Nijiumu -- an ambient excursion by Keiji Haino, black-clad godfather of the Japanese psychedelic noise scene -- merges keening vocals with distant washes of electronics, percussion, and noise. No songs to speak of, no melodies or harmonies or rhythms. There are plenty of glorious sounds, though, drifting in and out of focus like waves crashing on a shore, pulses of pure white light, or the rumble of tectonic plates. Occasionally it is reminiscent of the Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works 2, albeit recast as a another installment in Haino's labyrinthine back catalog, which attempts to channel magic through music. Track three, in particular, sounds like a pagan ritual under a full moon, wordless chanting and moaning blending with the drones to call up some Lovecraftian horror. Certainly not for every mood or every occasion (not for beach parties or romantic evenings, that's for sure.) But as uneasy bedtime listening it's perfect, fuzzy around the edges like a half-remembered dream.
AllMusic Review by Jess Harvell