Keiji Haino: The Best Live Videos

My fascination with Keiji Haino, one of the most innovative and important guitarists of the past 30 years, started with my introduction to Fushitsusha and their live album ‘Withdrawe, This Sable Disclosure Ere Devot’d’ . The album was pummeling and honestly made me rethink how guitar was played. Ever since I heard that LP, I’ve tried to listen to everything Haino has ever done or been a part of if I could get my hands on it. Haino is no stranger to releasing project after project, if one combines his solo work with his collaboration work it totals at 74 recordings. Many have deemed him an “experimental/avant” guitarist/musician, honestly, I think that is a disservice to the music Haino has done. I think putting him in the same category as Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, and Mississippi Fred McDowell is much more understandable due to the extreme nature in which he plays. Instead of using the guitar to just create sound or accompany the song,  like many early Delta Blues musicians before him, Haino attacks the guitar in order to add to the piece. Vocally one could argue that he has one of the most painful voices put to tape (I mean that in the best way possible). Don’t believe me? I challenge you to get through the LP “Black Blues” (vocal only version), and not tell me he puts some of Yoko Ono’s vocal work to shame.

In the end, those familiar with Haino’s work already know all of this, have probably read every interview he’s done, and probably tried to catch him at some of his extremely rare shows (especially those within the USA). If you haven’t checked out any of his work, do it now, to help here is a primer if you will of some of his YouTube highlights.

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