Lost Aaraaff-1971 CD (PSF, available through FORCED EXPOSURE from whose website the pic on the left was swiped from!)
Gotta admit that for years the name Keiji Haino meant about as much to me as that of J. Neo Marvin's. I mean sure I've heard all of the rhapsodic wispiness hoisted upon the man and his works by a whole lotta writers I'm sure you've skidded shorts over for nigh on two decades, but these very scribes were the same nabobs who promoted some of the worst piddle to pass as muzak creeping under the postpunk/alternative banner (and the same guys who usedta razz the living daylights outta me for championing such still-wowzer after all these years musical acts as David Roter and Binky Phillips) so really, what stock should I have put into their empty rhetoric anyway? It's like when yer a kid and some elder gives you the biggest load of turds as advice either to play you for a fool or evade the original (probably sex-related) question posed upon 'em...after getting hoodwinked once why bother listenin' to 'em ever again??? So frankly, when it came to all of the talk regarding the talents of this guy Haino, you might as well have been Dave Lang telling me the proper way to retract koala bear foreskins...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Well, after listening to Haino's track with his early-seventies avant garde jazz group Lost Aaraaff on the GENYA CONCERT 2-CD/DVD set (which I got for the tres-Tyrannosaurus Rex-ish numbers by the oft-lauded Zuno Keisatsu recorded before they developed into a full-sized rock band) I hadda latch onto their sole album which thankfully is available through the PSF label which has released more than its share of Haino booty o'er the years. And (as you'd know after reading my postings on the now-deceased "Freestyle Jazz" series at the CBGB Lounge this past year) I'm a big fan of the form and in many ways consider the avant garde of jazz a legit branch of the punk continuum and yeah I know that a statement like that is bound to rile the ire of more'n a few pudsicles out there laying low for me to make one of my frequent "unwise moves," but I gotta say that pledging allegiance to the free jazz gulcherflow sure means a lot more'n trying to be yer typical young and precocious self rattling off endless sputum over the latest product to hit the alternative void these days. (I can recommend a whole bunch of blogs out there in case you're interested...really!!)
Lost Aaraaff were a strange case...their reason-for-blaring was a shattering post-Ayler riffage with Haino's maddening caterwauling coming close to the third prize winner at the Patti Smith Memorial Hawg Calling Contest while a pianist pounded out these scatterchords and drums go berzerk as feedback from some source (guitar? microphone???) squeals in abject horror. However, by the untitled (as they all are) 38:37 track it seems as if Haino is singing actual Japanese wordage amidst the atonal vocalese while imitating a marmoset in heat (kinda sounding like Wayne Newton getting his biscuits crunched in some Nipponese comic book bathhouse scene) as the uncredited pianist clanks out some Call Cobbs-inspired pseudo-gospel blues ragamathing with equally-uncredited drummer kinda barely keeping up and for some reason the whole kaboodle reminds me of a weird cross between (or is it dissection? of) Terry Riley/John Cale meeting Cecil Taylor/Sunny Murray at the Apostolic Holiness Church of Anthrax. It's not that hard to moosh avant garde jazz and punk rock...the Big Three did it with relative ease and so did a whole buncha people who read about the "new thing" in jazz when it got even newer in the seventies...but here's one record that could be considered the earliest example of jazz/punk interlocking on jazz rather'n punk terms. If anyone has any other early examples they'd like to share, please let me know.
I didn't even mention the final, 14:49 track which starts off with weird guitar scrape/drumsplat before the piano comes in with more of that Cecil Taylor classical spookiness and Haino's faggot of the opera wail. Of course that's before Haino starts talking Japanese (probably some communist-inspired drivel which makes me glad I can't understand the language!) in this weird Walter Brennan voice (kinda) as the drummer goes into loft jazz free play and the piano continues with the Taylor epiglapeggios or whatever they should be called to the point where you're flashing back to 1975 and dad's yelling at you to get that racket (Xenakis) off like he did to me!
I'd be lying if I told you this was one of those totally-engrossing and can't stop playing it kinda disques. Anyway those come only once in awhile and nowadays I'm lucky if I can come across maybe one or two musical endeavors of obsessive worth per year. (Though I should note that most if not all of the latest obsessive-spin items that have captivated my psyche have been Japanese product...Doodles, LSD March, and of course our dear Les Rallizes Denudes.) However, given that I try to avoid junk with a passion I can safely say that Lost Aaraff definitely are NOT of the subpar musical sputum plague that has infested the musical world ever since the likes of Chuck Eddy (as opposed to such anti-Chuck mavericks as I) began calling the shots. Anyway, Lost Aaraaf's 1971 may be one of those strange sleepers to crawl up the rungs in my tops of '05 list once this year is put into its proper perspective, and hey, I may give it a little mention or two once December 31 rolls around.
Ultimately empty - I picked up a copy of *The Australian* at my parents' house today. I don't usually read it, so was interested in how recognisably right-liberal many of the...
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