Konstrukt & Keiji Haino – A Philosophy Warping, Little by Little That Way Ahead Lies a Quagmire (Live)

Posted: 2 September 2018 in Albums
Tags: , , ,

Karl Records – 31st August 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

Christ, what am I listening to? Everything all at once. This is one of those ‘plucked at random from the cascading pile of CD I haven’t listened to but should probably give a go’ releases. Because one downside of doing the whole music reviewing thing is that there’s a certain pressure – albeit self-made – to push certain releases to the fore, be it on account of the act, the label, the PR, or a certain sense of duty. Other times, it’s simply the pull of fascination. But because there are only so many hours in the day, especially after the drudge of the 9-5 (Or, thanks to flexible working, my preferred 6:50-3:40), I can only cover so many releases. But the randoms are often the ones that keep me going. Discovering new music – and when the whim takes, the weirder the better – is what makes this worthwhile. And this is weird, alright: it’s a live reinterpretation of the first collaboration between Turkish free jazzers Konstrukt and Keiji Haino, who’s apparently a Japanese avant-garde / noise icon, which surfaced in December last year. Here, the original album’s six tracks have been melted down into two longform works, namely ‘Into A Trap Surely So Elaborately Laid Air Has Entered And A Splendid, Beautiful Monster Now Swims’ and ‘Excess + Analysis / Courage =’, continuing the equational theme of the original.

Brooding strings scrape before suddenly breaking out into manic jig with electronic squawks and bleeps. Then, atop the ever-wilder percussion, shrieking sax erupts. There’s a segment that’s a bit jazz, a bit math, a bit Joujouka about a third of the way through, and I’m dazed, bewildered. Crashing cymbals fly in all directions – not literally, although it’s possible – and then it goes quiet for a bit. Whistles. Some people in the audience are evidently quite appreciative. By the end of the first side – some 20 minutes of cacophonous, tempestuous dissonance that builds – and builds, and builds – to a wild crescendo that ultimately and inevitably collapses into a ragged ending.

Side two, the open-ended ‘Excess + Analysis / Courage =’ is a lot sparser, more spaced, and spacey, less frenetic and more atmospheric. Its all about the scratchy angles: at one point, things take a turn for the off-kilter jazz-funk oddity, before clanging Gang of Four style guitars collide with wandering progginess and parping horns drifting though howls of multi-faceted feedback.

Toe-tapping easy jazz it isn’t, but then again, nor is it all-out free-noise, despite the occasional riotous bursts. And where does it leave us once it’s all tapered to silence? Bewildered, in no-man’s land, agog, and confused. Whether or not the intent, it’s a fair response and better than shrugging and switching off. It’s seriously niche, but it explores new avenues, and for that alone, the existence of A Philosophy Warping, Little by Little That Way Ahead Lies a Quagmire (Live) is justified.



  1. […] Well this is an interesting one, and it was, admittedly, Thurston Moore’s name that compelled me to give it some ear time. While listening to the first pounding space-rock psychedelic jazz freakout, it dawns on me that this isn’t actually my first meeting with Turkish free form ensemble Konstrukt, and that I was blown away and bewildered by their 2018 collaboration with Keiji Haino, A Philosophy Warping, Little by Little That Way Ahead Lies a Quagmire (Live). […]

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