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Old 02-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Keiji Haino - Watashi Dake? (1981) [SAA Album Club discussion thread]

Keiji Haino - Watashi Dake? (1981)



This is the third album we listened to as a part of Strategies Against Architecture Album Club, suggested by Jack Pat.

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Originally Posted by Jack Pat View Post
Watashi Dake by Keiji Haino is a great avant-garde album. Haino has very interesting guitar work which can definitely be shown within this debut. Her voice is also very haunting and can range from screaming to just barely a whisper. Normally, I am an advocate for music with English lyrics, but this album is an exception .
Your thoughts?
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Feel this is one of the most legitimately emotional albums I've ever heard. I really like the simple direction of just a man, his guitar, and the expression of his words. A very fluid combination of shrill weak gasps, and effect heavy guitar that plays off mood perfectly. Albeit musically this is very very detached from blues, it's seeming a lot of the same spirit of alpha blues, only amazingly abstracted, and expertly distilled into a wordless form. Again, very different musically, but very much in the raw spirit.

Very interesting to hear this type of hyper-experimental work with the raw amount of emotion presented. In most cases Avant Garde aims to be satirical, or literary but usually in a very impersonal way. Not always, but typically this is a very raw deviation from that.

Now, this excludes the final extra track, which of course feels like it's off a completely different album. This bothered me a tad bit at first. Mostly 5 minutes in, I was kind of bothered by the disjointed feeling. However, with the sheer breadth of this track, I realized that I was essentially getting two albums in one(30 minutes serves as an EP), and they're both amazing.

Albeit, far less emotional, I kind of like the extended track a lot better. Perhaps, it's my natural curve of being annoyed at it firstly, then getting sick of it in ten minutes, then ten minutes later really being sucked in, and never wanting it to end, then it ending ten minutes later. An amazingly forceful, powerful track. Very VERY bold for the year it came out (1981, I read).

Best of the three albums listened to so far by a country mile.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great review.

I'm totally on board with everything you said.

Quote:
Feel this is one of the most legitimately emotional albums I've ever heard. I really like the simple direction of just a man, his guitar, and the expression of his words. A very fluid combination of shrill weak gasps, and effect heavy guitar that plays off mood perfectly. Albeit musically this is very very detached from blues, it's seeming a lot of the same spirit of alpha blues, only amazingly abstracted, and expertly distilled into a wordless form form
Yes, it struck me as very sincere and a very painful expression. It felt like a catharsis expelling the lingering demons from an abusive childhood. This is my favorite take on the avant-garde. Something that is at the same time unnerving and necessary. This is definitely the type of sound I was drawn to during my last years of adolescence and if there's one lesson you're bound to learn again and again it's that life is hard.

Quote:
Very interesting to hear this type of hyper-experimental work with the raw amount of emotion presented. In most cases Avant Garde aims to be satirical, or literary but usually in a very impersonal way. Not always, but typically this is a very raw deviation from the natural form
Yes. One of the great things about really good experimental music is the ambiguity. Something profound is being expressed and you sense that but you can't put your finger on it. The live tracks or the extra EP or whatever it is seems more in that vein and he nails it with each effort. I do think one would be better served taking each section as a single serving instead of tackling this whole thing in one sitting. I used to always wade through bonus tracks but now I usually pass them over or listen to them only. I think that's the best way to approach this record as well.


Quote:
Best of the three albums listened to so far by a country mile.
Absolutely yes.

Now, if I can extend this post a bit I would like to mention a few things that may already be known but hopefully of some interest to some of you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fu****susha (oh good grief the censorship kills the link Google Fushitsusha)
Fu****susha is Keiji Haino's band. I have a lot of their music spread out through my cdr's but I have a tendency to make everything a compilation and I'm terrible about labeling my music so I'm not sure exactly what all I have.

Now, a lot of people dislike this dude, Scaruffi, but I've learned a lot through his lists and critiques.

The History of Rock Music. Keiji Haino: biography, discography, reviews, links

Now, this seems really interesting to me:

Quote:
Fu****susha 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.
I don't have this in my collection but it seems like it would be a great add.

Ten buck for the MP3's off amazon, here.

Amazon.com: Holy Letters: L: MP3 Downloads

and here's a great review of it:

Quote:
This album was recorded in the late 80s by Japanese musician Hiroyuki Usui and had a limited release in the early 90s. The album is broadly in the genre of experimental/acid folk, having similarities with artists like Loren Conners, Six Organs of Admittance and Spires That In The Sunset Rise. Usui uses a wide range of instrumentation (guitars, vibes, digeridoo, drums, strings) and scattered vocals/spoken word to create an ambient feel. Most songs lack a clear groove or traditional song structure but substitute rhythmic drive with acoustic complexity. For those looking to branch out, this is really a great disc and a worthwhile foray into experimental folk music.
I hope I haven't taken this too far off the mark. Again about the record at hand, it's a great selection and I'm really glad to have this early work in my music collection now. Brilliant.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Skaligojurah View Post
Feel this is one of the most legitimately emotional albums I've ever heard. I really like the simple direction of just a man, his guitar, and the expression of his words. A very fluid combination of shrill weak gasps, and effect heavy guitar that plays off mood perfectly. Albeit musically this is very very detached from blues, it's seeming a lot of the same spirit of alpha blues, only amazingly abstracted, and expertly distilled into a wordless form. Again, very different musically, but very much in the raw spirit.
What is alpha blues? I've heard of delta blues of course but never alpha.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What is alpha blues? I've heard of delta blues of course but never alpha.
Strange, I thought they were different things. Delta blues, I guess. I guess Alpha blues is an invention in my crazy head. My point is whatever variation involves the earliest incarnation which are solo pieces with voice/guitar only.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Skaligojurah View Post
Strange, I thought they were different things. Delta blues, I guess. I guess Alpha blues is an invention in my crazy head. My point is whatever variation involves the earliest incarnation which are solo pieces with voice/guitar only.
That would be the stuff from the Mississippi delta, a.k.a. delta blues.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Keiji Haino is a woman
I think he just dresses draggy on stage.

halana magazine, issue two


Quote:
keiji haino
[an interview by alan cummings]

The main body of this interview was conducted on 29th July 1996, in a cafe near Haino's home in a suburb of Tokyo. Iced tea and cakes were the refreshments of choice. Also present was artist and "Taji" zine contributor Naomi "MU" Murakami. This was supplemented with segments from another interview, conducted on the 25th October 1994 at the Columbia Hotel in London, on Haino's first trip to the UK. His appearance there at the Disobey club was later documented on the "Saying I love you, I continue to curse myself" CD on Blast First
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
I guess Alpha blues is an invention in my crazy head. My point is whatever variation involves the earliest incarnation which are solo pieces with voice/guitar only.
Well dude, if there's ever a strong revival of the Delta Blues style Alpha Blues would be a fantastic name for it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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the best so far, without a hint of doubt. utterly uncompromising; perhaps taking a few tracks to fully sink into place, but once it finds its home it never leaves. keiji's emotive voice is such an amazing centerpiece, and it's always been one of my favorite things about his works (hitherto i've really only heard his vocal-based work), but the balance introduced here with the guitar onslaughts & whatnot just adds a new layer to my appreciation for the artist's work. the final track on the bonus version sticks out like a sore thumb when taken in context, but otherwise, it's a very fathomable piece of droning noise bliss... albeit, you can hear it done way better by those who specialize in the genre of harsh noise, but keiji's excursion into that territory is by no means bad.

startling, really, in the strictest sense of the word. i've just come to terms with my true feeling of the misunderstood/shunned Japanese noise/drone/avant-scene, and that feeling is that it is one of the loneliest forms of music that i've ever heard. keiji's work here is utterly defining of that quality. it sounds sad, it sounds enlightened, and best of all, none of these emotions are created out of thin air, nor are they artificially tacked on in order to give the album a false sense of emotional baggage. they come from the source that is the artist.

in terms of looking at things from a historical AND musical perspective, scaruffi ranks among the finest critics. his philosophies and some of his rationalizations for why certain artists are great/poor baffle me to no end, but as far as pure, distilled information goes, he typically delivers in a great way, albeit it's typically poorly-translated and he arbitrarily chooses how to tag things in a sometimes unreadable manner.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I guess I'm going to be the one to go against the grain here because I wasn't particularly blown away by this album. On first listen I felt that what I was hearing was simply directionless fucking around on a guitar, reminiscent of the kind of silly crap I've done when off my nut in the wee hours of the morning. You know, the kind of stuff that only sounds good while you're doing it. And at first listen the vocals fluctuated between annoyingly humorous and simply annoying to me.

My reaction on second listen was definitely more favorable. I do actually like quite a bit of the guitar on this album and often found it kind of hypnotic. It makes me think of a very minimal version of Sun Ra's Strange Strings in a weird way. Still not a fan of the vocals though, even though I found them somewhat more tolerable the second time around. I think the album would actually be substantially better if it was just guitar or maybe guitar and something else that's not vocals.

One thing I really don't get is that several people in this thread have praised the album for being highly emotional. I just don't see it. As I mentioned above, there's a decent amount here that I find kind of hypnotic but I don't get any particularly strong emotions from it.

Anyway, that's my two cents.
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i'm not gonna spend my life on music banter trying to convince people the earth is flat.
A Night in the Life of the Invisible Man

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25 Albums You Should Hear Before the Moon Crashes into the Earth and We All Die


last.fm
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