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    Vajra – Ring

    Vajra - Ring

    This 41-minute, one-track affair with your eardrums is broken up into numerous sections, including Toshiaki Ishizuka’s very “snappy” wrecked drumming with Mikami Kan’s soothing yet abrasive vocals strewn over the top; Kan’s folk guitar bed covered with Keiji Haino’s ascending, feedback-drenched, destructo-guitar line (among his most exhilarating and memorable ever) plus Ishizuka’s drums lost somewhere out in pitch dark valleys; a mellow, “jazzy” guitar and drums interlude; Haino and Kan on spare, quirk guitars with occasional wailing vocals plus cymbal washes from Ishizuka; and a quietly staring spell with soft, chanting vocals from Kan and flowing Kayagum guitar work from Haino. The final section—the highlight of the entire disc—finds gentle accompaniment from Ishizuka and Kan with Haino on electric guitar emanating a beautiful keen of late-evening reverb bath. He’s one of an extremely small handful of musicians I’ve ever heard who is a wide-open vent for mysterious, ebbing, universal energies.

    “Ishizuka’s martial power drumming provides the perfect foundation for Haino’s soaring, roaring flights into the infinite abyss, which in turn combine in rare grace and (sub)conscious empathy with Mikami’s improvised vocals. (Mikami sings entirely in his native Tsugaru dialect which is totally incomprehensible to speakers of regular Japanese.) The raw invention and communication here are honestly on a par with anything you care to think of. There’s something very, very special about this group—three masters at the peak of their powers, playing with total commitment, total sensitivity, total passion.”—Alan Cummings

    Ring is an excellent, scattered effort that is definitely well worth your time of day. The cover art is among the best ever on PSF, or anywhere else, for that matter: a close-up of a complete solar eclipse with orange prominences streams out of the hidden, darkened sun into the charcoal blackness of space. An additional far-off sun impossibly shines though the right-hand side.

    Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFD-77 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 1 Total Time: 41:01 Country: Japan Released: 1996 Related Artists: Fushitsusha, Keiji Haino More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia

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