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Friday, July 31, 2015

Boris: Urban Dance


1) Un, Deux, Trois; 2) Surrender; 3) Choreographer; 4) Endless; 5) Game Of Death.

On May 2, 2015, a nice spring day on which both Maya Plisetskaya and Ruth Rendell left this pathetic world, Boris released three albums at once — the best thing about which was that neither of the two ladies would have even the slightest possibility of ever being exposed to them during their lifetimes. Chalk up another personal record for Boris, but at this time I do not even have to mention that «the gesture» must have inevitably taken place at the expense of such nice things in life as listenability, originality, and emotional impact. If you have any doubts, let us give a brief run through the tracks on the first one of these, Urban Dance — it won't take long, as there are only five tracks in total.

ʽUn, Deux, Troisʼ is 4:30 minutes of feedback crackle, largely resembling static waves from your car radio, with the volume pushed all the way up for some masochist reason. ʽSurrenderʼ is yet another of this band's failed attempts to make their own post-rock statement — failed, because this time they seem to think that a good way to add impressive dynamics to their atmospheric soundscape is to... incorporate some MORE radio static right in the middle of the track! That's like wow, a symbolic marriage of organised beauty and freaky chaos. ʽChoreographerʼ is 8:45 minutes of... you guessed it, more radio static, except now the bass knob is also turned all the way up and you got some spooky post-Fripp whooshing guitar lines flying in the background from time to time to turn your experience into a truly volcanic one. ʽEndlessʼ only actually goes on for 9:43 minutes, over which it also tries to mesmerize you with several layers of feedback, electro­nic hum, loud percussion, and very deeply buried harmony vocals, but this time it does not even begin to meet the «post-rock challenge» because everything it does, it does during its first se­conds (no attempts at building anything up whatsoever).

Finally, at 11:18, ʽGame Of Deathʼ is not only the longest track on the album, but also the one with the most justified title — it does sound like the soundtrack to some particularly violent, bru­tally industrialized shooter, where you not only have to splatter as many brains of your enemies as possible, but you also have to do it working under extreme sonic conditions: nothing but feed­back, industrial grind, explosions, and machine-gun rattle to lead you to that final 100% kills vic­tory. Remember, though — if you survive this at top volume just once, you render yourself immune against Islamic State torture, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Justin Bieber ft. Nicki Minaj music videos. Sure beats cold showers anyway.

Summarizing: 1 attempt at an actual music piece (not highly competitive), 1 attempt at an ambi­ent conscience manipulation (does not work on me at all), 3 pieces of crap that might have worked a little better if they were all joined together — in Absolutego fashion — because one huge piece of crap is always more impressive by definition than several small pieces of crap. I mean, what would impress you more — a pile of dinosaur dung or scattered rabbit droppings over a dust road? To me, Absolutego was the musical equivalent of that dinosaur dung. Rabbit drop­pings, though, are a bit of a turndown in comparison, which is why Urban Dance, an album that, unsurprisingly, has nothing whatsoever to do with any sort of urban dancing, gets an assured thumbs down

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