Boris [Special]

Boris [Special]

Japanese cult favourite sludge/doom experimental rock trio Boris take their name from a song on grunge godfathers the Melvins’ “Bullhead” album. They also have a lot in common with the Melvins musically, including a fondness for heavily down tuned guitar/bass tones and exceedingly slow tempos. But they also incorporate elements variously drawn from other sources, including psychedelic rock, punk, noise, minimalism, pure sludge-drone music à la Earth, and more. Also, despite the unpretentious psychedelic/stoner rock imagery that accompanies much of their work, there is an ambitiously experimental aspect to much of it. Their albums, for example, have tended to be massive conceptual projects: Absolutego, is a feedback-heavy drone exploration consisting of a single 65 minute track; Also on the more experimental end of their discography are collaborations with Japanese avant-garde enigma Keiji Heino and power electronics/noise legend Merzbow.

Boris formed during the early 1990s and consists of guitarist Wata, bassist Takeshi, and drummer/vocalist Atsuo. They made their first recorded appearance on an obscure 1994 compilation entitled Take Care Of Scabbard Fish, released only in Japan and now out of print. Absolutego, their full-length debut, came out in 1996 on the band’s own Fangs Anal Satan imprint but was unavailable in the rest of the world for years. A situation that was remedied when the Los Angeles-based Southern Lord label reissued the album in early 2001 along with a bonus track and new packaging.

Their next album, the mega-droney Amplifier Worship initially came out on the Mangrove label in 1998 but was unavailable to the rest of the world for several years; San Francisco’s Man’s Ruin had planned to reissue it in the Autumn of 2001, but the label folded before that could happen. In 2003 Southern Lord made this available once again, with new packaging. Their drone influences on the album are as apparent as the bands other loves - balls-out punk rock, extreme dark-psychedelia and 70’s fuzzed-out acid rock - a totally killer record. 1998 also saw the release of the Boris/Keiji Haino collaboration, a live disc entitled Black: Implication Flooding, which came out on Japan’s Inoxia Records. In 1999, Boris issued a split CD with fellow Japanese band Choukoko No Niwa, More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape, which also came out on Inoxia and featured Boris weighing in with a brief (for them) 28-minute contribution. Their third full-length album, Flood, was released two years later on the MIDI Creative label.

In 2002 Boris brought us a consciously more “ROCK” album: Heavy Rocks (featuring collaborations with: Lori/Acid King, Masonna, and Merzbow); yet another unique release from this eclectic band. Switching gears again in 2005 with Akuma No Uta, featuring a twelve-minute opus entitled “Naki Kyoku” that begins all super languid, quiet and pretty before building into a soaring psychedelic jam.

2006’s Pink combined all the strongest elements of what Boris is capable of into one solid, complete, concise album, and was possibly the most cohesive, adventurous, and straight-ahead rocking recording of their 12-year career. Every release from this group is as diverse and colossal in its own right and 2007’s Boris w/ Merzbow collaboration Rock Dream was no exception and smashed all expectations of what a(nother) collaboration between Boris and Merzbow might sound like.

For 2008 Boris grace our ears once more with their first non-collaborative album since 2006’s Pink. Smile is once again a new direction for the band, a new experience for all involved, another journey in Boris’ quest for sounds that are a wider extension of just simply music, drawing on new and unconventional influences and creating possibly their best album to date!

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1996 - Split 7'' with Barebones
1997 - Split 7'' with Tomsk 7
1997 - Untitled / Mass Mercury (Split 7'' with Tomsk-7)
1998 - Amplifier Worship
1998 - Black: Implication Flooding (with Keiji Haino)
1999 - More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape (Split CD with Choukoku no Niwa)
2000 - Absolutego
2000 - Flood
2002 - 1970 (7'')
2002 - Heavy Rocks
2002 - Megatone (with Merzbow)
2003 - Akuma no Uta
2003 - Split 7'' with The Dudley Corporation
2003 - Boris At Last -Feedbacker-
2004 - The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked (12'')
2005 - 04092001 (with Merzbow)
2005 - A Bao a Qu (7'')
2005 - Pink
2005 - Sound Track from Film "Mabuta no Ura"
2005 - Sun Baked Snow Cave (with Merzbow)
2005 - Archive Volume I: Live 96-98
2005 - Archive Volume II: Drumless Shows
2005 - Archive Volume III: Two Long Songs
2006 - Altar (with Sunn O)))) (1) (2)
2006 - Dronevil -Final- (1) (2) (3) (4)
2006 - Rainbow (with Michio Kurihara)
2006 - The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked 2 (12'')
2006 - The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked 3 (12'')
2006 - Vein (Drone Version)
2006 - Vein (Hardcore Version)
2007 - Damaged (Split 10'' with Stupid Babies Go Mad) (1) (2)
2007 - Long Hair and Tights (Split with Doomriders) (1) (2)
2007 - Rock Dream (with Merzbow) (1) (2) (bonus)
2007 - Walrus / Groon (12'')
2007 - Smile (Japan Version)
2008 - Smile (US Version)
2008 - Statement (7'')
2008 - Cloud Chamber