Haino Keiji's post Fushitsusha power trio Nazoranai features a rare pedigree with Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley providing gravity on bass and Oren Ambarchi providing rhythmic propulsion behind the kit. Meanwhile, Haino-san is a law unto himself, unleashing a wall of hallucinatory, otherworldy guitar scree. This document of their live performance at Birmingham in the midst of a 2013 tour was mastered by Rashad Becker in Berlin for optimal clarity and heft and shows how much the trio have developed, harnessing an explosive intensity that rivals anything in Haino's legendary back catalogue.
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In an attempt to hurt music and all those who make it, noise provocateur Keiji Haino has asked collaborator Oren Ambarchi to stay on board in his band, and enlisted Stephen O’Malley, who’s up for recording with anyone as long as they use the word “avant-garde” twenty times in their e-mail to him, along with at least three thousand closed brackets (the ancient symbol for drone music; it also doubles up as the password to Scott Walker’s computer).
For the egregiously titled ‘The Most Painful Time Happens Only Once, Has It Arrived Already…?’, Nazoranai is in prime shit-stirring mood, with synth and scowls provided by Haino himself, who sounds thoroughly pissed off, landing somewhere between Michael Gira lucid dreaming in a drum circle and Devilman if all their songs involved crying. Ambarchi plays the drums -- it sounds like he’s playing about fifty sets at the same time, creating a wind tunnel out of relentless kicks and snare rolls -- and covers the record in furious darkness. It’s impossible to really hear what O’Malley’s doing, but apparently he plays bass; in my mind, he just nods in the background, once for every hour of recording.
Whatever, though; in all honesty, it’s Ambarchi who's running the show. His partners in crime make cameos with distorted guitar riffs and estrange effects as he thrusts the listener through an incomprehensible, discordant mess of percussive power. When Haino’s vocals come in, it sounds like he’s been prancing around the place in thrall of Ambarchi’s work, gasping for air and clutching at the drum set for composure. It might not be their best work, but it’s their most supremely physical, taking the listener and reminding them that there’s percussive power in everything we do. Buy a drum kit, move into the basement and never talk to anyone again.
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