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    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


    Keiji Haino – Black Blues

    April 28th, 2008

    Keiji Haino - Black Blues

    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


    Keiji Haino – Next, Let’s Try Changing the Shape

    March 17th, 2008

    Keiji Haino - Next, Let’s Try Changing the Shape

    Keiji Haino vinyl alert! This is the first platter o’ black wax from this camp in eight years, since the Vol. 2 LP with Loren Mazzacane Connors was released back in 1997. Picking up where To Start With, Let’s Remove the Color! left off, Next, Let’s Try Changing the Shape offers up an additional 70 minutes of lost-in-a-nocturnal-bog sound in the form of four long sides of off-kilter, guitar strum jabs and buried, intoning vocals–all cloaked in the most gigantic midnight Grand Canyon reverb and layered delay imaginable. And is that actually an overdubbed lead guitar I hear in the last track? The world may never know! If so, that may be a first for Keiji Haino. Limited to a mere 500 copies on vinyl, Next, Let’s Try Changing the Shape comes sheathed in an elegant, black, single LP sleeve on thin stock with a portrait of Haino on the front. Bee-you-ta-full!

    Label: Swordfish Catalog Number: SFKH 001/2, SFKH 001CD Format: 2-LP, CD Packaging: Thin single LP jacket, jewel case Tracks: 2-LP: 7, CD: 6 Total Time: 2-LP: 70:32, CD: 70:32 Country: England Released: 2-LP: 2005, CD: 2004 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, PSF, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino – Light, Darkness, Suddenly Melted Together, This Vibration

    March 16th, 2008

    Keiji Haino - Light, Darkness

    This 70-minute CD contains three long tracks of Keiji Haino going solo on the acoustic guitar with nary a melody or a vocal chord in sight. We’re talking straight-up free improvisation here, people! Featuring sections of almost meditative quiet that are rudely interrupted by dry, dissonant juts and jabs–plus all kinds of abstract, complex picking sprinkled all over the place–the playing on this album is obviously influenced by free improv pioneer Derek Bailey without sounding like an outright bite. Although the music and crystal clear recording are nice, 70 minutes of solo acoustic guitar playing of any kind is guaranteed to test just about anyone’s patience–even mine. But, then again, maybe you’re cut from a different cloth. The cover sports three photos of the artist manhandling the instrument down in the basement. Also included is a nice little catalog with a short bio (written in Japanese only, unfortunately) and a scan of every Keiji Haino-related CD released on PSF thus far. Sweet stuff.

    Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFD-8017 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 3 Total Time: 70:33 Country: Japan Released: 2003 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino – Koko

    March 16th, 2008

    Keiji Haino - Koko

    Koko is a rare, giveaway promo disc that was only available to those who mailordered other Keiji Haino CDs directly from PSF between December 24, 2003 and January 31, 2004. Produced in a limited-edition of 300, it’s one of the rarest official Haino releases. Happy eBaying! The one-track, half-hour program presents a seemingly never-ending puff of gentle, shimmering electric guitar and delicate, keening vocals–both completely soaked in reverb and delay–to supremely pleasant effect. And the huge, sustained, ball-of-clarity climax at the end really brings it on home. The nearly bare package boasts only one photo of an axe-wielding Haino and next to no information. Simply put, Koko is pretty much perfect, all around.

    Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFD-00 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 1 Total Time: 31:26 Country: Japan Released: 2003 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia


    Keiji Haino – C’est Parfait

    March 16th, 2008

    Keiji Haino - C’est Parfait

    Although the liner notes reveal that this is a live recording “with vocals and rhythm machine,” it totally sounds overdubbed. Released by French label Turtles’ Dream in 2002, the entirety of C’est Parfait is comprised of one long 45-minute track full of numerous Hainos cooing, moaning and screaming simultaneously, accompanied by scattered hailstorms of “drums” and “percussion” heavily effected with echo, delay, reverb and other manipulations, and no normal rhythm. I still think it’s a little strange to hear so many layers of Haino all raging at once. While overdubs are a rarity in his early discography, it seems like he’s been practicing quite a bit more aural lamination in a live setting with effects units in recent years. No matter what apparoach he uses, though, the unmistakable and unique Haino aura remains.

    So, what does it sound like? This album alternates quite effortlessly between room-clearing shrieks and explosive, spluttering percussive onslaughts to mist-cloaked areas of spooky quietude. Basically, it’s another great big barrage of invigorating eardrum workout from the ever-uncompromising black-clad elf. Lastly, there’s an extended rant in the liner notes about how Haino is actually more deserving of acclaim as a singer and multi-instrumentalist rather than a guitar hero. I’ve always thought of him as all three–and so much more.

    Label: Turtles Dream Catalog Number: TDCD-01 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 1 Total Time: 44:41 Country: France Released: 2003 Related Artists: Aihiyo, Fushitsusha, Lost Aaraaff, Nijiumu, Sanhedolin, Vajra More: Forced Exposure, Poison Pie, PSF, Wikipedia


    Doo-Dooettes + Keiji Haino + Rick Potts – Free Rock

    March 16th, 2008

    Doo-Dooettes + Keiji Haino + Rick Potts - Free Rock

    Free Rock is a 2001 CD issue of a recently discovered, previously unreleased, archive recording dating from two decades earlier–August 3, 1982, to be exact–during Keiji Haino’s first visit to the Unites States. For this session, Tokyo’s all black clothes-wearin’ sunglassed man found himself sharing the stereo microphone in a sweltering garage with Los Angeles Free Music Society stalwarts the Doo-Dooettes–featuring Tom Recchion on mock cello and strungaphone, Fredrik Nilsen on bass and Dennis Duck on drums–and Rick Potts of Human Hands fame. The disc blasts out a solid 35 minutes of fantastic, vivid free skronk and slop rock that never fails to kick up a hell of a ruckus! Simultaneously, it sheds some much welcome light on one of Keiji Haino’s least documented periods. Another obscure piece of the puzzle is now in place. “A beautiful fusion of free jazz, modern music and psychedelia.”–PSF. Includes two beautiful fold-out booklets of notes and drawings. (The cubist portrait on the front is especially nice.) Highly reccomended!

    Label: PSF Catalog Number: PSFD-131 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 1 Total Time: 34:54 Country: Japan Released: 2002 Related Artists: Fushitsusha More: Forced Exposure, Official, Poison Pie, Wikipedia