魂の純愛 (Soul's True Love) by 灰野敬二 [Keiji Haino] - RYM/Sonemic (2023)

Lost Aaraaff - Concert From the Genyasai Festival

Lost Aaraaff was Haino’s free jazz band from his early days. This particular performance is from 1971. Keiji was 19 then. 19!
Before I get into the music description I would like to point out 2 things. First of all I listened to the Lost Aaraaff studio release and it is tame in comparison. Haino’s maximum potential is in his live performance energy. While the studio release sounded relatively plain (regardless of how good and ferocious it was), this thing right here is what Lost Aaraaff were meant to sound like.

That leads me to my second observation. I cannot stress enough how important Antonin Artaud’s influence was in Haino’s early beginnings. He builds the performance like a play rather than a regular live gig and you can hear the elements of that. This live performance in particular boasts some details that made me think of Artaud’s Theater Of Cruelty.

The first piece on this album titled “Hell of Screams” is 30 minutes long. It starts off with a piercing scream and drum/piano power exchange. Then some firecrackers go off on the stage. This is truly some crazy theatrics that I did not expect at all. Based off the response the crowd is loving this. We get several show offs from the drummer and the pianist while Haino presents the world his vocal range. He does some singing five minutes in and it reminded me off yet another early Haino influence, Jim Morrison. It’s really crazy how you can trace Haino’s background throughout the entirety of this single recording. Further on Haino uses several techniques to give his voice a sense of space with different intensity of screams and, maybe, some vocal effects. Not too sure on the last one. Moving on, Haino gets his sax game on with a small solo that is supported by very slow paced drum hits and a very disturbing piano melody in the back. Now I do not know what Haino is saying on this record but all of it just sounds so violent and menacing! His roars and moans sound evil. I think the vocal intensity that he brings up in these performance is the best I have heard from him yet and I’ve heard a lot. While the drums and the piano always stay in the same place relative to the center stage of this performance, Haino seems to be all over the place. I want to reemphasize how awesome this is. The best presentation of his vocals on here starts 18:58 min in. It is truly breathtaking. Who needs a guitar when you have a voice like that.

Apparently, he brings one in either way. Or at least I assume so. The second piece “The Lost Judgement” is inferior in the sound recording quality but I cannot say the same about the content. First of all the keyboardist switches to Manzarek-like organ (Doors again!). This is turning into a very grotesque scene. Haino is shouting his lungs out but it’s words this time. The drummer doesn’t try to steal the show from the Haino-keyboardist exchange, letting them bring the demons to the stage. Around 5:50 they succeed. It is grotesque in every sense of the word. Goddamn. Haino proceeds to whip out the reeds once again and plays us some tune that sounds very Middle Eastern with shaman-like drumming to support him. There is some whistle present here of unknown nature too. It is a Balinese dance in music form. The keyboardist proceeds to make spooky tones while everything quiet up until 15:10 where Haino breaks loose. The track then proceeds to juice out all the powers from the musicians on stage. It almost sounds like Faust’s self-titled album but without the conventional leashes on. Impressive stuff. It ends with a surprisingly catchy outro section that is rather coherent and sounds welcoming after all the crazy shit that happened prior. Haino breathes out. Lets out the last scream. The curtains fall. The end.

I don’t think this is the best Haino release ever, but I don’t think any release I have heard so far catches Haino’s essential core to this extent.

This is a truly breathtaking set of 2 performances that I will listen to again and again. I recommend this if you are already familiar with Haino to an extent. Definitely not an entry-level release. I found it to be fascinating.


Keiji Haino - Suite Reverberation: The Third Heart

The first track on the second compilation disc titled “The Seventh Heart Projected” is an extremely lo-fi harmonica solo with some distant mumbling in the back. This reminded me off Gerogerigegege’s Endless Humiliation. It’s really short though so it doesn’t lose the sense of mystique by the end of 1:38 min.

“Blushes Of The Holy Beast” continues off in the same lo-fi atmosphere the opener built but it is all based on Haino playing some sort of organ/harmonica/? while screeching like a cat. I am not too sure if these screeches are vocal-generated or something else. It sounds haunted though. In a sense, it is really close to Watashi Dake in terms of the atmosphere. Disturbing.

“Dimming, The Time And Scent Where Once You Were” features Haino’s a mandolin and a sax. It’s fairly simple and doesn’t really go anywhere interesting. It wonders around in circles but it’s enjoyable considering the short length.

“From Whence This Melancholy Word” is 51 seconds of Haino shrieking. Expressive and raw. No instruments, just the vocal chords tearing. It sounds like an owl.

In “Glittered Solitude Fades From Memory” Haino jumps from a violin to a mandolin to some reeds? I don’t know, it sounds like someone took a saxophone and twisted it several times. This track is basically 12:34 minutes of Haino tearing the instruments a new asshole. Especially the violin. He makes the violin sound like a diesel engine. I am confused as to what he is really doing but it makes me feel uncomfortable.

Next is “When Glittered Solitude Still Preserved The Connectedness”. Ummm….I am not too sure what happens here either. It sounds like a guitar is playing. The violin that was present in the first part somehow was able to play glitch while there is a generator working in the background (???). I am thoroughly confused. He also separates the generator and the violin into different sound channels, making it slightly easier to comprehend what’s going on. Not like that is of any help.

“Even Now My Being Attempts To Vanish” is a short track with a guitar drone. It doesn’t change much but it’s definitely interesting.
The following “Are You The One The One Who Can Console Skepticism Stained This Deep” is a short 2 flute composition. It works really well with the vacuum-like lo-fi production on this album. It is followed by another short duet.

The Remnants Of A Tribe Called ''Tenderness Overflowed” is a Derek Bailey tribute for 2 acoustic guitars. Once again the mix separates them into 2 different channels. It is a pleasant tune, definitely corresponds with the theme of the title. I’m enjoying the fact that a lot of these tracks are very short and straight to the point.

“When I Visited My Home, The Land Where A Gray Sun Rises” is more violin nazoranai as Haino calls it. It’s a free form composition with a slightly more traditional sound to it in comparison to the previous violin efforts on this album. It is abrupt at times, but still very easy on the ear.

“The Secret Pact Between Beauty-Awareness And The Gods Of The Underworld” is the second longest track on here, clocking at 10:47 minutes. It seems like it is more guitar work, maybe even prepared guitar. It features a lot of percussive elements of unknown to me nature. It’s probably the most boring track on the entire disc even though I do appreciate the sound explorations.

The last track “Further, Further Into The Twilight” is a percussive dark ambient-like track in a similar vein of Tenshi Gijinka. Short and to the point. Makes sense as an ending track.

This was good but definitely a step-down from Lost Aaraaff’s release. It featured some really confusing moments that are my definite highlight of the record. Inspiring in a way, but I feel like Haino has better efforts in this area of musical endeavor. 10/10 track titles though Keiji.


Keiji Haino - Suite Reverberation: Forest of Spirits

I apologize if you’re expecting a legitimate review of the musical aspects presented on this album by Haino. The truth is I have no idea what he did and how he did it. If you sit down and listen to this I guarantee you will have no idea as well.

This is a suite reverberation. Of what I have no idea. My guess it’s Haino’s vocals in a huge Ligeti-like choir with additional instrument orchestrations. Might be the cries of all the lost souls on Earth for all I know. I really have no idea how to approach this.Let me try to explain how I felt throughout this thing. At first I felt distressed because something just sounds off. Then I just felt empty and let it take over. How does he defeat me every time? I have no idea.

The suite’s first movement sounds like a field recording of a haunted forest for me. The sounds are animalistic and just plain wrong. Somewhere around the end of the second movement I think I heard a hurdy gurdy drone. The third movement starts off with what must be some sort of horn-based instrument. Sounds like a dying bird. It eventually dies and then guess what?

Harsh noise for 26 minutes. The texture on this track is hidden behind layers of mud. Around 8 min mark it starts sounding like a bulldozer. It goes through several pattern changes. They are all really great even though it’s just so murky you can hardly look through the static noise. I will make a blind guess that this is guitar feedback, heavily modulated. I really would like to know the date on this recording because of how lo-fi it sounds. I listened to Milky Way a couple of weeks back and it didn’t make that much impression on me. Not as much this one. It ends in a very unexpected way and I still have no idea what to make off all this. I listened to pieces and fragments in details afterwards and it still makes little sense. My gut is telling me that I stumbled on something unbelievably good so I’ll follow it on that.

I initially thought it was a 9/10 or so but something makes me come back to it over and over again. It is absolutely perfect for me.


Fushitsusha - Untitled

With the last CD, the Haino boxset takes us to some Fushitsusha’s historic recordings. The first track here titled “The Decisive Battle Between That Called ''Futility'' And The Understanding That ''1x1=” is basically a Derek Bailey-inspired guitar wankery with elements of EAI at the end. It sounds like numerous cats being tortured.

The second track is Haino making crocodile sounds before tearing his vocal chords as well as his soul. I assume he’s just messing around with a tambourine and something else. Very reminiscent of The Third Heart and Watashi Dake. It doesn’t seem to be a live performance. More of a home reverberation. However, if it is a live performance I would fucking love to see this. It turns into a ritualistic shaman performance with heavy breathing and dancing-like percussion. I think he spits too. Maybe he’s puking. That’s weird right? Because it’s not like there’s anything else weird about this performance.

The monolith of this CD is the third piece that probably has my favorite Haino track title “In A Room Where I Am Showered With Honoring Insults”. It starts off with some sort of ticking followed by a bass drone with a noise static from Haino’s guitar (?). Then the noise dies to let the tick-tick noise that sounds like a metronome just go crazy. Haino’s vocals sound like he’s having some kind of brutal orgasm while there seem to be spaceship-like guitar in the background. Yep. That’s a pretty accurate way to put this. It proceeds into a typical harsh Haino solo with very abrupt notes being played. This is very aggressive even for him. I am not sure why it’s a Fushitsusha release since most of it has been more of a solo release. I assume the drones were played by a second member. The soloing is followed by feedback static and more Derek Bailey-influenced guitar playing. Later on the sounds he produces sound more like a hurdy gurdy but I am beyond guessing at this point. Weird shit is happening, so there is that.

The last track is a full band blues song titled “All There Is Is Now - Being Here - He Lives - Everyone The Same”. It sounds twisted as usual because of Haino’s open chords. Haino is very expressive. This is actually a pretty cool track. It’s the calmest blues jam that sounds almost too normal after the track before it. Also guess what? At some point (10:24) Haino literally starts playing Les Rallizes Denudes’ Last One riff. Ok Keiji, we get it. You won and now poor Mizutani is nowhere to be found, saving his mysterious charm for the generations to come. Why can’t you guys be friends and have the greatest noise rock line up ever? Oh well. There he plays it again. This track is slightly too long. It’s very free though making it interesting to follow. Ends abruptly. Fade out.

This was pretty good. It really didn’t feel like a full band effort most of the time though. I guess it makes sense that it got on a Haino compilation and didn’t go into a separate Fushitsusha release. Recommend listening to this because it is one of their earlier sets.


Overall the boxset is amazing. I am really glad I snatched a physical copy for a pretty good price on Discogs. Must-hear if you are a Haino fan.

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