Keiji Haino, Jim O’Rourke, Oren Ambarchi
In the past only geniuses were capable of staging the perfect crime (also known as a revolution) Today anybody can accomplish their aims with the push of the button | Black Truffle (2 LP + CD)
Haino, O’Rourke, Ambarchi is definitely a one-of-a-kind trio by many means: for those who do are not acquainted with the work of the three musicians together, this is not a guitar album, instead the trio usually dives into totally different realm with Oren Ambarchi dropping his subtle guitar geniality to endorse a simple but effective caveman-drumming attitude, Jim O’Rourke’s exquisite taste in arrangement condensing into a straight forward, strong bass play, while Keiji Haino doing what he can do best: Scream… Be it with a guitar, with his voice, with any other device that comes at hand, he screams and he does it loud.
The album gets straight into action from second one, with the power trio flexing muscles, unleashing all its strength, in a classic free impro noise-rock cut, that feels enjoyable and of an undoubted quality, but that doesn’t bring very much new stuff to the table. This very same feeling flows along the whole record, solid and tasteful but perhaps a bit unnecessary, it confirms elements and features that we already knew far too well.
Exceptions in this sense are in the second and fourth phase of the album where things get radically more interesting. The slow bits are definitely the most evocative parts of this work, where Ambarchi translates his personal contrapuntal language into a fine cymbal play and establishes a discourse between drums and chimes, that feels refreshing and very intimate, sentimental almost, or where O’Rourke enters these deep drones of momentum, letting timbres morph in their length and revealing hidden qualities. Such moments really make the difference here, becoming the watermarks of these artists’ exquisite taste.
As a whole, though, this album doesn’t really match the expectations provided by the names involved in its production, and I’d consider it more something like a friendly celebration or a jubilee of a musical thread which has given a lot through the years but has also maybe exhausted its source. Solidly established as a genre, appearing in its crystalized form, it feels honestly fairly trite and rather unable to surprise: Collectors gonna enjoy.