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KNEAD / This melting happiness – I want you to realize that it is another trap / LP
Fractal 023


« Unofficial Keiji Haino Website »  December 2004 (USA) :

All right ! Here we see a rare return to the vinyl format for a certain Mr. Haino – not to mention his second commercially available outing with the Ruins. Like you might expect, this 12’’ black saucer consists of eight tracks of mega-distorto guitar with hyperactive bass and drums lightly peppered with the occasional moan or scream. Basically, it’s a big, long electric tantrum. So, do you really NEED this ? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Well, yes, if your’re a fan of Haino’s solo electric guitar workouts and/or the Ruins and/or, obviously, the first Knead CD. No dis to the Ruins, but I like the rhythm section of Yasushi Ozawa and Jun Kosugi a heck of a lot more. I’m talking FUSHITSUSHA here, man ! Overall, this release is a good one, though, no matter how you try to divvy it up. The cover sports a curious combination of one of Haino’s abstract line drawings repeated as a pattern over a photo of a natural sandstone arch. Unexpected.
Garry Davis

The Wire - n°236 - October 2003 (UK) :

With a title like that it can only be a Keiji Haino outing, and the bad news for fans is that it’s as indispensable as the others. Knead is the trio Haino shares with drums/bass duo Ruins’ Tatsuya Yoshida on drums and Hisashi Sasaki, and this superb live recording from Tokyo’s Showboat was made in August 2001, predating by four months the session that became Knead’s PSF debut album. Though they initially requested a CD release, Fractal opted for a limited edition vinyl. Consequently, the trio had to select the eight hardest hitting tracks, each of them as gravity-defying as Yoshida’s cover photography of Utah’s Arches national park.
Drummer Yoshida’s enthousiasm for Magma is well documented, and though he himself detects little direct Christian Vander influence in his playing, he produces several notable flashes of Prog rock propulsion verging on the downright funky. With bassist Sasaki following his every move - or vice versa - Ruins must be the tightest bass and drums team since Mingus and Dannie Richmond, and Haino takes full advantage of their skills to deliver some of his most corruscating guitar work yet. The end result is fantastically dense from moment to moment, without ever losing sight of its overarching architectural design.
Dan Warburton

All Music Guide (website : - September 2003 (Canada) :

Whenever, Keiji Haino, gets together with one, the other, or both members of the avant-prog duo Ruins, sparks fly in all directions. The backgrounds of these artists are so different (one is tempted to say diametrically opposed) that they open a common creative space that covers a lot of ground. But if there is a rule to their collaborations, as on this excellent LP released by the French label Fractal, it’s that Keiji takes the music more lightly than usual. He sounds like he is actually having fun instead of suffering his guts out over every note. This melting happiness - I want you to realize that it is another trap delivers a healthy dose of improvised rock, equally stressing both terms. The unit of Yoshida Tatsuya and Sasaki Hisashi locks in like an eight-limbed, two-headed beast, churning out spontaneous grooves with incredible ease. And Keiji goes everywhere, from Robert Fripp-esque insanely repetitive solos drilling a passage between your ears - think of King Crimson’s “Fracture” while listening to “Though it was supposed to have gone far away, the soul of 1X1=?/Has purposefully returned to say no/To the overly idle magicians of the 21st century” are consider how Knead drags the “21st century schizoid man” around the room and into the 22nd – to Jimi Hendrix to impenetrable walls of noise and languid feedback-driven melodies. Side one presents four tracks of a rather abstract kind, although fuelled by energy and some ferocious vocals from Keiji. The first three cuts on side two are actually one continuous improvisation. Resolutely rock, it begins with one of those typical Ruins chants and keeps on multiplying its possible paths until the messy crashing finale. Recommended.
François Couture

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