Keiji Haino Profiled

English: Keiji Haino at Moers Festival 2007

Source: NPR.

Over four decades, Haino, who will turn 66 in May, has thrived at the fringes of improvised music, becoming both a pioneer of and paragon for turning rock music inside out. An early student of primitive blues and classic rock staples, Haino earned attention during the ’80s for Fushitsusha, his on-again, off-again psychedelic powerhouse. Across the next quarter-century, he steadily emerged from Japan’s underground as an experimental extremist, often pitting torrents of distortion and walls of noise against shards of poetry that he would shriek and repeat like some coded prayer. After a string of cutting-edge labels in the United States and Canada began to catch on and issue his music in the west during the ’90s, his reputation as one of music’s most electrifying and enigmatic guitarists and one of its most oddly evocative singers spread to the point that he even became a model and muse for fashion designer Marc Jacobs. For some, working with Haino — or, for others, simply seeing him live or finding one of his albums — has became an avant-garde holy grail.

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