More 08 Loose Ends: We All Want to Be Hard-y Guide-y Men


Keiji Haino Koitsukara Usetaitameno Hakarigoto (2008, PSF)

Another hidden gem from 2008 comes to us from legendary Japanese experimentalist Keiji Haino.  This is the latest album in Haino’s 21st Century Hard-y Guide-y Man series of recordings.  Despite the cute pun contained within that title, the music itself is pretty far from cute.  With hand-cranked medieval musical instrument the hurdy gurdy at his disposal, Haino grinds out a set of fiercely daring sounds that will challenge even the most open-minded of listeners.

Hard-y Guide-y is indeed a difficult listen.  Haino takes the hurdy-gurdy and uses it to craft sparse drones that release and cut open the air with all the beauty of a rusty sawblade searing into a piece of decayed sheet metal.  Track one starts off slowly enough but eventually finds its voice in a thunderous wail with enough power to bore through the most impenetrable of walls.

Haino’s acid-tinged approach to this classic instrument is truly captivating on track three, where he uses his amplified hurdy gurdy to give rise to a discordant symphony that is both haunting and beautiful.  The drones conjured weep and dance with every turn of the crank Haino imposes.

Listening to the way that Haino utilizes such an obscure instrument is fascinating.  Haino has been cementing himself as one of the paramount names in the avant garde scene for over three decades now.  Hard-y Guide-y is a piece of music that will appeal to a select few, but those people can rest assured they are being rewarded with something truly special.  Essential.


~ by theoberlander on January 12, 2009.

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