Boredoms – Super Roots 7 (Warner Music Japan) (1998)


Here is the first post in an occasional series I will call, “Yeah I get it. You were on drugs. Very clever.”

First, a history lesson. The Boredoms were formed in Japan in 1986 and were part of the 1980’s Japanese noise scene. The constant member has been a fellow called Yakatami Eye. His first name changes regularly so we’ll call him Mr Eye. The Boredoms made some records in Japan and some cool hipsters in New York heard them and suddenly they became very popular with the hipster crowd. In 1990 the Shimmy Disc label (also home to Bongwater) released a record and then Nirvana and Sonic Youth liked them and lets face it if Nirvana liked you in in the early 1990’s a major label would offer you loads of cash. This is what happened to The Boredoms (see also Melvins). Suddenly The Boredoms are playing at Lollapalooza and their gigs are being reviewed in the NME. Of course nobody actually bought any Boredoms records in America because, well let’s be honest, they had as much in common with Nirvana as I have with scrapbookers. That is, fuck all. So the Boredoms returned to Japan where they released a serious of EP’s called Super Roots. Most of them never saw the light of day outside Japan and now some enterprising bunch have decided to rerelease them as a homeage to the Boredoms 20th anniversary.

Super Roots 7 is, like John Wiese, Fun with a capital fuckin F. Neither artist cares much for song structure but the Boredoms aren’t keen to make your ears bleed. Super Roots 7 is three tracks based loosely on the snotty, punk classic by the Mekons, Where Were You? The song is dismantled and reconstructed as a 21 minute meditation of electronic heavy, Kraut rock-ish, trance-like fun. The songs starts out as a teasing introduction of what’s to come. Tape manipulation and loops never let the guitars really start until the two minute mark when all hell breaks loose. Imagine a space-age jam band reinterpreting punk whilst under the effects of LSD. The track is driven by the frenetic drumming as the central guitar riff of the Mekons original starts, stops and then climbs to the stratosphere.

The main track is the second called 7 (Boriginal). It is bookended by two remixes also called 7 that really don’t add all of that much to the central track but are fun nonetheless. As an introduction to the Super Roots series as well as the electronic trance they perfected on their later records, 7 is pretty terrific.

2 Responses to “Boredoms – Super Roots 7 (Warner Music Japan) (1998)”

  1. There’s a great moment in one of the rebore mixes that uses a single moment of eye sucking in breath before cutting into the main groove of this tune.

  2. This is realy good. Hum let me rephrase that…this is godhead. I have to own up & say the musical starting point of this – The Mekons -Where Were You” is one of my favourite songs. Its up there with the first 2 Subway Sect 7″ its that good. But this, but this takes the ball game to a whole new place. Hell I didn’t realise there were a number of seperate tracks until the 4th listen. It’s better that most (legal & illegal) drugs and probably sex. Its got a groove that will make you throb until it hurts. Think Hawkwind – Space Ritual! The second time around I went looking for my old drum sticks to join in while sitting on the floor but had to settle for a couple of old spoons that are now bent much to my wife’s annoyance & my kids bemusement. Oh you want something more objective – it made my brain, my heart and my groin do flip flops all at the same time. That does not happen a lot for this little black duck. Saddened to think I have almost 10 years of catchup listening to this monster but glad I’m here now. Big thanks for the turn on to this.

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