Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aihiyo ( 哀秘謡 ) - Aihiyo (First) (1998)

| Experimental Rock | Noise Rock | Psychedelic Rock |

Aihiyo is a guitar, bass and drums trio fronted by Keiji Haino that played skewed versions of traditional Japanese pop songs back in the late 1990s. Along with the first Fushitsusha Live 2-CD (PSFD-3/4) this is the most “accessible” Keiji Haino music available, yet it’s sufficiently scattered off-center to be of interest to those who enjoy staring at aquariums.

The CD opens with a rapidly jaunting little verse-chorus-verse number that is a very joyful listen—especially coming from Haino. It’s not too often you hear something so peppy coming from this camp. Track two is something of a ballad that starts off with mellower melodies that explode into loud feedback guitar with spare bass and drum accompaniment. Haino busts out the harmonica on the next song—interspersed with his exclusive feedback microphone vocal attacks. There’s no guitar on this one, and it’s still more raw than than your average trailer park. Track four is a very quiet, floating guitar and voice ballad with nary any other accompaniment. The following song is propelled by a looping bassline and steady drum beat; along with an exquisite, trebly, psych-guitar workout from Haino-san. It’s really a rocker and one of his best, most popularly enjoyable tracks anywhere. Track six is more slow, and lurches forward in awkward stutters. The last three songs are fairly mild ballads–with track eight adding keening vocals and sections of rising amplitude—exploding into feedback and agitated vocals at the end. Unfortunately, there are no English lyric translations with this CD. If you’ve never heard Keiji Haino, this is one of the best points of entry.

Catalog: TKCF-77022 (Tokuma Japan Communications)
Album overview on Arcane Candy
On Last.fm

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