Oren Ambarchi / Keiji Haino / Jim O’Rourke – Imikuzushi

As the trio’s third collaborative effort, Ambarchi, Haino, and O’Rourke have perfected their ongoing project with a record that is both cohesively accessible and experimentally challenging.  On this outing, O’Rourke has manned the bass, with Ambarchi on drums so brilliantly recorded that you’d swear Albini was involved and Haino on guitar.  Haino also offers the occasional shout or chant on top of the instrumental madness.

The cover of the record features a black and white photograph of three upright carving knives, their tips all lodged into wood.  There could not be a more fitting image to accompany the sort of precise violence that occurs on the vinyl inside from these three masters.  Imikuzushi is, for the most part, a ferocious, brutal explosion of intense noise-rock, sometimes shrinking to a low, grim fire, only to later erupt once more into another massive ball of destruction.  The trio does take breaks with creepy alley-way jazz traipsing, but this ghostliness, of course, expands into a larger psych-blues jam with time.  And jam is an important term to describe this record, which trades the current popular path of full-throttle noise improv for the spacier elements of post-rock and even psychedelic rock.  The record remains captivating, however, as the aggression never wanes throughout the music’s frequent shifts in volume or during long sinister grooves.  That lingering hostility acts as a constant indicator that no matter what is happening, it will inevitably end in gruff blowouts, beautifully rich and wonderful blowouts.

Not as anarchic as a lot of noise-rock out today, but Imikuzushi is definitely a solid, clean, and intense treat.

On Black Truffle.


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