Keiji Haino & Fushitsusha

In the burgeoning Japanese extremist noise-rock world, multi-instrumentalist Keiji Haino holds a hallowed position. He came onto the scene in the early 70s with Lost Aaraaf (an Albert Ayler-inspired group in which Haino sang), then formed the archetypal psychedelic noise duo Magical Power Mako (which made three fascinating records for Polydor). After that, Haino dropped out of sight for half a decade; reportedly he was taken seriously ill. But since forming his Zen-guitar trio Fushitsusha in 1978, he’s returned with a mighty vengeance. Over the last few years Haino’s released countless records with a wide range of partners, including bassist Barre Phillips, saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, and the groups Nijumu and Vasara, as well as assorted solo offerings, including the menacing guitar work of The Book of “Eternity Set Aflame” (Forced Exposure), the instrumental diversity of Beginning and End, Interwoven (Streamline), and the meditative studies for percussion and voice of Tenshi no Gijinka (Tzadek). With Fushitsusha, the concept is at once massive and stripped down: Haino plays dramatic, sometimes extremely aggressive power guitar (no pyrotechnics–he lets the overwhelming sound of the attacked and overdriven instrument sweep the listener away), as the drums and bass slowly mete out skeletal rock structures underneath. The Fushitsusha of Allegorical Misunderstanding (Avant) is the sparer, less slashing version, in which Haino sometimes acquires the scattershot phrasing of James “Blood” Ulmer, while the astounding Pathetique (released on Haino’s PSF label) takes the noise all the way to the precipice for a look-see at the abyss. Brutal, mystical, sensual–Haino’s is uniquely palpable music that demands to be felt. Saturday, 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/ Bettina Herzner.