Boredoms

Profile:
Boredoms (ボアダムス), alternatively known as V∞redoms, is a Japanese experimental/noise/space rock/tribal drumming band from Osaka, founded in 1986 by Yamatsuka Eye. Considered as one of the "stalwarts" of an underground Japanoisecore scene in the earlier years, Boredoms had a period of mainstream success throughout the '90s till mid-2000s, signed by a major label (Warner Music Japan/Reprise) and headlining prominent European festivals, such as Lollapalooza or All Tomorrow's Parties. Boredoms reformed as a percussion-only ensemble in the new millennium, expanding their stylistic palette with diverse elements from various genres: drones, "phasing" techniques borrowed from academic minimalism, tribal drumming, shamanistic 'healing rhythms,' etc. Since the late 2000s, V∞redoms also began organizing conceptual, chronologically-specific annual BOADRUM performances on "round dates," with dozens of drummers in 'spiral' formations.

Current lineup (2004—Present)
Yamatsuka EYƎ—vocals, percussion, electronics, tapes, turntables, kazoo (since 1985)
Yoshimi (Yoshimi P-We)—drums, perc, Casiotone, djembe, keyboards, trumpet (since 1989?)
Kazuya Nishimura (ATR, Atari, アタリ)—dr, perc (since 1992)
Yojiro Tatekawa (Yo2ro, Yo-Chan)—dr, perc (since 2001)

Long before starting Boredoms, Yamantaka Eye already had a notorious reputation, even by Osaka's (often bizarre and violent) local scene standards. He led a highly controversial Hanatarash collective, banned from performing anywhere in Japan after an incredibly reckless show at Tokyo's Super Loft in 1985. (That night, Eye drove a mini-bulldozer through the venue's wall and attempted to throw some Molotov cocktails inside the wrecked building.) With a new band, named in honor of Buzzcocks' song Boredom, Yamatsuka shifted his focus towards composition and vocal improvisations, rather than exploring the "artistic" angle of vandalism.

The first official production by The Boredoms was a song U.S.A. recorded in 1985 by Yamantaka Eye with ex-Hanatarash drummer Ikuo Taketani for Beast 666 Tapes compilation Kill S.P.K.. The same track, titled "Super Punk King," also appeared on '86 Dead Tech Sampler - No Wave From Japan by the German label Dossier (compilation that, effectively, first presented many key Japanoise figures to European listeners). The band's debut 7" EP, Anal By Anal, came out on Transrecords in Aug 1986—three acapella lo-fi punk improvs over random samples from Ponta Murakami instructional tape. Eye recorded it with guitarist Mitsuru Tabata (member of a local noise-rock band Noizunzuri). In March 1988, Boredoms released their debut full-length album, 恐山のストゥージズ狂 (Osorezan no Stooges Kyo) / Onanie Bomb Meets The Sex Pistols, on Japanese hardcore punk label Selfish Records; despite 'musique concrete' sketches and Eye's bizarre vocalizes, the local "noisecore/avant-punk" fans accepted the band. Their sophomore '89 Soul Discharge CD/LP was the first record distributed overseas, by New York's label Shimmy Disc (ran by Bongwater's Mark Kramer). Following the USA success, Boredoms signed a long-term record deal with Warner Music Japan, negotiating complete creative freedom for themselves. This contract also allowed Reprise Records, Warner's US subsidiary, to release and distribute Boredoms music abroad.

In 1992, WEA Japan and Reprise released the band's third album, Pop Tatari, featuring reunited Toyohito Yoshikawa singing, Hira on bass, Yoshimi and ATR (4) on drums, Seiichi Yamamoto on 0dB guitar, and 'King Kazoo' Eye doing 'ahhhg' and 'kazoo & nothing.' This record became an instant success and solidifed new Boredoms "trademark" sound: complex rhythmic patterns, unpredictable shifts from violence to cartoonish interludes, using non-musical objects and toy instruments, etc. Some American critics compared Pop Tatari to a famous '86 album Rembrandt Pussyhorse by Texas avant-punks Butthole Surfers. Boredoms toured with Sonic Youth in 1992, followed by eight consecutive shows with Nirvana in late Oct/early Nov 1993. Yamantaka Eye also met John Zorn in the early nineties and became a vocalist in a free jazz/grindcore outfit Naked City. In Oct '92, Boredoms recorded their Wow 2 CD for John Zorn's Avant label in the United States, at Brooklyn's BC Studio.

In July 1994, Boredoms produced their fifth, "breakthrough" album, Chocolate Synthesizer CD, again released by WEA Japan and Reprise. Recorded in just four days and mixed by Eye in a week, Chocolate Synthesizer received numerous positive reviews (subsequently, Alternative Press described it as one of the best albums of the era). The band's popularity in America peaked that year, with Boredoms performing at Lollapalooza's main stage.

Following a 4yr public break, Boredoms released their next full-length studio album in May 1998, Super æ, on WEA Japan/A.K.A. Records. Yamatsuka Eye described Super æ as a "rebirth point," marking the band's metamorphosis from disorganized chaos to organized peace. The ensemble got rid of guitars and bass and now consisted of four elements, facing each other in the circle: ƎYE with a turntable DJing and three drumkits. Musicians orchestrated percussion as string instruments and tried to explore each drum's individual character. Boredoms even tuned their drums as guitars, so when three drummers are playing together, sub-patterns will emerge, forming sound 'lines' and 'dimensions,' not just singular 'dots' — the technique often used by minimalist composers.

In October 1999, Boredoms presented Vision Creation Newsun CD on WEA Japan/A.K.A. Records. This record marked the ensemble further departing from earlier "noisecore/avant-punk/free improv" towards space rock, atmospheric breakbeats, tribal drumming, and Eye's growing interest in power electronics and turntablism. Coinciding with the new album, Yamatsuka Eye oversaw a series of remix albums: Rebore Vol.1 by UNKLE in Sept 2000, followed by Ken Ishii's Rebore Vol.2 in Nov '00 and Rebore Vol.3 by DJ Krush in Feb '01. It was concluded by Eye's own Rebore Vol.0 in May 2001.

Soon after, EYE re-organized the band yet again, so at the 2001 Fuji Rock Festival, they appeared as V∞redoms (the letter "V" representing a needle in the record's groove). V∞redoms had six drummers, including new players Yojiro Tatekawa, Die5, and Akimi, plus a new permanent member on electronics, Kiyoshi Izumi. In September 2004, Warner Music Japan released Seadrum / House Of Sun CD: two 20-min tracks of shamanistic drumming, Indian raga sitars, jazz piano improvisations, long-departed Seiichi Yamamoto on guitar, underwater percussion recordings—mostly archival sources from years earlier. The 'Seadrum / House Of Sun' was the band's last release on Warner, as subsequent albums in Japan came out on a smaller indie label Commmons.

In 2005, V∞redoms signed a new North American record deal with Vice Records, kickstarted by Seadrum / House Of Sun CD re-release. (Within the next two years, Vice re-released the whole 'Super Roots' series. Subsequent albums were re-released in UK/US by Thrill Jockey.) The band announced a five-stop tour in the States and Canada, including a headliner's spot at Musique Actuelle Festival in Quebec. Curiously, promoters insisted on V∞redoms touring under the "outdated" Boredoms name, deemed more familiar for their international fans.

In Apr 2007, V∞re/Boredoms played three shows with Sonic Youth in Japan. They also released Live At Sunflancisco DVD/CD in Dec '07, featuring their latest "band-as-a-record-player" configuration: EYƎ on CD-turntables surrounded by ATR, Yoshimi, and Yojiro 'Yochan' Tatekawa drumming. Around that time, Boredoms started using innovative custom-built instruments, constructed by Masuko Shinji from DMBQ band. During the North American tour with Iron And Wine in 2008, for instance, they appeared with a monstrous hybrid Sevena percussion: seven Telecasters attached together. Masuko later designed an interactive performance system that Boredoms premiered at ATP's 'I'll Be Your Mirror' 2011 Tokyo Festival. Six drummers sat around EYE in a circle, who used motion sensors to trigger electronic sounds (associated with each musician) by waving hands or turning towards the "activated" band member.

On July 7, 2007 (7/7/7), precisely at 7:07 PM, Boredoms held a 77 Boadrum performance at the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn, New York. Organized with a help of Vice's Adam Shore and Hisham Bharoocha (ex-Black Dice and ex-Lightning Bolt), this free open-air concert had 70+ prolific New York City drummers, multi-instrumentalists and percussionists joining Boredoms: Alan Licht, Andrew W.K., Brian Chippendale, Butchy Fuego, David Grubbs, Josh Bonati, Spencer Sweeney, and Taylor Richardson to name just a few. The word 'Boa' signified a serpent, and seventy-seven drums were set up in DNA-like right-handed spiral. The performance is documented on a '08 77 Boa Drum 2xCD/DVD by Commmons. At a follow-up 88 Boadrum on 8/8/08, eighty-eight drummers began playing at 8:08 PM at La Brea Tar Pits, LA. The third BOADRUM 9, as it happened indoors, only had nine drummers performing at New York's JFK Airport Terminal 5 on Sept 9, 2009. The 'Boadrum' lineups expanded again in the following years, peaking at 91 drummers for 7X13 BOA DRUM that took place on 7/13/2013 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. (It was EYE's conceptual attempt to "annul" negativity of the 'unlucky' 13 by invoking auspicious energies of the number 7.)

Further experimenting with various circular formations, Boredoms appeared in a new, expanded lineup during the "StarFes.'14" event at Makuhari Seaside Park in 2014. (Again performing next year, at TAICOCLUB '15, Kiso County). This mandala-like ensemble had a circle of omnidirectional speakers, seven "core" members in the center (Eye, Yoshimi, Yo2ro, Hisham Bharoocha, Ryan Sawyer, Jeremy Hyman, and John Colpitts a.k.a. Kid Millions), surrounded by twenty cymbalists and a so-called Guitar Borchestra (eight guitarists & bassists). Boredoms also staged an elaborate performance with 88 cymbals for Doug Aitken's June–July 2015 exhibition Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening at Barbican Centre, London.

Boredoms continued performing internationally in the following years, both with solo mini-tours and at notable festivals, including Fuji Rock Fest in Japan and Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Spain. They frequented the All Tomorrow's Parties at Butlins Minehead, UK—organizing two BOA DRUM performances in 2009, when cartoonist Matt Groening curated it, and again invited by Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum in 2012. The latest appearance was at 2016 All Tomorrow's Parties 2.0, curated by Stewart Lee at Pontins, North Wales.
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Albums

BEL-12025 Boredoms - 恐山のストゥージズ狂 / Onanie Bomb Meets The Sex Pistols album art The Boredoms* 恐山のストゥージズ狂 / Onanie Bomb Meets The Sex Pistols (Album) Selfish Records BEL-12025 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
?001 Boredoms - Boretronix 1 album art Boredoms Boretronix 1(Cass, Album) ? Ltd. ?001 Japan 1988 Sell This Version
?002 Boredoms - Boretronix 2 album art Boredoms Boretronix 2 (Album) ? Ltd. ?002 Japan 1989 Sell This Version
shimmy 035 CS Boredoms - Soul Discharge album art Boredoms Soul Discharge (Album) Selfish Records shimmy 035 CS US 1989 Sell This Version
none Boredoms - Boretronix 3 album art Boredoms Boretronix 3 ? Ltd. none Japan 1990 Sell This Version
2-45416-A Boredoms - Pop Tatari album art Boredoms Pop Tatari (Album) Wea Japan 2-45416-A US 1992 Sell This Version
WMC3-41 Boredoms - Super Roots album art Boredoms Super Roots (Album, EP, Maxi) WEA WMC3-41 Japan 1993 Sell This Version
AVAN 026, AVAN-026 Boredoms - Wow 2 album art Boredoms Wow 2 (Album) Avant, Avant AVAN 026, AVAN-026 Japan 1993 Sell This Version
45099 76972 Boredoms - Chocolate Synthesizer album art Boredoms Chocolate Synthesizer (Album) WEA Japan 45099 76972 Australia 1994 Sell This Version
WPC2-7513 Boredoms - Super Roots 3 album art Boredoms Super Roots 3 (Album) WEA Japan WPC2-7513 Japan 1994 Sell This Version
WPC2-7518 Boredoms - Super Roots 5 album art Boredoms Super Roots 5 (EP) WEA Japan WPC2-7518 Japan 1995 Sell This Version
WPC2-7519 Boredoms - Super Roots 6 = スーパールーツ 6 album art Boredoms = ボアダムズ* Boredoms = ボアダムズ* - Super Roots 6 = スーパールーツ 6 (Album) WEA Japan WPC2-7519 Japan 1996 Sell This Version
WPC6-8433 Boredoms - Super Ae album art Boredoms Super Ae (Album) WEA Japan, A.K.A. Records (2) WPC6-8433 Japan 1998 Sell This Version
WQJB-1005 Boredoms - Super 77 / Super Sky album art Boredoms Super 77 / Super Sky(LP, Ltd) A.K.A. Bounce, Warner Special Products WQJB-1005 Japan 1998 Sell This Version
WPC6-10049 Boredoms - Vision Creation Newsun album art Boredoms Vision Creation Newsun (Album) WEA Japan, A.K.A. Records (2) WPC6-10049 Japan 1999 Sell This Version
WPC6-10136 Boredoms - Rebore Vol.0: Vision Recreation By Eye album art Boredoms Rebore Vol.0: Vision Recreation By Eye (Album) A.K.A. Records (2), WEA Japan WPC6-10136 Japan 2001 Sell This Version
WPCL-10119 Boredoms - Seadrum / House Of Sun album art Boredoms Seadrum / House Of Sun (Album) Warner Music WPCL-10119 Japan 2004 Sell This Version
RZCM-45441 Boredoms - Super Roots 9 album art Boredoms Super Roots 9 (Album) Commmons RZCM-45441 Japan 2007 Sell This Version
RZCM-45758/B Boredoms - Live At Sunflancisco album art Boredoms Live At Sunflancisco(DVD-V, NTSC + CD) Commmons RZCM-45758/B Japan 2007 Sell This Version
RZCM 46037~8/B Boredoms - 77 Boa Drum album art Boredoms 77 Boa Drum Commmons RZCM 46037~8/B Japan 2008 Sell This Version
RZCM-46118 Boredoms - Super Roots 10 - Ant 10 album art Boredoms Super Roots 10 - Ant 10 (Album) Commmons RZCM-46118 Japan 2009 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

TRANS 12 Boredoms - Anal By Anal album art Boredoms Anal By Anal (Single) Transrecords (2) TRANS 12 Japan 1986 Sell This Version
PB 3 Boredoms - Michidai / Fuanteidai album art Boredoms Michidai / Fuanteidai(7", Num) Public Bath PB 3 US 1990 Sell This Version
3CS-2011 Boredoms - Super Roots 2 album art Boredoms Super Roots 2(CD, Mini, Promo) WEA Japan 3CS-2011 Japan 1994 Sell This Version
DF#666 Boredoms - Duelin' Firemen!™ album art Randy Wilson (4) / Boredoms Randy Wilson (4) / Boredoms - Duelin' Firemen!™(7", Red) E-Z Prey Records DF#666 US 1994 Sell This Version