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Over the last fifty years few musicians or performers have created as monumental and uncompromising a body of work as that of Keiji Haino. Through a vast number of recordings and performances Haino has staked out a ground all his own- creating a language of unparalleled intensity that defies any simple classification.
For all this, his 1981 debut album Watashi Dake? has remained enigmatic. Originally released in a small edition by the legendary Pinakotheca label, the album was heard by only a select few in Japan and far fewer overseas. Original vinyl copies became impossibly rare and highly sought after the world over.
Watashi Dake? presents a haunting vision – stark vocals, whispered and screamed, punctuate dark silences. Intricate and sharp guitar figures interweave, repeat and stretch, trance-like, emerging from dark recesses. Written and composed on the spot – Haino’s vision is one of deep spiritual depths that distantly evokes 1920’s blues and medieval music- yet is unlike anything ever committed to record before or since. Coupled with starkly minimal packaging featuring the now iconic cover photographs by legendary photographer Gin Satoh, the album is a startling and fully realized artistic statement.