Nazoranai is the supergroup of Keiji Haino, Oren Ambarchi and Stephen O’Malley. For close to four decades, Haino has been a legendary figure in Japan’s avant-garde community through his commanding presence in the band Fushitsusha and numerous solo ventures. Ambarchi, a prolific electro-acoustic composer of heavy ambience and hypno-rock, has long stood at the leading edge of Australia’s experimental music scene, while O’Malley remains a principle architect for the drone / doom metal project Sunn O))) in harnessing extreme sub-harmonic frequencies.
Collectively, Nazoranai operates as a live recorded collaboration, although Haino is quick to point out the difference between the words “nazoranai” (which in Japanese calligraphy means “not repeating,” as in developing a distinct, individual style) and “sokkyo” (referring specifically to improvisation). In this parsing of terms, the group separates themselves from the free-music scene, which can be just as convention-bound as the established genres from which improvisers hope to escape.
On the trio’s third album, Beginning To Fall In Line Before Me, So Decorously, The Nature Of All That Must Be Transformed, Nazoranai explore two side-long tracks of superb abstraction. Ambarchi and O’Malley provide the perfect brute-rock rhythm section to Haino’s wrecklessly pure expression through instrument and voice. Blurred noise, dark hurdy-gurdy and thunderous harmonics build an accretive mantra of jagged electricity.
While Haino’s extensive discography resists easy interpretation, he constantly challenges himself to further his art by channeling the unknown. Shifting from his native Japanese to English, he asks: “Do you still have a mystery?” This existential plea could apply to the artist’s own deep inquisitions or stand to confront his audience about that which eludes their understanding.
W.25TH / Superior Viaduct is proud to present Nazoranai’s latest work, recorded at SuperDeluxe in Tokyo, which marks the band’s first release on an American label.