Sunday, May 24, 2015

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2001 - La Novia

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
La Novia

01. La Nòvia (40:40)
02. Bois-Tu De La Bi ere(3:49)
03. Bon Voyage Au LSD (17:26)

- Cotton Casino / vocal
- Tsuyama Atsushi / bass, vocals, acoustic guitar, recorder
- Koizumi Hajime / drums, percussion
- Higashi Hiroshi / electric guitar
- Kawabata Makoto / electric guitars, violin, bouzouki, bowed peacock harp, synthesizer

"La Novia" is a traditional Occitane wedding song. It's sung in Gascone dialect. AMT open it like a mantra, but what initially seems an "om" immediately changes into a celtic choir. I wouldn't be surprised to see Alan Stivell in the lineup, and effectively the longhair- longbearded guy in the sleeve photo is similar to the Breton harpist. Five minutes of celtic choir and the instruments replace it with a piece of psychedelic folk which grows slowly and becomes just a little more chaotic in the following minutes. The disturbing high-pitched electronic whistles and the quite absurd and apparently meaningless noise of the first albums is no longer present. At minute 11 the track is effectively chaotic and noisy but we have followed a path to reach this noise, and it has a sense. It's a fusion between Krautrock and Folk that last for some minutes, becoming more psychedelic at about minute 14 but without loosing the folk element. I think I'd like to be invited to a wedding of this kind. The electric and highly distorted guitar increases the noise at minute 15. At this point I could expect to hear Syd Barrett's vocalisms as in Pow R Toc H. It's a very floydian part even if the guitar doesn't have anything to do with the sounds used by both Barrett and Gilmour, but the tempo and the bass may come from Pompeii. They should have had a lot of fun while composing and playing it. Everything slows down at minute 20 when the music acquires a more oriental (far-eastern) mood even if still mixed with celtic-medieval melodies. The song restarts. There are just strange voices singing, like spirits in a foggy night, while the main celtic theme is continuously repeated. It's minute 23 when a guitar major chord introduces a new theme. The bass enters strongly and a new melody, still "folkedelic", begins. The heaviness of this part reminds to 35007's "Liquid". At minute 28 the drums change the tempo and the noise increases, then everything calms down. At minute 30 this mixture of high-pitched sounds and keyboard major chords seems like it was chill-out, but after one minute guitar and bass change again. At minute 31 it gives the impression of being a "coda", but there are still 9 minutes ahead. The guitar chord suddenly changes with an additional dissonance at minute 32, while a bass scale is what remains of the original melody. The noise increases but at minute 35 the main theme re-appears even if immersed in the noise. A very good acoustic guitar solo appears in the last minute to close this very good track. 2/3 of the albums are gone.

"Bois-Tu De La Biere"(Do You Drink Beer?) looks like another traditional French song with some background noises, just to remind that this is a psychedelic band. Not bad also those 3 minutes, specially when the noises replace the voice on the guitar harping.

A spacey start for the last track: "Bon Voyage Au LSD" (Have a nice trip with LSD). More than an acid trip it looks more like a space trip, similar to the pink Tangerine Dream and dark as the most ambient works of Senmuth. The spare guitar notes contribute in adding a sense of Krautrock, but the sound of the violin that appears here and there has the taste of the contemporary classic. If this album has a defect is that this track doesn't have anything to do with the previous two. They are equally good, but it's like this track was reused as a filler from a different recording session. Respect to Tangerine Dream the things move faster. The rhythmless beginning is chaotic and noisy just after 5 minutes and the chaos increases helped by drums accents after minute 8. At minute 12 the guitar becomes rock and even with all the background noise this starts sounding effectively as a late 60s acid thing. A sort of skilled version of Amon Duul, but with more modern sounds, like the second part of Tsunami of the already mentioned 35007. This goes ahead with the volume decreasing until the sudden end.

A very good psychedelic album. something that honestly I wasn't expecting to find.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2001 - Absolutely Freak Out

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Absolutely Freak Out (Zap Your Mind!!!)

01. Star Child vs Third Bad Stone (3:48)
02. Supernal Infinite Space / Waikiki Easy Meat (19:09)
03. Grapefruit March / Virgin UFO / Let's Have A Ball / Pagan Nova (20:19)
04. Stone Stoner (16:31)
05. The Incipient Light Of The Echoes (12:15)
06. Magic Aum Rock / Mercurical Megatronic Meninx (7:39)
07. Children Of The Drab / Surfin' Paris Texas / Virgin UFO Feedback (24:34)
08. The Kiss That Took A Trip / Magic Aum Rock Again / Love Is Overborne / Fly High (19:25)

- Cotton Casino / vocals, synthesizer, acoustic guitar, beer & cigarettes
- Tsuyama Atsushi / monster bass, acoustic guitar, vocal, cosmic joke
- Higashi Hiroshi / electric guitar, synthesizer, dancin' king
- Koizumi Hajime / drums, percussion, sleeping monk
- Ichiraku Yoshimitsu / drums
- Mano Kazuhiko / saxophone
- Suzuki Chisen / vocals
- Magic Aum Gigi / jew harp, electric guitar, erotic underground
- Wellens Johan / cosmic narration, freak power
- Ginestet Audrey / voice, cosmos
- Kawabata Makoto / electric guitars, violin, tambura, cosmic ringmodulater, synthesizer, organ, electric harpsichord, RDS900, vocal, speed guru

Led by the original "speed guru" himself, Kawabata Makoto, Acid Mothers Temple are a 12-piece band this time around, and these 12 people have come up with a bounty of music so magical and infuriating that a single disc would not have been enough. Absolutely Freak Out: Zap Your Mind! is Acid Mothers Temple's highest peak, over two hours of their trademark freakout goodness. "Supernal Infinite Space/Waikiki Easy Meat" is the highlight, starting with a long, spaced-out guitar drone, which finally coalesces when the back-masked drums arrive to save the day. This piece is reminiscent of Acid Mothers Temple's other peak, "In E," their adapted take on Terry Riley's "In C." The track is a complete Krautrock drone freakout that relaxes into a jazzy, spacy-lounge trip. Were there to be a best of AMT, "Supernal Infinite Space" should be the lead track. "Children of the Drab" is notable for its similarity in structure to Faust's "Tapes." The song starts out a slow Pink Floyd-ian blues, then moves into an acid-washed middle section of Floyd's "Echoes," with vocalist Cotton Casino's strange Yoko-esque vocalizing and a menacing guitar. After building up and melting down several times, the band name-drops Stone Cold Steve Austin and then launches into one of its most aggressive pieces, "Surfin' Paris-Texas," which only runs about two minutes before again morphing into another section. The piece is staggering in construction and disorienting in execution. Absolutely Freak Out: Zap Your Mind! is a perfect introduction to this most prolific and intimidating of bands. It showcases the level of diversity and the instrumental acumen of the group. Recommended.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2000 - Troubadours From Another Heavenly World

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Troubadours From Another Heavenly World

01. Heroin Heroine's Heritage (20:58)
02. She Is a Rainbow in Curved Air (5:45)
03. Acid Heart Mother (32:28)

- Cotton Casino / vocal, synthesizer
- Tsuyama Atsushi / bass, acoustic guitar, vocal
- Koizumi Hajime / drums
- Higashi Hiroshi / synthesizer
- Emi Nobuko / drums
- Haco / vocals
- Ginestet Audrey / cosmic voice
- Kawabata Makoto / electric guitars, violin, organ, synthesizer, bass

If what you most are drawn to in Acid Mothers Temple music is "Psycho Buddha", their debut album, or "Electric Heavyland" then this is not the disc for you. It is much mellower fare, and as such seems to have less power to startle and enchant than other releases. It sounds far more derivative of its acid rock forebears, and therefore less original than other music by Acid Mothers Temple.
That said, if you're looking for is an extended nod-fest outside of trance music, this is a good place to start. As a side note, though, when the reviewer below remarks that the titles belie the band's influences, the influence is more of philosophy, musical approach and spiritual attitude than direct musical quotation. In other words, while there are spots that one could call Floydian (only because you're looking for Floydian bits), there's really very little resemblance at all.
"Heroin Heroine's Heritage", at 21 minutes, opens the album. A comparatively underdriven guitar saw fuzzes away, but instead of the usual explosion of sound one's come to expect, the music actually drifts into a rather minimalist groove, performed with more reverb than a small country has in its entirety, with Cotton Casino's typical ethereal, slightly-off-key crooning. Around four minutes into the piece, Kawabata unleashes one of his growling, wailing guitar solos of divine enlightenment, though again with the amplifier turned way down from where he usually sets it. The whole piece is very minimalist compared to AMT's norm, but the tons of reverb don't let the spareness of the music become merely cerebral sounding, or dry or (most importantly) hopelessly boring. Around minute 11, things fatten up a bit with keyboards and Kawabata's messier and a-bit-noisier solo that builds to a big, swirling wash of guitar. The piece then seems to get a bit too meandering, with slowly moving walls of sound to end it.
"She is a Rainbow in Curved Air", at a mere 6 minutes, is the little sibling to the bigger kids around it. If I had to liken it to a Floyd song, it would be "Granchester Meadow", amped up slightly and played in a resoundingly echoing cave. Essentially, it is an acoustic piece for guitar accompanied, almost irritatingly, by a ceaseless, reedy whine (oboe-like, perhaps it's a shanai), and the obligatory, spaced-out female vocals. Largely a one chord wonder, it pretty much just lazily moves right along from beginning to end with only very slight variations.
"Acid Heart Mother", at 32.5 minutes long, begins with an unearthly "windy moor" noise and a woman, panned from side to side, mumbling in a foreign tongue. As a kind of invocation, it is effective in setting the mood for the piece proper, which enters slowly on a quiet, handsome bass and organ line, backed by what sounds like air constantly rushing through a Japanese flute. Kawabata's guitar then sneaks up, unsuspected, hyperreverbed but still more restrained than usual, as the whole mix comes up in volume as well. After a bit of maundering around through a light chord progression, the band steps off into an enormous abyss, still without resorting to their usual volume, and the guitar solo is gorgeous, the sound immense...the whole thing melts into an ocean of white noise, and then the guitar comes rising up out of it again with another gorgeous line. The maundering chords then return around minute 14, building to something of a climax, before relaxing back down to a very minimalist (but still reverbedly rich) section, with breathing keyboards, guitar accents and dreamy vocal crooning. Complete chaos breaks the spell at 20 minutes, as a grandiose, finale-type theme with vocals morphs into a roiling steamscape of churning white noise that sounds like a musical windstorm, with drums and nearly inaudible vocals mixed in. You might think a windstorm wouldn't be too interesting to listen to, but this one is, and all the more so as you try to decide "who is playing what here?" Almost 7 minutes later, the storm passes and what sounds like a less trite reprise of "She is a Rainbow in Curved Air" begins to usher in the end of the piece, which is simply an electronic note, sustained for 2 minutes.
The two things that especially set this spacey rock apart from its Western inspirations are the amount of reverb and the fact that the music, even when improvised, does not gravitate around the blues, which is the normal backbone for space-jams. The tons of reverb (and other effects of course) make even the mellowest sections seem fat and dripping with music. It's no accident that the full name of the band is Acid Mothers Temple and the MELTING Paraiso UFO (Underground Freak Out); the way the sounds tend to blur and melt into one another definitely seems like a deliberate musical principle on the player's part, and not just a consequence of what effects they use for their instruments.
The trips on this disc are much more conventionally trippy than others by the same band, but if you can set that expectation aside (or have none in advance), with the exception of the middle song, this is an original, often impressive and ultimately groovy piece of work.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2000 - Live In Occident

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Live In Occident

01. Acid Milk Milkyway Also Jupiter 888
02. Rising From the Cool Fool Inferno
03. Astrological Overdrive
04. Pink Lady Lemonade (I Wanna Drink You)
05. Blue Velvet Blues
06. Speed Guru
07. Lucille

Cotton "Super" Casino    vocal, synthesiser
Atsushi Tsuyama    vocal, bass, bass harmonica
Hiroshi Higashi    synthesiser, guitar, vocal
Koizumi Hajime    drums
Makoto Kawabata    guitar, theremin, vocal, producer

When we first approached the band about this classic album, our first question was: why does the recording is so flat on the vinyl? Kawabata promptly explained: “I remember we were very disappointed when we first listened to this double LP back then. The American mastering engineer, who works for many famous companies in LA said that it was impossible to master it for the vinyl format because the sounds were too heavy… When I and Tsuyama listened to our master last night (for the first time in nearly 10 years!) we were blown away and totally surprised! The music is really good, much better than we remembered and imagined.”.

We couldn’t agree more. The original master sounds like a completely different recording and perfectly captured the cosmic and incredibly powerful sounds emanated by the band at the time. Listening to a classic early version of “Pink Lady Lemonade”, weird free jazz jams like “Rising From the Cool Fool Inferno” or the obscure super heavy, doomy and haunting sounds of “Blue Velvet Blues” is something that we thought should be fully experienced and appreciated the way it was meant to be.

Recorded during many live dates in 1999, Live In Occident is the first AMT live album and features the classic freak out emsemble with Kawabata Makoto, Cotton Casino, Higashi Hiroshi, Tsuyama Atsushi and Koizumi Hajime crossing the US, France and the UK.

“The highlight is the sublime and beautiful “Astrological Overdrive”. Cotton’s vocals may be the most missed aspect of modern AMT and this performance gives a solid reason why. Her vocals mix perfectly with Tsuyama’s, especially when he gets demonic and she remains angelic. It is one of the great lost Acid Mothers songs, appearing no where else to the best of my knowledge, but it is 18 minutes of swirling but simple psych, foreshadowing jams like “La Novia” and “Soleil de Cristal et Lune d’Argent” and even “Cometary Orbital Drive”. Another mandatory jam on this one is another kinda lost song, “Blue Velvet Blues”. This one didn’t survive the AMT set list much after the first two tours it seems, but such a great song, again, another showcase for Cotton’s vocals. While the ultimate version of the song is on the 2LP reissue of “Pataphisical Freak Out Mu!!”, this version is heavy and deep, featuring a weird clapping jam with the audience not to far into the song. Hazy and totally strange, almost like the “Chanting” on this Dead show. The super pretty main riff is colored by very light guitar playing and then crushing synth noise blasts. Totally incredible.” (Nice Pooper Zine)

Limited to 500 copies and housed in our deluxe, custom miniature LP gatefold packaging.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 1999 - Wild Gals A Go-Go

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Wild Gals A Go-Go

01. Reverse Of The Universe. 1 (6:55)
02. Space Bambino - Interstellar Over Dope (10:06)
03. Sweet Juicy Lucy (7:06)
04. Mammary Intercourse (6:28)
05. Hare Hare Hallelujah - Blow Out Super High (18:23)
06. Good-Bye Ice Cream - Stone Blind Blue Heaven (14:27)
07. Reverse Of The Universe. 2 (6:06)

- Cotton Casino / vocal, synthesizer
- Tsuyama Atsushi / bass, vocal, acoustic guitar, cosmic joker
- Koizumi Hajime / drums, monk
- Higashi Hiroshi / synthesizer, fishing rod
- Yoshida Masayuki / keyboards
- Suhara Keizo / inpatient
- Kaneko Tetsuya / tabla
- YoKo / drone machine, photo
- Ayano / Space Hi!
- Father MOO / telstar gnome
- Eddie & Bill (COA) / French voices
- Kawabata Makoto / electric guitars, bowed sitar, q'anoon, electric organ, keyboard, RDS900

Apparently, this CD is of a soundtrack for some porno film but it's said to be 'the lost album' between the time the band released 'Troubadour...Another' and 'Pataphisical Freak Out MU!!' (see my reviews of both). Starts off with "Reverse Of The Universe" - a six-minute (most-annoying) single note keyboard drone I think I've ever heard and the almost too out-there "Space Bambino". Rest assure, this CD gets better. "Sweet Juicy Lucy" is more like the tyipcal Acid Mothers track that is (in fact) trippy as well as a bit stagnating - but still good. "Mammary Intercourse" sounds sort of like someone playing a Hawkwind vinyl lp backwards and "Hare Hare Hallelujah / Blow Out" is part experimental and part spaced out bliss - has a nice ethnic vibe to it. Then there's the eighteen-minute "Stone Blind Blue Heaven" which is more of that hard-to-resist spaced out bliss and the CD finale - which is a part two "Reverse Of The Universe". Only here, the single-note drone isn't as long. Whew! A strange, yet pleasant disc to put in the stereo after you've had an off day.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 1999 - Pataphisical Freak Out MU!!

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Pataphisical Freak Out MU!!

01. Cosmic Audrey / Acid Takion (11:30)
02. White Summer Of Love / Third Eye Of The Whole World (5:52)
03. Golden Bat Blues Dead / Mr. Hardy Guidey Man / Magic Aûm LSD / Astrological Overdrive (16:12)
04. Right About Rainbow I / Your My Only Super Sunshine / Right About Rainbow II (8:48)
05. Blue Velvet Blues (25:41)

- Cotton Casino / vocals, space whisper, synthesiser
- Tsuyama Atsushi / monsterbass, acoustic guitar, vocal, cosmic joker
- Koizumi Hajime / drums, monk
- Higashi Hiroshi / synthesiser, semi-acoustic guitar, fishing rod
- Yoshida Fumio / hardy-gardy
- Suhara Keizo / bass, video camera
- Johan Wellens / cosmic narration, freak power
- Magic Aûm Gigi / voice, erotic underground
- Siwaporn / voice
- Audrey Ginestet / cosmic voice
- Siwaporn / voice
- Kawabata Makoto / electric guitars, speed guru

- Yoko / cheese cake, photograph
- Father MOO / TV gnome
- Lovely Ayano / space Hi!

The Acid Mothers Temple unit is a strange one, and I had no idea what to expect though their album covers signify a return to the vintage psychedelic acid fuelled flower power of the late 60s. I don't mind a brain blast occasionally of psychedelia such as Gong, or space rock such as Hawkwind, but those bands are nowhere near as tripped out as Acid Mother's Temple, not even close. It is like vintage Gong without the lyrics, mixed with Hawkwind's jamming sessions from their earlier years such as "Space Ritual", and one may also detect hints of krautrock such as Can or Grobschnitt's "Solar Music". "Pataphysical Freak Out MU!!" is extreme acid rock taken to the Nth degree. The band are concentric on capturing spaced out LSD soaked atmospherics using any musical instrument at their disposal. The guitars are a prominent focus using phased wah wah effects and sustained string bends.

The opening track 'Cosmic Audrey/Acid Takion' sounds like Jimi Hendrix had forgotten the words; it is simply mind expanding spacey guitar with a ton of feedback and a driving fast tempo beat. It is a well played guitar solo, but it has no riff or tune and is completely improvised over a sonic musical scape. It is certainly one of the better tracks on the album simply for its brute force and no holds barred killer guitar that shreds into the brain; designed to blow the brain apart in would say. Makoto Kawabata is the guitar speed master who is joined by layers of Atsushi Tsuyama bass explosions and Hajime Koizumi of percussion blasts.

Next on the menu, is a dose of tranquillity on 'White Summer Of Love/Third Eye Of The Whole World', with some acoustics and ambience, once again without a melody, or tune, but simply a hypnotic sound to kick back to, presumably after a hit of the acid; it is a come down song. The space whispers are reminiscent of Gong but not as sensuous, though the vocals on 'Astrological Overdrive' are a little more relaxing with all the spacey textures vibrating around them.

The music though on the album builds with hypnotic repetitions and includes extremely distorted guitars such as on the lengthy 'Blue Velvet Blues' that is virtually an improvised guitar on high phased fuzzy reverb. Makoto again takes center stage but it may grate on the nerves after about 6 minutes, though it is only about half way through. The sound is ultra-psyched out and is obviously LSD induced. It would not be surprising to learn that the whole album was created under the influence, such is the vibe of the music.

This is quite a chilling album that left me wanting to explore further into this band. It is certainly a curio and the band have produced a plethora of other albums equally as trippy in the content one would expect. They have an underground cult following for good reason and will only appeal to a certain section of listeners; a very elite section at that who are into stoner rock with an extreme acid fuelled edge. It is what it is, and I would say if you wanted to listen to some of the trippiest music on the planet perhaps you could go no further than Acid Mother's Temple and the Melting Paraisio UFO, and this is one of their highest rated albums, therefore a good place to start. This stoner rock is not for the squeamish, that is for certain.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 1997 - Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

01. Acid Mothers Prayer (52:59)
- Speed Guru
- From The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.I
- The Top Head Pixies
- Zen Feedbacker
- Coloradoughnut
- From The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. II
- Amphetamine A Go Go
- Pink Lady Lemonade
- Satori LSD
- Hawaiian Brownie
- Acid Mothers Temple For All!

- Cotton Casino / voice, sitar, synthesizer
- Higashi Hiroshi / guitar, synthesizer, effects, fishing rod
- Koizumi Hajime / drums, percussion, soprano saxophone, monk
- Takahashi Atsuki / drums, penguin
- Suhara Keizo / bass
- Suzuki Chisen / voice
- Mano Kazuhiko / tenner saxophone, bass clarinet, percussion
- Sakakibara Daiji / didgeridoo, earth spirit
- Yasuda Hisashi / piano, magic cane
- Johan Wellens / cosmic narration, freak power
- Yoko / violin, cheese cake
- Ichi / dog
- Jijiji / synthesizer
- Kawabata Makoto / guitars, synthesizers, sarangi, alto recorder, oriental clarinet, cosmic ring modulator, speed guru

Well if you're gonna start a revolution, it should make an impact, right? This 53 minute single track CD (broken up by individual title sections) gets the massive early seventies pudding that is Acid Mothers Temple off to a serious bang. Over the course of the thing we get total noise, guitar thunder, crashing space rock, bubbling krautrock keyboards, psychedelic mellow bliss and utterly unlistenable sheets of chaos.
My, my has psychedelic rock come along way since the days of Strawberry Alarm Clock. Remember when psych was all about flowery t-shirts and peace & love? Those days are very distant now. Forget your 80s neo-psychedelia (read: indie pop), this is the real deal, even truer to the psych spirit than pretty much all the bands of the 60s, even though there's moments where this is closer to Hijokaidan than Jefferson Airplane. More than just the relentless noise of some of their other recordings, this is an engaging suite blending full-throttle freak outs, ethereal trip-folk, semi-sound collages, and spoken segments, concluding with a high pitched frequency, sustained for two minutes. My ears.