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Black Blues

RM 4215CD RM 4215CD

Keiji Haino is, without question, one of the truly iconic artists to rise beyond the dusk of the 20th century. An artist focused singularly of the beautiful visceral promise of music, his practice is a many-headed beast taking in movements from the gentlest of guitar play, through free improvisation and noise. As divergent as the work might be, it is held tightly by his unique way in sound, one that exists moment to moment with a force like no other. 20 years since its first release, Black Blues remains one of his most provocative recordings -- a collection of 6 songs, recorded twice over. One version "Violent," the other "Soft"; and the differences could not be more radical. Black Blues exists at both margins of Haino's sonic spectrum. At the Violent end, each piece is delivered with a sense of tangible intensity. In some moments it is as if listeners are inside Haino, his voice completely consuming all it comes in contact with. The guitar, carving a path that is part rhythm, part harmony, its tenderness cradling his voice with a determination and generosity. By contrast the Soft versions are almost lullabies, all be it ones that carry a mournful and anguish ladened atmosphere. Here the guitar splays out into clouds of reverb that shimmer at the edges, housing a voice which is constantly seeking a deeper resolution within the songs. Gentle but never settled. Black Blues captures the dynamic form of Keiji Haino's work in its most raw form; voice and guitar. The songs encapsulate a very particular portrait of an artist whose work only continues to grow deeper in is wonder and profundity.