I guess it was destined to happen. After unleashing a mountain of material over the course of three decades, it was only a matter of time before Keiji Haino would release two different versions of the same album simultaneously. Titled Black Blues and unveiled by French label Les Disques du Soleil et de l’Acier in March 2004, the only thing that sets the twin albums apart visually are the cover photos, which are mirrors of each other, and the catalog numbers. But, that’s where the similarities end.
The first album, DSA 54087, is considered the soft version–and for good reason. It’s completely packed full of some of the most super-personal, quiet music this side of a dusty old casket–featuring close-miked, cooing vocals with distant guitar strums; ultra-sparse, bent, quavering notes and louder, melodic singing with even more distant reverbed-out guitar.
The second version, DSA 54088, also known as the violent version, is pretty much the opposite. With its gobs of angular, dissonant, fuzz guitar spitting out all kinds of squiggly slides; quick, fractured riffs and mellow strums that arc into the sky-highest fuzz destruction–all seamlessly blended with scads of intense, screaming, gargled vocals–this album is practically an unrecognizable version of its predecessor. Yet both somehow come highly recommended for devout fans of Haino’s many moods.
Label: Les Disques du Soleil et de l’Acier Catalog Numbers: DSA 54087, DSA 54088 Format: CD Packaging: Digi-pack Tracks: DSA 54087: 6, DSA 54088: 6 Total Time: DSA 54087: 61:09, DSA 54088: 53:03 Country: France Released: 2004 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, PSF, Wikipedia