1998 sees Keiji Haino busting out with four more simultaneous CDs on Tokuma, including two Fushitsusha titles, another solo hurdy gurdy affair called Even Now, Still I Think and a debut disc from Haino’s new group Aihiyo. Unpredictable at times, Fushitsusha confounds with an unexpected move. Could this be their most unusual effort so far? It presents a very stark and spare environment featuring staple gun-like drum and cymbal hits from new drummer Ikuroh Takahashi; plus occasional, simple bass notes. When Haino’s guitar does rarely appear, it’s either barely audible in the background; jackin’ off little upward squirts or just sketching simple, dry briars.
A variety pack of vocals intertwines throughout: feedback mic squeals, loud ’n’ clean singing and almost inaudible muttering, which sounds like it could be someone besides Haino. Just to confuse you a little more, Fushitsusha tack a very light, melodic ballad on the end—but you know it totally belongs there. Using the simplest equipment and incredibly restrained playing style, Fushitsusha maintains a captivating aura of interestingness on this nine-track, 61-minute CD that is totally unlike all others. I’m convinced that no one else could ever conceive of something like this—let alone pull it off.