It’s been a long time—around a decade, actually—since PSF last offered a treat for our eyes as well as our ears. This here flick of a solo percussion show by Keiji Haino is of recent vintage, filmed at Plan B in Tokyo and released on May 10, 2002—just after Haino’s 50th birthday. Plan B is a concrete basement venue, usually used for avant garde dance / performance. Haino regularly plays either solo percussion or percussion / dance duos with the famous butoh dancer Min Tanaka, who also has released a duo record with Derek Bailey on Table of the Elements.
Needless to say, this video is a dimly-lit affair, comprised of numerous edited segments—each featuring Haino manhandling a different instrument. The show begins pitched in black as Haino flicks a tiny light off and on repeatedly. A little more light appears as he bows the rungs of some sort of musical “bird cage” which resonates wildly—sending shrill, ethereal tones flying throughout the space. A lion’s share of the rest of the show is comprised of Haino banging and scraping cymbals around on the floor and walls, pinging small “xylophones” and ringing two little hand bells while moaning and growling. My favorite part is when he sits down in a chair and slowly starts going postal with two big ol’ tambourines.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about Haino’s percussion performances. I tend to be sort of mid-whelmed by them. Certain parts are amazing, while others drag on way too long. I think Haino’s percussion playing in general would sound a lot better if it were done with other like-minded musicians. The end of this performance is surprising when a sizable crowd suddenly erupts into applause—I didn’t hear the slightest peep out of them throughout the entire performance and didn’t even realize they were there. The video closes as Haino solemnly intones a poem over credits on a blank black screen to very strange effect.
Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFV-3 Format: VHS video Packaging: VHS video case Tracks: 10 Total Time: 60:45 Country: Japan Released: 2002 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia