Sunday, September 6, 2009

Keiji Haino ( 灰野敬二 ) - Beginning And End, Interwoven (1994)

| Avant-Garde | Experimental Rock | Noise Rock |
| Psychedelic Rock |

Keiji Haino must be the most amazing musician from Japan. He explores music like a few musicians have done, being considered one of the most important avant-garde artists nowadays. If you've never listened to Keiji Haino before, think twice. You might feel enlighted by the hand of god, or you can experience a complete nightmare. I'm not joking. Keiji is not a musician who tells you his dreams. He invites you to dream with him instead. I can hardly describe him. If you're here, downloading this cd, you should know what to expect. If you don't, forget everything you know about music. This must be an unique experience. Wheter you like it or not.

This one is a mostly guitar-vocal based album. The second track, "Beginning and end, interwoven", is one of the best. It combines Haino's unique vocals with a distortion wash from his guitar. "Surrounded By You" is a Fushitsusha (Keiji's early psychedelic-noise rock band) like song. A strangely rhythmic guitar combined with vocals of pure Haino-ness. The rest of the album flows in a surrealist way.

But the great point of this album are the tracks 9 and 10. "Even One" has a very delicate guitar with one of his best vocals ever, which stands as one of Keiji's most mellow songs. For an extra-special treat, turn up the volume extremely loud at 6:00 as the vocals almost inaudibly coo while fading out at the end. This is intensely beautiful. “As It Is Now” sounds like a cloud made of guitar distortion. His hovering noise, combined with distant heavenly vocals, seems to provoke feelings that I can't describe with words. It's just stunning.

One of my favourites. Good as a starting-point, and a really worth listening album. But as I said, you must be prepared for this.

Curiosity: This album is the one of the few to feature a Full-color cover (the others are mainly black-white), which shows him standing, looking extremely cool in front of a white-flashed stone wall and orange-lit church in the background.

Catalog: STREAMLINE 1002 (Streamline)
Album overview on Arcane Candy

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