One of the bestest buzzes when you’re raiding the racks of your favourite/local record shop is when you see something you didn’t know existed by one of your fave bands.
Cue More Echoes Touching Sir Landscape, spotted and then seized from the pre-loved (used) section in Oxford’s Truck Store.
Boris? THE Boris? Slug metal, psych drone, garage fuzz overlords from Japan?
Oh yeah. It’s them alright. The initial 1999 release date clues us in as to how they’re gonna reveal themselves on this split CD – I predict sloth and goo – and sure enough, Kanau Part I is 14 minutes of droning thrum that’s not so much a build up as a slow down: an adjuster. Part I slows the world so your clock runs to Boris time.
When Part II begins, it’s heavy as only Boris can be. Ludicrous. When a snaking colossus of a bass line announces the band’s arrival proper, they’ve got you – again. Coz when you’re up against such sheer fucking ENORMITY, what can you do but grin and give in?
The rest of Part II is Atsuo-dominated as his speed bash leaves all doom ‘n chug way back, pulling us fast through spacegun-zap psychedelia and classic riffage. Kanau might not be Feedbacker singular or Sun Baked Snow Cave extreme – it’s too up, too rock-out for that – but it IS Boris, breaking out of the pure-slow-heavy and well worth adding to your stash.
But while Boris are the big name draw here, Choukoku no Niwa are the big find.
Exactly. I have no idea and, tempting though it is to give in to the google god and revel in right-now certainty instead of savouring a little mystery, that’s the way it’ll stay. At least til we’re done here*.
So what do we get? 24 minutes of fluid long-form rock, that’s what. Tom toms and congas, rolling rhythms and a circular bass-riff – like Primal Scream’s Exterminator but with more sway, less menace – bring a thickened-up Can to mind while on-off guitars flow, moan and wail but never shriek. There’s no Acid Mothers frazzle or Mainliner blowout here. Groove – immersive and endless – is king.
BORIS/CHOUKOKU NO NIWA – More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape
Inoxia Records, 1999 (reissued 2006)
Choukoku no Niwa – Fukurou (24.07)
Boris – Kanau Part I and Part II (26.08)
*I looked. Briefly. But nothing useful came up …