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Anla Courtis/Seiichi Yamamoto/Yoshimi, "Live at Kanadian"

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cover imageIt doesn’t take a psychic to figure that two members of the Boredoms and one from Reynols getting together for live improvisations are probably not going to be creating smooth jazz or g-funk era R&B.  Across the four tracks and all possible permutations of the trio (the first three tracks feature each working as duos before the final full trio lineup), there’s enough psychedelic tomfoolery to satisfy even the most jaded of adventurous listeners.

Public Eyesore

Chaos is the name of the game here, yet in a somewhat controlled manner.  There are tinges of old school Boredoms or Hanatrash here, but in a decidedly less brutal, more restrained state of mind.  The first track of four, a duo of Courtis and Yamamoto, is a lot of guitar noodling through a battery of delays, occasionally plaintive keyboard tones as well that grow a bit harsher as it clicks on.  At its peak, the din of noise is like a field recording of a steel mill…and someone thought it was “bring your kid to work day” and the kid is teaching himself guitar in the middle of all of the machinery.

More expansive is the track of Yoshimi and Courtis, which lets the Boredoms member yell and shriek over live layering effects as both abuse their guitars and synths, but letting enough silence and near silence build between outbursts to give them more of a punch.  The Yamamoto/Yoshimi track does give a Boredoms reunion feeling to it, a batch of headache inducing sustained keyboards and guitar banging that, at times, conjures up a wonderfully 1980s hair metal vibe where the listener can almost picture Yamamoto flailing around, teased hair and spandex, with his tongue out to get those hightest notes possible to come out of that poor six-stringed instrument.

The climax is the full on trio playing together and, clocking in at 26 minutes (essentially twice as long as the other pieces), it does not let me down.  The sound is bolder and more aggressive, Yoshimi's vocals are more commanding, the guitar is more fuzzed out and grinding, and there is a sense of big, spacious metallic rhythms.  However, the track is just as willing to mellow out and let in some calm piano playing and open air as well, keeping things fresh and moving.

As chaotic as it all is, there is a lot to enjoy here and to focus on among the variation.  The album has a very raw feeling to it: it sounds like there was little in the way of post-production or heavy mastering done in order to preserve that immediate feeling that the live performances surely had.  Although listeners may have to adjust volume levels to find a level that gives maximum impact, it is worth the effort.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 February 2011 22:37  


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