RIYL: Arvo Pärt with a drum machine, a Moogified Gorecki, Fonal leanings
Boron – The Better Of (greatest hits)
Back in 2010, I used to sit in my car in an icy parking lot screening new music before heading to the top of the Terminal Building in Lincoln to do sessions of the Other Music radio show. I often found great music in these private moments, filing most of it away in my head as “this reminds me of __ “ for the perfect moment to work it into shows later.
One day I popped in a fresh copy of Boron’s “DECRRESSCENNDO,” which immediately went to work rattling my windows with intense low frequencies of a Moog III-P left over from the early academic electronic music days. The folks who get to spend a little time with those setups usually set them to various pointillistic bleeps and bloops, spread thoughtfully across the frequency spectrum to tickle your senses, bringing listeners back to those bygone days where capital-C Composers in sweater vests and too-thin moustaches asserted their dominance with then-new electronic sounds. But this Boron fellow was having no part of the trip down memory lane: he rode this ancient Moog like an electric bull, wrestling genuine goddamned RIFFS out of the dusty beast, like Sunn o)) left to fend for themselves in a world with no guitars. I couldn’t file this away in my head, as it reminded me of absolutely nothing I heard before, so I just kept listening, instead.
It’s been a wild path of listening ever since: Dan Nelson’s Boron project has taken many twists and turns over a decade-plus of existence, incorporating field recordings, synths, various color fields of noise, and occasional pauses at humor-infused songwriting. No matter how diverse the project becomes, it all hangs together somehow, united by a sense of adventure and a subtle foundation of reverence for sound itself. In recent years, Boron has been subjected to various occult alchemical processes of elemental transubstantiation, and at times now appears as the noble gas Argon, or the dangerous-but-cool Freon. But regardless of present states shifting between solid, liquid, or gas, matter and energy must be preserved, Boron is all around us, and Boron is between your ears. We must press on with Boron.
Stop faking sense,
Boron is Dan Nelson, a musician, author, conceptual artist, and corporate drone from Oakland, California.
1. Tomato Upload 03:25 (The Beige Album)
2. Marchscape 06:12 (Freon I)
3. Insnep 01:13 (Mirages)
4. Midnight Crossing IDL 03:01 (ARGON II)
5. Pong Song 01:34 (The Beige Album)
6. Tropic of Candy 06:42 (ARGON II)
7. Stop Faking Sense 05:39 (The Beige Album)
8. Brunwuld 06:01 (Mirages)
9. Van der Val Zyl 02:26 (Mirages)
10. Kithulu 01:25 (Mirages)
11. On the Beach 03:11 (Freon I)
12. Jaamatihaaken 03:38 (ARGON II)
13. Boron 1 05:46 (DECRRESSCENNDO)
14. Gallop (remaster) 04:50 (Aria Statica)
15. Evening Bog 04:09 (The Beige Album)
16. Too Little Too Late 02:13 (ARGON II)
17. Fezzan 12:04 (Mirages)