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Keiji Haino, Guro Skumsnes Moe

Drums & Octobass (2CD)

Label: Conrad Sound

Format: 2CD

Genre: Experimental

Out of stock

*2024 stock* "A lone voice rises over the booming rumble of the octobass, a large acoustic instrument resembling a double-bass, yet twice the height. The octobass’ unusually large stature lends itself to these haunting sounds, looming over this cacophonous reverberation like a specter of monstrosity. Another voice lightly ascends, and the two vocalizations coalesce as this musical foundation crumbles along, carried by the tapping of harmonium keys, swimming and dissonant. 

This patient singing belongs to none other than legendary multi-instrumentalist and improviser Keiji Haino, along with Guro Moe, a Norwegian bassist and avant-garde composer. Drums & Octobass, released on Norway’s ConradSound label, is their new collaborative effort. Haino, now 71, is showing no signs of slowing down his musical practice, constantly raising eyebrows with his adventurous improvisations. In interviews, he possesses a quiet and child-like demeanor, open to all possibilities of chance through auditory explorations and a sense of extreme consciousness. Here, he is equipped with drums, the harmonium, and the shehnai, an Indian wind instrument. Moe joins him on the bass and howls along with Haino. The result is a challenging and unpredictable listening experience, marked by silence and the deep thunder of the octabass. 

The three improvisations bleed into each other, and their titles read in Haino’s typically cryptic manner: “flower which is orange and very strong-willed”; “flower which is pink, small and resistant”; and “flower which is a small river, which is a yellow sparrow.” The visual and poetic nature of this language paints these improvisations as an impressionistic garden of photosynthesis; a duet of energies interacting and reacting to one another. Haino and Moe’s musical vocabulary is extensive as is quiet and patient, and their collaboration opens the doors to the most unforeseeable noises. 

In the tradition of musique concrète, the instruments become tools of noisy and mechanical renderings of sound; the octobass, capable of making pitches below the human range of hearing, vibrates with such deep intensity as to resemble a storm crashing onto shore, menacing and deep. A snare drum makes its first appearance in the final track, “flower which is a small river, which is a yellow sparrow,” which is perhaps the most clamorous track, yet still marked by moments of deep silence. The experimentation of Drums & Octobass is rich in its musical palette, and rewarding in its cavernous mysteries." - Matty Terrones

Cat. number: CnRd334CD
Year: 2023
2 CDs in a gatefold cardboard sleeve. The 2nd CD contains one long track only released on the CD edition.

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