I'm starting to sound like one of those shitty Sirius/XM sattelite radio commercials! So on to Vision Creation Newsun: If you wanna talk about a perfect melting between the electronic and organic, this is it. The untitled tracks flow together into one cohesive whole, though there are certainly highlights. The opener is a statement of purpose, with it's sweeping filter banks defining the Boredom's new temple. Track 3 builds up a repeating, ascending riff like something out of Can or Neu! but filtered through Marginal Consort. Throughout everything, the 'anything goes' mentality is scaled back a bit and the emphasis is on duration instead of the short-attention span pyrotechnics that the Boredoms practiced in the early 90s. And oh, what a result. There's thick waves of organ, reverb-affected guitars, bells and percussion galore, and lots of voices that slip away into a distant sea. Best of all are these weird parts that go into power-rock sections - jamming on one long riff over a steady 4/4, or the recurring two-note monotony that makes up track 6's main theme. This organic onigiri is also wrapped in a great deal of digital processing, but somehow the choppy skipping feels more akin to a tremelo effect, the disjointed ebb and flow of accelerated consciousness. Talk about music for a new millenium, that simultaneously looks ahead and back! Energy courses through everything - even the ocacsional acoustic instrumentation that pops up, or the smooth groove singing on track 7 -- it's still raging with a spastic fury. What's different from Pop Tatari is they've learned how to channel this energy into some cosmic third eye consciousness without compromising their uber-modern exuberance. This pumps me up as much as the greatest hardcore records, and somehow stirs my soul in the same way as the greatest works of Riley, LaMonte, etc. After this, the Boredoms never were quite as special for me - the bang-on-everything percussion attitude was taken a bit further and the results, while occasionally very impressive, somehow lack the magic of this.

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