Fricke's Picks: Boredoms


Japanese trance-rock band Boredoms were far fewer in number for their recent in-the-round show at New York's Terminal 5 — three drummers, an onstage sound processor and shamanistic singer-loops guru Yamantaka Eye — compared to the seventy-seven-member army that played at the group's outdoor drum-prayer spectacle in Brooklyn last July. But in fighting trim in an enclosed space, Boredoms still made a music as big and bright as a high-noon sky: long, rolling polyrhythms played by what sounded like a trio of Keith Moons, Eye's volleys of sampled whoop and animal howl, and his furious hammering on the Sevena, a huge vertical wedge of seven guitar necks in various tunings. When he pounded on all of the strings at once, with a javelinlike pole, it was like the Lord hitting power chords: massive bursts of lush, blurred harmonics. Eye did not have the Sevena at the 2004 Christmas Eve concert featured on Boredoms' latest U.S. release, Super Roots #9 (Thrill Jockey), but something even closer to godliness: a twenty-four-voice choir, electronically manipulated in rhythmic tides of group whisper and full-tilt gothic-church hosanna. The entire record is a single forty-minute piece. But like the best Christmas presents, it keeps on giving.

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David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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