Nazoranai, Oozing Wound, Ryley Walker Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Tue., May 20, 8 p.m. 2014

Like so many projects that include Japanese shaman of sound Keiji Haino, improvising trio Nazoranai traffics in unhinged fury and frightening glimpses into the soul. The band, which also includes Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))) on bass and Oren Ambarchi on drums, released its self-titled debut in 2012 on O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ label; the album’s four huge, heavy tracks ride on gut-kicking beats meted out by the rhythm section like death sentences. What makes the music more than just a crushing assault is its use of space and rising-and-falling tension, which Haino controls by judiciously applying harrowing, slate-gray shards of high-volume guitar and mind-melting vocals that tend toward wordless barks and shrieks. On the opener, for instance, he pulls back: he barely sings, and his snaking guitar slaloms through the fluid, slow-moving rhythms like the beam of a flashlight playing over the otherwise unseen contours of a damp, murky cave. Haino’s performances always feel ritualistic, combining blinding intensity with open-hearted spontaneity, and O’Malley and Ambarchi seem to serve him better than similar incarnations of his long-running band Fushitsusha. They not only stand up to his power but also adjust to his transformations on the fly—their massive, swinging stomp provides a wide-open platform for his guitar and synth. (In this group Haino plays the Alesis Air Synth, which works a little like a theremin—its gestural controls are perfect for his physical performance style.) There’s nothing songlike about these songs—they coalesce out of thin air like dense black clouds, and they seem to vanish just as suddenly as they appear. This is Nazoranai’s Chicago debut. —Peter Margasak

Price: $10, or $3 with RSVP before 10 PM

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