It's not exactly surprising that Japanese post-everything avant-pranksters Boredoms would begin the latest installment of their Super Roots series of EPs with a track that's simply 38 seconds of silence. What's really shocking about Super Roots 10, however, is how straightforward and (for this band, anyway) typical it is.
"Ant 10," the lengthy original track that provides the raw material for the remixes that fill out the EP, finds Boredoms in their recent normal mode of full-on repetitive bliss. The drumming is tribal and massed, the synthesizers broad, pleasurable streaks of colour, the guitar mostly present as an accent and Eye chants "Ahh-hh" and "hey!" with infectious glee. There's even a bit of Super æ-style tape manipulation at the end. Anybody who's liked the canonically great Boredoms albums will get a kick out of "Ant 10," as it leans towards the dancier, more electronic side of their endless muse, with nary an atonality to be heard.
Altz gives us two remixes, the "Estero 10" one adhering fairly close to the feel of the source material but adding even more vocal layering and Tangerine Dream-esque synths; the "Mineral Dub Break," however, starts off with a rerub that sounds like nothing less than a lost track from Orbital's Middle of Nowhere. Eventually Eye is brought in again and the sound of the track swings closer to the original, but Altz still gets a lot of mileage out of chopping up Eye's vocals until it sounds like he's laughing. It's probably the most radical reinvention found here, and it kind of makes me wish Boredoms would let DJs like Altz have a more concerted crack at their oeuvre.
Of course, they've already gotten started on that by bringing in Lindstrøm to take his own crack at "Ant 10" (DJ Finger Hat also contributes a brief, swirling mix, but I'd be a little surprised if he's not just another of Eye's many pseudonyms). Lindstrøm's version isn't quite the full-on "Boredoms go to the disco" clusterfuck you might have expected (or hoped for), mainly because he pretty much makes a Lindstrøm track out of the elements; without context you might think it's just another fine effort from the DJ. Which is kind of like Super Roots 10 as a whole; it's a lot of fun, but it's a little inessential, and doesn't so much argue for its own necessity as point towards some interesting routes Boredoms could take in the future.
Tracklist: Boredoms - Super Roots 1001. Super Rooy
02. Ant 10
03. Ant 10 / Estero 10 (Remix by Altz)
04. Ant 10 (Remix by DJ Finger Hat)
05. Ant 10 (Remix by DJ Lindstrøm)
06. Ant 10 / Mineral Dub Break (Remix by Altz)
Other Thrill Jockey reviews