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    Keiji Haino – Beginning and End, Interwoven

    Keiji Haino - Beginning and End, Interwoven

    The first and last tracks of this German CD from 1994 bear the duo distinction–along with some tracks on Tenshi No Gijinka–of being the only music ever overdubbed by Keiji Haino. The first is a short, strange little affair with crying vocals, stuttered drums and some sort of accordion-like blare. The last features the incessant strum of an unspecified string instrument with improv guitar stabs and vocals strewn on top.

    The rest of the album is mostly guitar- and vocal-based. The title track combines Haino’s unique vocal belt with a field of strangely muted and trebly guitar distortion wash. “Surrounded By You,” “My Friend,” and “Secretly” pair dry, oddly rhythmic guitar with vocals of pure Haino-ness. “The Active Voice Revealed” and “In Between” return to the guitar effects of the title track and plod on with vocal stutters for a good while until more abstract explosions conclude.

    Some choice lyrics (from “Different”): “A gentle / completely / flowed out from within me / like something familiar with my insides / echo / like a whisper.” Indeed, that track is full of minor, quiet strums which get more and more intense until the end just explodes onto the side of your neck—leaving two moray eels and a 1965 Smith Corona typewriter stuck to your left rib cage.

    The next two songs are by far the nicest and among the most mellow on this or any other of Haino’s CDs. On “Even One,” simple, delicate guitar strums are effortlessly spread out with very gentle, pretty vocals, which is some of Haino’s best singing ever and just beautiful in my book. For an extra-special treat, turn up the volume extremely loud at 6:00 as the vocals almost inaudibly coo while fading out at the end. “As It Is Now” puffs out a very minimal cloud of hovering electric guitar wash with some distant, high-pitched singing—just a really lovely atmospheric piece. The full color cover photo–a rarity for Haino–shows him standing, looking cool in front of a white-flashed stone wall and orange-lit church in the background.

    Label: Streamline Catalog Number: 1002 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 11 Total Time: 63:39 Country: Germany Released: 1994 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, PSF, Wikipedia

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