Keiji Haino

Abandon All Words at a Stroke, So That Prayer Can Come Spilling Out [2004]

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Released in May 2001 by the Montreal experimental noise/electronics label Alien8 Recordings, Abandon All Words at a Stroke, So That Prayer Can Come Spilling Out is a two-CD set comprising two 45-minute solo performances by the "dark prince of silence and noise" Keiji Haino. As is often the case with his albums, information is kept to a bare minimum, thus the recording date and location have been omitted. All titles (album and tracks) describe rather well the general atmosphere. Disc one features "Whereto Can I Cast Away This Fragment Echo Called the End, So That I May Summon an Awakening From the Other Side?" It is an improvisation on hurdy-gurdy and voice, similar to another Alien8 release, So, Black Is Myself. A delicate piece where the plaintive sound of the hurdy-gurdy becomes one with the singer's litany, it gives the impression of an elegy or a mourning ritual. "I Have Decided to Tear You to Pieces. Whether You Become Darkness or Light Depends on You. I Wonder, Which Shall You Choose?," the piece on disc two, takes the listener into a completely different world. This improvisation was performed on electronic percussion (actually, it sounds more like electronically treated acoustic percussion) and vocals. It is a lot harsher, with outbursts of unbridled violence. It feels somewhere between a dark initiatory ritual and a sublimated war -- or maybe Haino is simply coming to get you, attacking through your speakers. Both pieces are overlong, with empty passages, but they do convey a heavy load of the artist's unique energy. As usual, both were recorded loudly and distortion abounds (especially in the vocals). This album will not reconcile any listener alienated by previous Haino recordings, but fans will appreciate it as an average release among the man's prolific output.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
47:41

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
44:18
blue highlight denotes track pick