Keiji Haino and Fushitsusha


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

Lost Aaraaff: Lost Aaraaff , 6/10
Lost Aaraaff: Concert From The Genyasai Festival , 6/10
Ama No Gawa - Milky Way (1973), 7/10
Watashi Dake/ Only Me (1981), 6/10
Affection (1992), 6.5/10
Execration , 6.5/10
Beginning An End Interwoven , 5/10
Tenshi No Gijinka/ Imitator Of Angels , 5/10
I Said, This Is The Son Of Nihilism (1995) , 7/10
21st Century Hard-y Guide-y Man , 6/10
The Third Heart , 5/10
Suite Reverberation , 5/10
So, Black Is myself , 5/10
Nijiumu: Nijiumu , 6/10
Nijiumu: Era Of Sad Wings , 6.5/10
Fushitsusha: Live I (1989), 7.5/10
Fushitsusha: Live I (1989), 7.5/10
Live In The First Year Of Heisei (1990), 6.5/10
Fushitsusha: Fushitsusha , 7/10
Fushitsusha: Allegorical Misunderstanding , 6/10
Fushitsusha: Pathetique/ Hisou , 6/10
Fushitsusha: The Caution Appears , 6/10
Fushitsusha: Purple Trap , 6/10
Fushitsusha: Wound , 6/10
Fushitsusha: A Death Never To Be Complete , 6/10
Fushitsusha: The Time Is Nigh , 6/10
Fushitsusha: Gold Blood , 6/10
Fushitsusha: The Wisdom Prepared (1998), 6.5/10
Fushitsusha: Withdrawe , 6/10
Fushitsusha: A Little Longer Thus , 6/10
Fushitsusha: I Saw It (2000), 6/10
Fushitsusha: Origin's Hesitation , 5/10
Vajra: Tusgaru , 6/10
Vajra: Ring , 6/10
Vajra: Sichisiki , 5/10
Vajra: Sravaka , 6/10
Vajra: Mandala Cat Last , 6/10
The Book Of Eternity Set Aflame (1995) , 6/10
Keeping On Breathing (1997) , 6/10
Even Now Still I Think (1998) , 6/10
Forest Of Spirits , 5/10
Saying I Love You , 5/10
A Challenge To Fate , 5/10
Purple Trap , 6/10
Abandon All Words , 7/10
Black Implication Flooding , 5/10
Mazu Wa Iro O Nakuso Ka , 6/10
C'est Parfait (2003), 7/10
Hikari Yami Uchitokeaishi Kono Hibiki (2003), 6/10
Next Let's Try Changing The Shape (2004), 5/10
Black Blues (2004), 5/10
Uchu Ni Karamitsuiteru (2005), 5/10
Global Ancient Atmosphere (2005), 4/10
New Rap (2006), 6/10
Animamima (2006), 6/10
Yaranai Ga Dekinai Ni Natte Yuku (2006), 6.5/10
Mamono (2006), 6.5/10
Links:

Lost Aaraaff's Lost Aaraaff (1971) was devoted to three improvised acid jams. Their young guitarist, Keiji Haino penned the eastern mass Ama No Gawa - Milky Way (1973). Then, inspired by free-jazz master Takayanagi Masayuki, Haino formed Fushitsusha in 1978 to play improvised psychedelic jams. Their beginnings are documented on 1978 (PSF, 2003), which collects two 1978 live tracks. Starting with Live I (1989), 100 minutes of noise that ranked among the masterpieces of the psychedelic jam of all times, a bacchanal that vomited debris of Blue Cheer, MC5, Iron Butterfly, free-jazz, Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix, this prolific trio (originally a quartet) released monumental and dissolute works that seemed to know no limits. Fushitsusha (1991) and Hisou - Pathetique (1994) were among the follow-ups, but later releases such as The Wisdom Prepared (1998) and I Saw It (2000) were equally torrential. In the meantime, Haino was also busy with Nijiumu and Vajra. His solo albums included the galactic suites Affection (1992) and Execration (1993), and his boldest experiment, I Said This Is The Son Of Nihilism (1995). As the influences of LaMonte Young and Brian Eno increased, Haino arrived at Abandon All Words At A Stroke So That Prayer Can Come Spilling Out (2001), which contains a hypnotic piece for hurdy-gurdy and treated voice, and an industrial collage of metallic noises, distortions and ghostly vocals.
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Il chitarrista giapponese Keiji Haino, ispirandosi al grande e misconosciuto Takayanagi Masayuki degli anni '70, ha dato prove di grande rilievo nel campo della musica rock d'avanguardia. Alcuni suoi dischi si ispirano alla grande tradizione psichedelica, altri si ispirano ai Popol Vuh e a Tim Buckley, altri ancora si ispirano al minimalismo di LaMonte Young. Purtroppo Haino ha il difetto di registrare qualunque cosa gli passi per la mente, e senza rifletterci su. Il risultato e` una valanga di musica in gran parte inascoltabile o semplicemente mal registrata. Avesse condensato le sue intuizioni in un disco doppio, ne sarebbe venuto fuori uno dei capolavori della musica del Novecento. Cosi` com'e`, invece, la sua discografia e` quasi tutta da buttare.

Haino era attivo fin dai primi anni '70 nel mondo del rock psichedelico con il gruppo Lost Aaraaff. L'album Lost Aaraaff (PSF, 1971) contiene tre brani improvvisati per un totale di oltre un'ora di musica. Un concerto del 1971, Concert From The Genyasai Festival (Purple Trap, 1995), due tracce per un'ora di musica, vedra` la luce soltanto un quarto di secolo piu` tardi.

La carriera solista di Keiji Haino ha inizio con Watashi Dake/ Only Me (Pinakotheca, 1981) (PSF, 1983), un disco di grande forza inventiva anche se limitato a voce e chitarra. La registrazione di un concerto dal vivo del 1973 vedra` la luce anni dopo su Ama No Gawa - Milky Way (Mom'n'Dad, 1993) e rimane uno dei suoi capolavori, una furibonda "messa" orientaleggiante alla Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Blueprint For The Shimmering Quivers Of The Deep Purple Ultraviolet Tuning Fork, off Free Rock (PSF, 2002), is a 1982 live improvisation with Los Angeles' noise trio Doo-Dooettes and guitarist Rick Potts.

Fushitsusha e` il progetto "psichedelico" di Haino, che qui tenta di trasferire i suoi esperimenti nel formato del trio rock. Al suo fianco sono Yasushi Ozawa (basso), Maki Miura (chitarra), e Jun "Akui" Kosugi (batteria). Il primo album fu un monumentale doppio, Live I (PSF, 1989), otto tracce per cento minuti di musica, che rimane fra i capolavori della jam psichedelica di tutti i tempi, un baccanale di Blue Cheer, MC5 e Iron Butterfly, free jazz e Jimi Hendrix (in particolare la lunga Here in stile Dark Star dei Grateful Dead o 1983 di Jimi Hendrix). La chitarra mostruosa di Haino domina l'intensita` wagneriana di queste composizioni.

Il doppio dal vivo Fushitsusha (PSF 15/16, 1991) non fu da meno: tredici tracce per 150 minuti di musica. La formazione e` scesa a un trio: Haino, Ozawa (basso) e Jun Kosugi (batteria). A renderli celebri fu invece un'opera tutto sommato minore, Allegorical Misunderstanding (Avant, 1993), prodotta da John Zorn e piu` compromessa con il jazz. Molto piu` rock sara` Pathetique (PSF, 1994), noto anche come Hisou, contenente quattro improvvisazioni dal vivo, per un totale di un'ora e un quarto, nello stile del Neil Young piu` nevrotico ed elettrico. L'album strumentale The Caution Appears (Les Disques du Soleil, 1995) mise in primo piano il chitarrismo demoniaco del leader. I brani sono insolitamente brevi. Un altro doppio dal vivo, Purple Trap (Blast First, 1995), noto anche come The Wound (Blast First, 1996), otto tracce per quasi cento minuti.

L'epopea continua imperterrita con A Death Never To Be Complete (Tokuma, 1997), sei tracce per settanta minuti; e The Time Is Nigh (Tokuma, 1997), quattro tracce per 75 minuti.

Altri due album testimoniano delle loro spettacolari esibizioni dal vivo: Gold Blood (Charnel Music, 1998), quattro tracce per 72 minuti, registrato a San Francisco, e Withdrawe (Les Disques Victo, 1998), otto tracce per 65 minuti, in Canada.

Con un nuovo batterista, Ikuro Takahashi, viene registrato A Little Longer Thus (Tokuma, 1998), ben nove tracce per soli 61 minuti, una rarita` per questo gruppo. Il trio si sublima su The Wisdom Prepared (Tokuma, 1998): il disco contiene una sola traccia di 75 minuti. Entrambi i dischi rappresentano capitoli importanti per Haino.

Su Gold Blood (Charnel, 1998), dal vivo a San Francisco, Haino finisce per suonare un po' come Helios Creed, salvo che il barrage cacofonico e` alquanto piu` violento. Ma, come nel caso di Creed, ogni brano e` un estenuante cerimoniale di purificazione sonora, al termine del quale non sembra piu` esserci nulla da suonare. E` esemplare come, in The Halation, Haino cava un lugubre tema della chitarra iper-distorta dal caos frenetico di batteria, come dilata e frattura il riff pachidermico di Cipher (ventiquattro minuti) fino a farlo diventare un semplice ronzio. Hazama (sedici minuti) vive di una suspence prolungata metodicamente, di un'angosciosa attesa della forma, un'attesa fatta di sibili sinistri e di dissonanze da fantasma. C'e` ordine in questo disordine estremo, c'e` una personalita` dietro la totale pazzia.

Nel frattempo sono state pubblicate diverse collaborazioni, dai due volumi di Live In The First Year Of Heisei (PSF, 1990), che e` una delle sue opere piu` romantiche, a Gerry Miles With Alan Licht And Haino Keiji (Atavistic, 1997) con Alan Licht. Haino registrera` poi con Derek Bailey, Barre Phillips, Loren Maccacane Connors e Peter Brotzman.

Nijiumu e` il progetto gotico di Haino. Nijiumu (PSF, 1990) e soprattutto Era Of Sad Wings (PSF, 1993) sono meglio arrangiati e vertono piu` sulle atmosfere che sulla potenza esecutiva. La polifonia sfiora le opere new age di Deuter e le messe dei Popol Vuh, ma l'effetto e` piu` cacofonico che rilassante.

Vajra e` un altro progetto. Il trio questa volta e` composto da Keiji Haino, Toshiaki Ishizuka (batteria), veteran folksinger Kan Mikami (chitarra e canto) e la musica e` un noise/folk/punk-rock. Tusgaru (PSF, 1995) contiene soltanto una composizione di mezz'ora. Ring (PSF, 1996) contiene soltanto una composizione di 40 minuti, la piu` "percussiva" della sua carriera. Sichisiki (PSF, 1997) contiene invece 9 tracce per un totale di appena 35 minuti. Sravaka (PSF, 1998) contiene 7 tracce per un totale di appena 35 minuti e rappresenta uno dei suoi lavori piu` accessibili, quasi blues nel suo formato e nel suo romanticismo. Mandala Cat Last (PSF, 2002) features some of their most cohesive and accessible improvisations (The Sky Looks Green To Me, Monkeys Don't Pray).

Vajra's dummer Toshiaki Ishizuka released solo ambient albums for an "orchestra" of tonal percussion instruments such as In The Night (1999) and Drum Drama (2006), besides collaborations with Kan Mikami such as Shinshi No Yuutsu (2001) and Daikanjyo (2002).

Intanto Haino ha dato alle stampe lavori sempre piu` agguerriti. Affection (PSF, 1992) e` un lungo brano siderale. Execration (Forced Exposure, 1993) e` un'altra suite (questa volta in quattro movimenti) dall'impatto devastante. Il minuscolo esperimento di Guitar Works (Table of the Elements, 1994), Beginning An End Interwoven (Streamline, 1994), con la commossa As It Is Now e un generale tono religioso-psichedelico, Tenshi No Gijinka/ Imitator Of Angels (Tzadik, 1995) presentano Haino nei panni dello sperimentatore ostico, ma non indulge negli esperimenti (tredici tracce per 73 minuti), che rimangono frammenti incompiuti.

I Said, This Is The Son Of Nihilism (Table of the Elements, 1995) contiene invece una sola traccia per un'ora di musica, e costituisce una delle sue opere piu` riuscite, e 21st Century Hard-y Guide-y Man (PSF, 1995), quattro tracce per 73 minuti, raccoglie i suoi primi esperimenti all'organetto hurdy-gurdy, che rimandano alla musica statica di LaMonte Young.

The Third Heart (Purple Trap, 1995) torna al formato della composizione breve.

Suite Reverberation (Purple Trap, 1995) contiene quattro lunghe suite-collage che sembrano datare dai primordi della carriera di Haino. So Black Is Myself (Alien8 Recordings, 1997) e` un lungo drone di 67 minuti.

Nel 1995 escono un'infinita` di dischi, fra cui anche Forest Of Spirits (Purple Trap, 1995), contenente materiale degli anni '70, e Saying I Love You (Blast First, 1995).

The Book Of Eternity Set Aflame (Forced Exposure, 1995) riassume la sua filosofia musicale con (fra l'altro) un pezzo per chitarra solista e un pezzo per droni e voce in stile LaMonte Young.

A Challenge To Fate (Disques Du Soleil, 1995) contiene, fra l'altro, tre brani a cappella e un salmo finale alla Popol Vuh (Affection).

Keeping On Breathing (Tokuma, 1997) e` una raccolta di canzoni psichedelicamente deteriorate ma teneramente disperate, un po' come se Tim Buckley si fosse fatto accompagnare dai Red Crayola (My Shadow, Waiting, Here). Gli fanno seguito Sruthi Box (Tokuma, 1997) e Even Now Still I Think (Tokuma, 1998), una composizione di 72 minuti per organetto hurdy-gurdy.

An Unclear Trial (Avant, 1998) e` il suo album jazz, uno dei piu` ordinati della sua carriera, che si sublima nella mezz'ora di Did I Imagine That.

E` poi la volta di Purple Trap (Tzadik, 1999), un supergruppo formato con Bill Laswell e Rashid Ali.

Grande genio del rumore (psichedelico e non), Haino e` uno di quei poeti a braccio che riesce sempre e comunque a declamare versi memorabili.

Fushitsusha drummer Hiroyuki Usui released a pioneering work of acid folk and blues, Holy Letters (Holy Castle, 1992 - VHF, 2004), credited to L, replete with Tibetan monks.

Fushitsusha's I Saw It (Paratactile, 2000) is a double-CD, their last as a trio, containing the monumental I Saw It and Staring At a Point in Time.

Aihiyo's is Haino's cover project, although the tracks on Aihiyo (1998) and Live (PSF, 2000) are wildly improvised.

With drummer Shoji Hano, Haino has recorded Taihei Nippon (1991) and The Strange Face (Ultra Hard Gel, 2000).

Reduced to a duo of Haino and bassist Ozawa, Fushitsusha released Origin's Hesitation (PSF, 2001). Haino drums and screams rather than playing guitar, and this is not good news.

Keiji Haino's two-disc Abandon All Words At A Stroke So That Prayer Can Come Spilling Out (Alien 8, 2001) is one of Haino's masterpieces, at least in the more ambient and less psychedelic mode of his art. The first disc contains a 47-minute soothing piece for hurdy-gurdy and treated voice titled Whereto Can I Cast Away This Fragrant Echo Called The End (reminiscent of Tony Conrad's pieces for violin). On the other hand, the 44-minute I Have Decided To Tear You To Pieces for wave drum is an industrial collage of metallic noises, distortions and ghostly voices

Haino is a little wasted on Black Implication Flooding (Inoxia, 2001), a 1998 collaboration with the ensemble Boris (Haino on wave drum, electronic sruthibox, ethnic oboe, guitar, vocals) The album meanders without finding the strength of either participant.

Ruins' drummer Tatsuya Yoshida and Fushitsusha's guitarist Keiji Haino have recorded together Knead (PSF, 2002), eight (untitled) psychedelic jams that also feature Ruins' bassist Hisashi Sasaki, and Until Water Grasps Flame (Noise Asia, 2002). This Melting Happiness (Fractal, 2003) documents a Knead live performance of 2001. Another live Knead performance, this time with bassist Mitsuru Natsuno and Japanese turntablist duo Bus Ratch, is documented on Live at Cafe Independants (2004). Manjoicchi Wa Muko (PSF, 2005) Sanhedolin was a collaboration between the Ruins and Keiji Haino.

Mazu Wa Iro O Nakuso Ka - First Let's Remove the Color (PSF, 2003) is a humble, bluesy home recording by Haino solo, mainly taken up by the 30-minute How Did You Know.

C'est Parfait (Turtles' Dream, 2003) contains only one 45-minute live track for rhythm box and vocals Needless to say, the drum machine is not really used for "rhythmic" purposes. Nor are the vocals used for singing. Sometimes the machine punctuates the delirios stream of vocals, sometimes it is the vocals that punctuate the machine's stream of consciousness. The final crescendo of deafening noise is one of Haino's most imposing moments, truly Wagnerian in intensity and vigor.

Hikari Yami Uchitokeaishi Kono Hibiki/ Light And Darkness Melting Created This Sound (PSF, 2003) offers all-instrumental live improvisations for acoustic guitar.

Fushitsusha's Eien No Ho Ga, Saki Ni Te O Dashita No Sa/ It was Eternity that Reached out First (2003) was originally recorded in 1978.

Next Let's Try Changing The Shape (Swordfish, 2004) returns Haino's solo project to the fury of Fushitsusha, but the overall inspiration is lacking, and the lengthy Look Darkness sounds overstretched.

Tayutayuto Tadayoitamae Kono Furue (PSF, 2004) is an acoustic collaboration with Michihiro Sato on "tsugaru jamisen", possibly the most "Japanese" album of Haino's career. (Haino had already collaborated in 1996 to an album by a master of that instrument, Chisato Yamada, but the album, Fushigi Na Sekai was credited only to Yamada).

The double-disc Black Blues (Disques du Soleil, 2004) was Haino's tribute to the blues. It comes in two versions of Japanese-interpreted Afro-American desperation. One disc is acoustic, subdued, introverted The other disc is electric, loud, extroverted. Both are played and sung by Haino alone. Both contain the same six covers. The one that stands out is the 15-minute acoustic version of Blind Lemon Jefferson's See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.

Uchu Ni Karamitsuiteru (PSF, 2005) is Haino's first all-electronic album.

Appropriately, it was followed by Global Ancient Atmosphere (PSF, 2005), an album of solo drumming.

Reveal'd To None As Yet - An Expedience To Utterly Vanish Consciousness While Still Alive (Important, 2006) is a double-CD that documents live performances with Haino on keyboards, turntables and voice and (disc 2) hurdy gurdy producing all sorts of pagan droning.

New Rap (Tzadik, 2006) was a set of improvised duets with Ruins drummer's Tatsuya Yoshida, and its title refers to the fact that Haino was not only playing the guitar but also screaming.

The double-CD Animamima (Archive, 2006) is a collaboration with the twenty-piece sitar orchestra Sitaar Tah that delivers 100 minutes of uber-drones.

Yaranai Ga Dekinai Ni Natte Yuku (PSF, 2006) is finally a tour de force of solo (overdubbed) guitar (and vocals) that goes overboard in all directions, weaving textures that are manic nightmares.

Mamono (Blossoming Noise, 2006) is a collaboration with Zeni Geva's KK Null that yielded demented industrial soundscapes.

Hauenfiomiume (Magaibutsu, 2008) and Uhrfasudhasdd (Tzadik, 2009) collect more improvised duets with Ruins drummer's Tatsuya Yoshida.

Kikuri's Pulverized Purple (Victo, 2008) documented a collaboration between Merzbow's Masami Akita and Keiji Haino.

Sanhedolin (PSF, 2005) was the title of both an album and a supergroup formed by guitarist Keiji Haino of Fushitsusha, drummer Tatsuya Yoshida of Ruins and bassist Mitsuru Nasuno of Altered States. Its follow-up was titled and credited to a new entity, Sanhedrin (Breathing Bass, 2009).

Electronics (3) (Zeitkratzer, 2009) was a live collaboration with Zeitkratzer.

Seijaku, a trio with bassist Nasuno Mitsuru and drummer Ichiraku Yoshimitsu, released You Should Prepare To Survive Through Even Anything Happens (2010) and Mail From Fushitsusha (2011)

Haino's Un Autre Chemin Vers L'Ultime (2011) consists of a cappella vocals recorded in a church and a cave.

Tima Formosa (2010), Imikuzushi (2012), Now While It's Still Warm Let Us Pour In All The Mystery (Black Truffle, 2013) and Only Wanting To Melt Beautifully Away Is It A Lack Of Contentment That Stirs Affection For Those Things Said To Be As Of Yet Unseen (Black Truffle, 2014) and Tea Time For Those Determined To Completely Exhaust Every Bit of This Body They've Been Given (Black Truffle, 2014) document jams by Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi.

Pan Sonic and Keiji Haino collaborated on Synergy Between Mercy & Self-Annhiliation Overturned (Blast First Petite, 2010).

Haino formed the improvisational power-trio Seijaku with bassist Nasuno Mitsuru (Altered States, Korekoyjin) and drummer Ichiraku Yoshimitsu (Acid Mothers Temple). Their Mail From Fushitsusha (Doubtmusic, 2010) and You Should Prepare To Survive Through Even Anything Happens (Doubtmusic, 2010) were deconstructing tributes to blues music.

Haino, Stephen O'Malley (bass) and Oren Ambarchi (drums) formed Nazoranai documented on the live Nazoranai (Ideologic, 2012) and on The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once Has it Arrived Already...? (Ideologic Organ Soma, 2014)

Fushitsusha returned with Hikari To Nazukeyo (Heartfast, 2012) and Mabushii Itazura Na Inori (Heartfast, 2012), featuring Mitsura Nasuno on bass and Ikuro Takahashi on drums, the first an unusually restrained set of seven pieces that by their standards are very brief, the latter a more virulent (and much better) set that includes two lengthy and noisy jams.

A Document Film Of Keiji Haino (2012) contains three lengthy pieces, including a solo.

Fushitsusha's live triple-disc Nothing Changes No One Can Change Anything, I Am Ever-Changing Only You Can Change Yourself (april 1996) featured saxophonist Peter Brotzmann.

Two City Blues (november 2010 - Trost, 2015) documents sessions by Keigi Haino (guitar, shamisen and vocals), Peter Broetzmann (tenor and alto saxes, clarinet and tarogato), and Jim O'Rourke (guitar).

Seijaku, the trio of guitarist Keiji Haino, bassist Mitsuru Nasuno and drummer Yoshimitsu Ichiraku, released the double-discs Last Live and After Seijaku (2015).

An Untroublesome Defencelessness (april 2015 - Rare Noise, 2016) documents Merzbow (electronics), Keiji Haino (guitar, electronics) and Balazs Pandi (drums) in two lengthy improvisations

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