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    Keiji Haino – Yaranai Ga Dekinai Kotoni Natte Yuku

    May 27th, 2008

    Keiji Haino - Yaranaiga Dekinaikotoni Natteyuku

    Hot on the heels of albums in which he experimented with air synth, acoustic guitar, drum kit and even a sitar army, Keiji Haino revisits his past to offer us another take on the kind of forlorn solo vocals with electric guitar atmospheres that he does so well. One long track splays out for well over an hour, building from quiet, sparse, late-night picking to atonal strumming and, eventually, virtual storms of multi-layered guitar. So, did Haino do overdubs or simply stomp on a delay pedal? Since there are no liner notes and he so seldomly does the former, I cast my vote for the latter. The overall modus operandi on this disc involves maintaining a simple, stark, space bliss soaked in massive reverb that gives way to a sudden stop punctured by a sour, wailing field of distortion chaos and eventually back again. Lather, rinse, repeat. And most of the vocals throughout are surprisingly up front. On the cover, one last tiny sliver of light disappears from the black void, just as a really freaking nice, professional photo of Haino playing guitar floats effortlessly on the back. Pretty much all this album amounts to is another near-classic to throw on the pile.

    Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFD-8024 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 1 Total Time: 68:48 Country: Japan Released: 2006 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino and Sitaar Tah! – Animamima

    May 26th, 2008

    Keiji Haino - Animamima

    Animamima–or Aunt Jemima as I like to call it–is a sprawling two-disc set of spectacular drone ‘n’ tussle from a huge all-star ensemble, including Keiji Haino on electric hurdy gurdy, electric sruthi-box, electric tanbur, flute, rhythm box and voice; Yoshida Daikiti on sitar; Sitaar Tah! manning 20 more of the things; and Fuyuki Yamakawa offering up some throat singing and igill–whatever the hell that is. Brought to you by the same label, recording and mastering folks that foisted Haino’s Reveal’d to None as Yet 2-CD upon the world, the whole thing is beautifully packaged beyond the call of duty in one of the nicest fold-out cards this side of Hallmark. We’re talking a deluxe die-cut job with intricate folds and ornate borders that lusciously frame photos of Haino and Sitaar Tah! in action. So, of course, I had to drop mine and crease the corner!

    As the CDs twirl on, some saltine-raspy throat singing supports Haino’s own loud wailing, as he pilots his drone instruments and a heavily reverbed flute over an army of nicely monotonous sitars. Coated in the maximum amount of reverb possible, this whole aural contraption coalesces into layers of knocking, buzzing and low-pitched chugging to create a super shrill storm over a massive coastal bay with occasional rays of sunshine peeking through the dense fog. Needless to say, I highly recommend Aunt Jemima to fans of any and all minimal drone music…and a short stack of pancakes.

    Label: aRCHIVE + Important Catalog Number: aRCHIVE 22/23 + imprec099 Format: 2-CD Packaging: Die-cut foldout card Tracks: 2 Total Time: Disc 1: 46:38, Disc 2: 51:12 Country: United States Released: 2006 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, PSF, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino + Tatsuya Yoshida – New Rap

    May 23rd, 2008

    Keiji Haino + Tatsuya Yoshida - New Rap

    When I first encountered the title of this album, I half-jokingly feared that Keiji Haino may be heading off into a new (for him) musical direction. You know the stereotype, rudely and rhythmically boasting about his “ice” and “rims,” and barking a slew of profane abuse at all of his “bitches.” But, of course, that’s not the case at all. What we have here is a lively (to say the least) set of short duets for electric guitar, vocals and drums. Haino dons his axe, grabs his mic and compleletly goes off his rocker with Ruins drummer Tatsuya Yoshida for a solid 48 minutes. A wide variety of squealing, snarling, gargling vocals sprayed all over loads of homely guitar plucking and dissonant feedback clouds–all propped up by the most manic, hyper-active, start ‘n’ stop drumming ever–make New Rap anything but. Needless to say, this album should sit quite well with fans of Musica Transonic.

    Label: Tzadik Catalog Number: TZ-7262 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 9 Total Time: 48:04 Country: United States Released: 2006 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, PSF, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino – Reveal’d to None as Yet: an Expedience to Utterly Vanish Consciousness While Still Alive

    May 22nd, 2008

    Keiji Haino - Reveal'd to None as Yet

    Recorded live in Japan at Super Deluxe on April 7, 2005 and mastered by fellow experimental guitarist James Plotkin, Reveal’d to None as Yet is a fancy pants two-disc set released by, appropriately enough, two different American psych / noise labels, aRCHIVE and Important. Now, that’s entertainment! I mean collaboration! Disc one is packed to the gills with one long track full of Keiji Haino brutalizing the theremin-like air synth that we first encountered on his similar Uchu Ni Karami Tsuiteiru Waga Itami album, which was released earlier in 2005 on PSF. Once again, the listener is battered by a whole airplane hangar’s worth of craggy, whining, sputtering electronic mayhem. But, this time, Haino’s occasional mysterious vocal cords add an air of instant familiarity to the hectic proceedings. All kinds of reverberant bass drum samples boom away as muffled tornadoes, menacing swirling dervishes and headache-inducing scouring pads unfurl all over the place. And it’s all supported by the most grating drones this side of Cluster’s gaseous explosions.

    On the second disc, Haino continues the hurdy gurdy drone fest atmosphere that first appeared on his PSF album The 21st Century Hard-y Guide-y Man back in 1995. Providing some really pleasant counterpoint to the chaos of disc one, the ebb and flow of the sound fabric here is, surprisingly, occasionally halted and replaced with knocks upon the instrument’s body and a few choice string plucks. This novel stop ‘n’ go action is the exception, though, as the shrill, raspy string fluctuations and pillow hoverings on cloud nine meshed with Haino’s gently cooing vocals continue unabated for most of the track’s duration. This release comes packaged in an ultra-nice, three-panel accordian foldout letterpress cover with a photo of Haino manhandling the instruments on the front, plus English and Japanese notes inside. Oh, and it sold out pretty soon after release, too, so happy eBaying!

    Label: aRCHIVE + Important Catalog Number: aRCHIVE 14/15 + imprec074 Format: CD Packaging: Three-panel accordian foldout Tracks: 2 Total Time: Disc 1: 54:27, Disc 2: 46:55 Country: United States Released: 2005 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, PSF, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino – Global Ancient Atmosphere

    May 22nd, 2008

    Keiji Haino - Golbal Ancient Atmosphere

    Keiji Haino’s first solo drum kit album. Review coming later.

    Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFD-8021 Format: CD Packaging: Mini-LP gatefold Tracks: 9 Total Time: 53:48 Country: Japan Released: 2005 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino – Uchu Ni Karami Tsuiteiru Waga Itami

    May 8th, 2008

    Promoted as Keiji Haino’s first all-electronic album, the title of this CD, Uchu Ni Karami Tsuiteiru Waga Itami, means Tangled Up in the Universe, My Pain in English. Flailing his hands about like an electrocuted spider monkey on coffee and meth, Haino conducts a symphony of aural mayhem that sounds for all the world as if it’s blasting from a rag-tag collection of vintage analog gear. But, surprisingly, it’s not. His wild arm and body movements play themselves out over a couple of modern day theremin-like digital instruments called the air synth and air FX. Although the proceedings often recall the more chaotic moments of old school ’50s electronics alternating with ’80s dark industrial soundscapes, the results are still infused with quite a taste of Haino–despite the lack of his instantly recognizable vocals.

    All sorts of low-pitched drones, eerie slide whistle-like whisps, background twitters, gritty feedback, plaintive drips, corroded Wild West shootouts and blurry sandstorms consort to form a bona fide room-clearing electronic nightmare. And it all comes packed up in yet another one of those mega-nice, mini-LP style gatefold jackets with two photos of Haino playing the instruments in a live setting, plus a booklet with two “lifestyle” shots. Another new avenue opens up for the ever-splintering oeuvre of Keiji Haino. Yay!

    Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFD-8020 Format: CD Packaging: Mini-LP gatefold Tracks: 4 Total Time: 61:24 Country: Japan Released: 2005 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino + Michihiro Sato – Tayutayuto Tadayoitamae Kono Furue

    May 5th, 2008

    After hearing Michihiro Sato’s first PSF CD, Works Of, way back in the mid-’90s, I had always hoped he would one day collaborate with Keiji Haino. In 2004, that day finally arrived when this CD was released. Sato is a virtuoso on the Tsugaru jamisen–a traditional, three-string Japanese instrument–and Haino is, well, nothing but Haino, as always. In this session, Sato furiously plucks away on his instrument’s three Sahara-dry strings, forming an aural bed of ornate intricacy for Haino to overlay his abstract and violent acoustic guitar strums. It’s also pretty nice when Haino’s sloppy brand of improvisation occasionally influences Sato to stray from his traditional style into looser territory. And both players even actually mirror each other’s riffs once in a while, forming a few brief moments of almost conventional-sounding strummery. What this album as a whole amounts to, then, is a mighty tasty acoustic burrito for the ears. Highly recommended for fans of non-electrified yet oddly transporting string pluck ‘n’ torture.

    Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFD-8018 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 7 Total Time: 48:37 Country: Japan Released: 2004 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino + Tatsuya Yoshida + Mitsuru Natsuno + Bus Ratch – Live at Cafe Independants

    May 4th, 2008

    Recorded on Friday, January 23, 2004 at Cafe Independants in Kyoto, Japan. Review coming later.

    Label: Cafe Independants Label Catalog Number: CIL-006 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 8 Total Time: 44:06 Country: Japan Released: 2004 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, PSF, Wikipedia