Boris (2012)

Tokyo, Japan

It’s no surprise that the Japanese, genre-bending masters take their name from a Melvins song. Both bands refuse to adhere to tradition or even reason at times, traipsing across and through arbitrary genre boundaries with anarchic glee to create something at once impossibly abstract and wholeheartedly organic. Since 1994, Boris have quickly gained a cult following across the world for their uncanny ability to mix the powerful with the sublime, the down-tuned with the shoe-gazing ethereal, the soul-crushing heavy with the cherry-blossom beautiful to create absolute masterpieces that exist in a perfectly deranged world imagined by the trio. Guitarist Wata, bassist Takeshi and drummer/vocalist Atsuo understand the innate language of the avant-garde and experimental, clashing minimalist drone elements with sludgy ferocity and noisy charm. Boris are one of the most ambitious bookings of the festival this year and will reward anyone who can conceptualize music that is bigger and beyond them. It’s mind-expanding material done with honesty, rather than pretension, that seeks to unlock the infinite creative potential of music.