Keiji Haino @ Cafe OTO



  The warm-up on Day One in Keiji Haino's two-day stint at Dalston's OTO cafe was assigned to Heather Leigh. Pretty creative sonically, she chanted in a nostalgic, part renaissance-part temptress mermaid voice, which unfortunately divided us. Love her, or hate her? Totally love her; as long as she doesn't sing...
 Keiji then took over with his guitar authoritatevaly  (and with him it's the only way).
 The kind announcer let us know beforehand that we were not to expect a word to be sang throughout the evening (and better not take any pics with flash, hence the suitable to the occasion abstract expressionism).
 Indeed, he solely spoke through cinematic serenity and violent breakouts, evocative silences and animalistic attacks. A pretty wide spectrum between studied peace and uninhibited paranoia, aptly accompanied by Steve Nobles' edgy percussion - and it's presumably not that easy to mentally synch with the veteran noise master.

To put it quite simply, Keiji knows when to start and when to stop. One of his biggest assets? Not to overindulge his obsessions. Cause, no matter how unpredictable and imaginative his improvisation, there is a point where it gets tiring (isn't that always the problem with his fellow Japanese impro-guru Damo Suzuki?).
Right on that golden line, he stopped. And he silently walked out.
Respect is the word.

Review and photography by Danai Molocha, aka rockets4solitude.

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