Been a while since we had some Boredoms activity to write about here – since, perhaps, “Super Roots 9”, their live recording plus choir, came out on Thrill Jockey.
However, “Super Roots 10”, the latest instalment in their epic EP series, has quietly surfaced in Japan – let’s hope Thrill Jockey pick this one up for a wide release, too. This one begins with about 30 seconds of barely audible friction, before launching into five versions of a new track called “Ant 10”.
The first, original version begins predictably enough, with a howled invocation from Eye, a drum circle clatter and the sort of ecstatic arpeggios that have filled out their live shows (and “Seadrum”) for nearly a decade now. Soon, though, it mutates fractionally, as a 4:4 dance beat comes in as well, giving the whole jam a more streamlined, pulsating dynamic. If you saw them on their last UK tour in 2007, as I did, it does sound a little familiar: in the review, I think it’s the bit near the end that I compare with Eye’s single as The Lift Boys.
As the disc goes on, and the series of remixes of “Ant 10” run on, it all becomes progressively dancier. It’s interesting to see the dynamics of house applied to the Boredoms: once they usually peak, they tend to stay at an extreme point of euphoria indefinitely. Dance music, though, demands more builds, more isolated highs, more undulating musical territory.
So it’s interesting to see how Japanese producer Altz (who has two cracks), Lindstrom and the mysterious DJ Finger Hat (Eye, not inconceivably) work over “Ant 10”’s synth vamps, guitar squiggles, massed beats and variegated chants into some quite wonderful music. Altz fiddles a lot with the vocals, pitchshifting Eye and pitching him against each other. DJ Finger Hat finds a choir of sorts to ramp up the atmosphere even further.
Best of all, Lindstrom’s astonishing take transforms “Ant 10” into an epic piece of cosmic disco, with Italian house piano runs and a Stevie Wonder/”Superstition” Clavinet effect that makes it kin to the “Pretentious” mix of LCD Soundsystem’s “Yeah”. Eventually, one of Lindstrom’s friends adds a “BOW-BOW-BOW” vocal line and the whole thing explodes into the most exaggerated and plausible party breakdown I’ve heard on a record in an age. Track of the year, in this morning’s hype stakes.