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We are very pleased to announce two new recordings by Keiji Haino, focusing on hurdy-gurdy and wave drum. Continuing in the vein of our previous release with Haino (the 66 minute drone So, Black is Myself ) this double CD remains very dark and very ambient for the most part. Each disc features one long piece using one of the two different instruments and each is individually titled. The main title as well as the individual track titles perhaps give the best insight into the mind of this enigmatic performer and the message he is trying to convey. Keiji Haino is easily one of the most exciting live performers of our time, exuding a passion and an intensity rarely matched. He has become well-known as a solo artist, most often working with guitar and vocals, as well as the ring leader of the psychedelic power trio Fushitsusha, not to mention countless other offshoots with the likes of Derek Bailey, Boris, Peter Brotzmann, and Loren MazzaCane Connors.
The two discs come off like the soundtracks to dark rituals; both are incredibly spiritually heavy. The emotion most often displayed here is very dark and sad; a period of mourning occasionally interrupted with moments of rage.
Disc One [hurdy-gurdy] 47:13: Whereto can I cast away this fragrant echo called The End, so that I may summon an awakening from the other side?
This solo piece for hurdy-gurdy is an absolute gem. It is among the most gentle and beautiful pieces of work we have been graced with by His Darkness. At times comparable with elements of the Affection recording that came out PSF in the early nineties and like disc two recalls the work of Nijiumu, another project of Haino. Of course comparisons can also be made with Haino’s two previous efforts for hurdy-gurdy. Mind you, this one is far more subtle than the previous two and includes lots of vocals. At times Haino’s softer vocals remind one of some of Arvo Part’s compositions.
Disc Two [wave drum] 44:18 : I have decided to tear you to pieces Whether you become darkness or light depends on you I wonder, which shall you choose?
This disc starts off really quiet with metallic resonation, slices of treated voice fragments and loops of feedback. It continues with rattling and bursts of vocal shrieks, with periods of absolute silence shattered by jarring belches of sound. It then settles down to some percussion and dark chanting. The outcome is very similar to Haino’s quiet project, Nijiumu.
Haino uses the wave drum to generate electronic drones, which are quite unusual sounding for him, and layers them with vocals. The level of intensity is constantly fluctuating, occasionally becoming quite intense. What works most effectively however, are the stretches of electronic drone that are guaranteed to stick out in anyone’s Keiji Haino collection.
This is certainly one of Keiji Haino’s most psychedelic sounding solo releases, at times reminiscent of early works by Amon Duul’s Psychedelic
Underground and Experimante recordings and at times it recalls some of the work by pioneering psychedelic ensembles from Japan such as Kawabata Mokoto’s Acid Mothers Temple, East Bionic Symphonia and Taj Mahal Travellers.