‘We don’t feel comfortable calling Dear a return to our slow and heavy style,’ says Tokyo’s amplifier worshipping experimental metal institution Boris. ‘We’ve been heavy since day one.’ And it’s true. From the droning thunder of their Absolutego debut and through the cinematic crescendo of albums like Flood, the bombastic licks of the Heavy Rocks records, the punk rage of Vein, the bottom-dwelling psychedelia of Akuma no Uta and Pink, and the grimy thump of Attention Please and New Album, Boris has always attempted to search out new ways to level listeners with their sound. On the 25th year of their existence, the trio delivers Dear, an album they describe as ‘heavenly far beyond heavy.’ Though Boris has traversed a broad swath of sonic territories, they have always been consistent in their embracing of excess, pushing their myriad of approaches and stylistic forays to points of intoxicating absurdity.
“Three years ago, Boris Blacher’s piano music was a new discovery for me,” says Swiss pianist and composer Manuela Keller. “Its lean style, its unconventional rhythm and barren beauty appealed to me immediately and inspired me to dedicate the second Idee manu [album] to him. He left a large oeuvre comprising almost all musical genres and also had an interest in jazz all his life. He developed a ‘system of variable metres’ to berak musical form and rhythmic symmetry with numerous, arithmetically structured metre changes. Krebs, Sberk, Dugong and Prelude 16 are typical examples of this technique.” Those are four out of 16 compositions that Manuela Keller got her teeth into, both as a soloist and in a quartet. Three are written by Keller, the other ten are adaptations, some more subtle, others more extensive, of models from Blachers late 24 Preludes for piano, his piano cycle Ornamente, and his Second Sonatina. Thus, Idee manu’s second album fits perfectly into the programmatic line of Between the Lines, focusing on sound projects crossing styles and genres between improvisation and composition.