Tenshi No Gijinka
This album, on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, is one of Keiji Haino’s most fascinating releases. It consists of nine untitled pieces for percussion and voice — Haino bashes cymbals, strikes frame drums, and rings bells of various sizes, while grunting and chanting. But what makes it great, and unique in his catalog, is that it’s not a set of one-take improvisations. Zorn, serving as producer, gets him to overdub a second layer of vocals on several tracks, moaning in an upper-register cry as he expels his poetry. The effect is haunting, disorienting, and astonishingly beautiful. Don’t skip this album because you think it’ll be quiet and boring. It’s riveting.