Keiji Haino/jim O\'rourke/oren Ambarchi - Imikuzushi
To try and talk about an epic guitar-based free form improv record in which Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi are involved but do NOT play guitar seems weird, if not a waste. Unless, that is, there is a guitarist of similar daring on board, the likes of one Keiji Haino. With O'Rourke on bass and Ambarchi drumming, Haino is the force that makes "Imikuzushi" a staggering, difficult and cathartic listening experience. That sort of describes most of Haino's forty year career, but he seems to have especially found a home with these two soulmates. As a power trio, Haino/O'Rourke/Ambarchi have released documents of their adventures yearly for the last couple; this may be their most cohesive and damaging to complacency.
Taken from a three hour plus show and divided into four (unedited) pieces, the titles of those tracks are worth noting in their entirety:
"still unable to throw off that teaching a heart left abandoned unable to get inside that empty space nerves freezing that unconcealed sadness?"
"ready and waiting ready and tired of waiting this happiness hovers for a while opaque.."
"invited in practically drawn in by something facing the exit of this hiding place who is it? that went in.."
"an acute sensitivity is not simply a "madness" an acute sensitivity to the resonance of "i love you" teaches us just a little something it's not that we can't do something it's just that we haven't done it yet..."
They neither describe nor give any clue as to the music, but they set the tone of distance/approach that this music will inspire in the listener. Haino's unglued riffs and shamanistic vocals are the centerpiece, but the rhythm section both gives his solos a framework and a place to come back to. O'Rourke keeps it interesting back there, with an Entwistle-esque funky foray into his own interpretations of the jam; if anyone can be said to stay home, it is Ambarchi, whose drumming is solid, hard and locked in.
Released in a limited gatefold double LP version with printed innersleeves, "Imikuzushi" is intense, meditative, fearless and loud as hell. May this collaboration rave on; few understand the devastating power of improvisation as Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke, and Oren Ambarchi; together they set new standards in the possibilities of that power.
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