Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Kan Mikami, Keiji Haino & Toshiaki Ishizuka

Vajra

What we wrote at the time:

 

Vajra are something of a Japanese psychedelic rock supergroup, hewn from the collective consciousness of Fushitsusha’s shamanistic troubadour and lord of blistering feedback shriek Keiji Haino, celebrated political folk radical Kan Mikami and veteran percussionist Toshiaki Ishitsuka. Peerless all, they build intuitively improvised, sprawling works of great dynamic range, intense power and emotional depth centered around Mikami’s rasping, towering vocals and his uniquely serrated rhythm guitar, counterpointed, offset and undercut by Haino’s vocals and guitar, at once nuanced, shimmering and restrained then unannounced, launching into incandescent, electric and free form bursts of fire and volume.   All the while propelled on by Ishitsuka’s jackhammer, 8 limbed martial percussion. Legendary for their rare, mind-altering live shows, this is their first every performance outside of Japan, and promises to be one of the key musical highlights of the year.

 
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