April 2, 2018
Keiji Haino/Jozef Dumoulin/Teun Verbruggen
The Miracles of Only One Thing
Sub Rosa SR 439
While The Miracles of Only One Thing appears to be a testimony to the incendiary dynamics of galvanized Noise Music, it turns out to that two concepts are actually jousting for supremacy. Initially a nearly opaque swirling mass of protean turbulence is created by the three participants: Japanese Noise-Improv guitarist Keiji Haino and two Belgians who move between Jazz, Free Music and electronics: electric pianist Jozef Dumoulin and percussionist Teun Verbruggen. However Haino’s unruly vocalizing makes an appearance later in the session, almost subverting the instrumental acumen.
In terms of showing what Haino, who has improvised with Peter Brötzmann and John Butcher; Dumoulin, who has played with Ellery Eskelin and Alban Darche; and Verbruggen, who has worked with Nate Wooley and Marc Durcet; can create, the obvious chef d’oeuvre is the almost 26-minute “Non-Dark Destinations”. Squirming, crackling and buzzing timbres are often un-attributable as the track initially meanders without much affiliation, though inflating guitar flanges, clunky drum rumbles and tremolo keyboard riffs are gradually identified among the crackling and buzzing. By mid-point a conceptual link has been established between Dumoulin and Verbruggen, although Haino’s droning jet-engine-like whooshes appear as if they’re glancing off rather than connecting with the others’ output. However place setting gong reverb on the guitarist’s part eventually fuse with keyboard buzzes and this-side-of-Metal power drumming to set up a high velocity landscape, where calliope-like shrills from Dumoulin or Haino confirm a spectacular if contorted timbre blending.
The guitarist’s bare-bones twangs reassert his singularity as the coda of “Non-Dark Destinations”, but those guitar distortions are not as alienating as his verbal improvisations. While “Tonight” seemed wedded to1970s Fusion with keyboard jiggles and drum smacks backing surprisingly fragile flute motifs from Haino, the effect slants obliquely when the guitarist’s histrionic screams suggesting both Shogun attacks and Bedlam confusion are heard. Similar confusion exists on “Hotel Chaika’, the CD’s other extended improvisation. Although bagpipe chanter-like keyboard chording, off-centre percussion rumbles that move across the sound field and ringing guitar flanges displayed on top of ever-changing granulized drones demonstrate that the trio can reach an exposition of almost oxymoronic subtle Metal-Improv, Haino’s verbal splutters again bring out a clashing counter-sequence. True to Free Music’s objective of convention upset, that and the feedback that make up a subsequent guitar solo, posit that Haino’s true nature may be as a psychedelic freak-out specialist rather than a cooperative improviser.
Fascinating in its illumination of three players trying to simultaneously activate opposing philosophies of sound, the CD is best appreciated for outlining the struggle, rather than devising a solution to its conundrum.
Track Listing: 1. Non-Dark Destinations 2. Hotel Chaika 3. Snow Is Frequent, Though Light, In Winter 4. Tonight
Personnel: Keiji Haino (guitar, vocals, flute and gongs); Jozef Dumoulin (Fender Rhodes) and Teun Verbruggen (drums, electronics)