Sunday, May 31, 2015

Geinoh Yamashirogumi - 1977 - Yamato Genjoh

Geinoh Yamashirogumi 
Yamato Genjoh

01. Gassho Kariboshi-Kiriuta (4:00)
02. Warabauta-Sho (2:16)
03. Shudarahigyo (15:54)
04. Yamashiro-Bushi: Yanagi No Ame (3:53)
05. Yamashiro-Bushi: Tanuki (16:31)

I'm starting to be more used with Geinoh Yamashiroguni. This choral ensemble seems to demonstrate that the vocal harmonies are similar in each part of the world and this makes this music very approachable if you have the patience to listen to choirs only.
The first track is sad and the oriental flavor seems so relevant mainly because of the lyrics and the tonality of the lead singer. I think that traditional music of a lot of places from Mediterranean Sea to Japan passing by Arabia and India have similar harmonies.
"Warabauta.-Sho" has a strange sound. The Japanese lyrics and the backgroud voice are very Japanese but the chords sung by the two have some of Irish. Try to believe. This is an excellent vocal duo on which the second voice sometimes speaks as in a sort of far-eastern rap adding rhythm to the song.
The first percussion (woods) comes only with the third track, a long one of more than 15 minutes. Male voices coming from "far and below", with a strong reverb effect are introduced by a gong. It seems really to be a hidden religious anthem. An instrument with a sound similar to a didgeridoo leads the first part of a track on which the choral element is less relevant than on the first two tracks and the gong interludes come only when they are effectively needed. the singular thing is that there's less rhythm on this track which has percussions than in the two previous "choir only" tracks. Hypnotic as an early Tangerine Dream album. The second half of the track, after a short pause is mainly vocals and percussion, exactly the opposite of the first half. Here the compulsive rhythm is the basis of all the variations. The choir, too, is rhythmic and a sort of trumpet or a string instrument (I'm not expert in japanese folk) is the variation element. A sort of Japanese Krautrock...
Traditional string instrument and female vocals. This is what "Yanagi No Ame"is made of. Watch a picture of mount Fuji while listening.
The closer starts with a male choir very similar to alpines. This is something that I have already written about other albums. The vocal harmonies are so similar and based of major chords as well as to Christmas carols, but it's interrupted by the string instrument of the previous track (that's supposed to be an intro to this) and by a teathrical speech. At minute 4 the big surprise.....Drums and Bass, then keyboard and electric guitar. If it wasn't for the choir it could be one of the funky-jazz excursions of Klaus Shulze with Stomu Yamash'ta. Very 70s funk totally unexpected and very enjoyable. The choir element acquires almost an African atmosphere so that the first band that comes to my mind as a reference is Osibisa. Just 2:30 minutes, the we are back to Japanese folk. At minute 9:30 another funky-folk section stars. What's the sense of it all? I think you need to know the Japanese to understand it, however it's ver pleasant. At about minute 11 a solo of shakuyaki or how that instrument is called creates an exciting contaminated crescendo as it's backed by bass and drums. A track like this deserve the band's inclusion in the avant subgenre. The alternance of folk and funk continues with different sections until the end when the track has its most avantgarde moments.

Geinoh Yamashirogumi - 1976 - Chi no Hibiki Higashi Yuroppo Wo Utau

Geinoh Yamashirogumi 
Chi no Hibiki Higashi Yuroppo Wo Utau

01. You wa Shizumu (3:29)
02. Karai Mo-me (4:20)
03. Suriko (1:47)
04. Zamraknala Moma Yana (4:18)
05. Kotoshi Okotta Koto (2:02)
06. Hate mo Naki Kouya Hara (4:01)
07. Watashi No Ama Hatake (2:44)
08. Sosori Tatsu Iwa (3:09)
09. Omae wa Nan no Hana (3:19)
10. Odori Jouzu na Petorunko (1:17)
11. Hassanbeda no Uta (2:20)
12. Todora wa dYume Miru (2:45)

With their album "Chi no Hibiki Higashi Yuroppo Wo Utau", roughly translated to "Reverberation of Earth" for the CD release from 1994, this magical collective, Geinoh Yamashirogumi, presents listeners with an incredibly beautiful, all vocal album of Eastern European singing styles. At times, we're presented with large choirs singing, sometimes with solo/featured voices, but never at any point is there anything which could be labeled as progressive rock, rock, or indeed even progressive here (for that, look to their stunning "Osorezan" album).
That's not to say the music presented here isn't masterfully crafted, beautiful, and a great listening experience every time I decide to put this album on. It's incredibly peaceful and full of emotion, and definitely recommended to fans of choral music.

Geinoh Yamashirogumi - 1976 - Osorezan Do No Kenbai

Geinoh Yamashirogumi
Osorezan  Do No Kenbai  

01. 恐山 (Osorezan) [Mountain of Fear] (19:55)
02. 銅之剣舞 (Doh no Kembai) [Copper Sword Dance] (18:47)

- Takanori Sasaki/ bass
- Jiro Suzuki / drums
- Seiji Hayamizu / guitar
- Takayuki Inoue / guitar
- Katsuo Ohno / keyboards

Additional Personnel:

- Ohashi Tsutomu / conductor
- Hiroyuki Iwata / director
- Toyo Nakamura / producer

"Osorezan" was recorded at Victor No. 1 Studio on January 20th, 1976.
"Doh No Kembai" (or "Dou no Kenbai") was recorded on December 2, 1975.

Geinoh Yamashirogumi (Japanese: 芸能山城組, Geinō Yamashirogumi) is a Japanese musical collective founded on January 19, 1974 by Tsutomu Ōhashi, consisting of hundreds of people from all walks of life: journalists, doctors, engineers, students, businessmen, etc.
They are known for both their faithful re-creations of folk music from around the world, as well as their fusion of various traditional musical styles with modern instrumentation and synthesizers. For example, in the 1980s, MIDI digital synthesizers could not handle the tuning systems of traditional gamelan music, so the group had to teach themselves how to program in order to modify their equipment. The album that followed, Ecophony Rinne (1986) was a new direction for the group: they had not previously incorporated computer-generated sounds into their work. The success of this album brought them to the attention of Katsuhiro Ōtomo, who commissioned them to create the soundtrack of Akira. The soundtrack is built on the concept of recurrent themes or "modules". Texturally, the soundtrack is a mix of digital synthesizers (Roland D-50 and Yamaha DX7-II, both of which could, by then, be tuned to the Pure-Minor, slendro, and pelog tuning scales), Indonesian chromatic percussion (jegog, etc.), traditional Japanese theatrical and spiritual music (Noh), European classical, and progressive rock.
Geinoh Yamashirogumi has reproduced over eighty different styles of traditional music and performances from around the world, but despite having performed internationally to a high degree of critical acclaim, they remain relatively unknown.

"Osorezan (Mountain of Fear)" is not an easy song. It opens with a scream like Eugene was really hitting Waters with an axe, then after a drums interlude we find a long chord full of harmonics, then bass and voices like in Vangelis' Heaven and Hell introduce a Jap folk vocalist. Without all the background noises it would have been evocative. Then stop. Then noises sustained by an open chord. It's like a fusion of psychedelia and krautrock with something that doesn't have equivalents in the western music. Chaotic and unstructured, it seems to represent spirits and elementals. The alternance of chaos and silence tells a story. Distorted vocals and screams while the chaos incerases, it's not totally scaring. The concept behind spirits and elementals in Japan is not the same as in the west.

Around minute 9 we have the first touch of what we are used to call music, with a choir singing over a base of bass and drums, quite jazzy, then a very good guitar solo. From here it proceeds in an easier way.

I have read that this is about a volcano on the island of Honshu on which some priestesses are a contact point between our world and the realm of deads, a sort of Japanese version of the Delphi oracles. This explains the first part of the track, when the priestesses get into a trance status and at the end of the jazzy section when the chaos is in crescendo and is closed by another female scream.

Finally it seems that we have reached the contact. In the last minutes the music is calm and low-volume with soft vocals and bells. This part reminds me to the Tibetan Suite of Lucia Hwong (who I have suggested for inclusion on PA....). At the end the voice of the priestess, I imagine, resurrects us like she's bringing us out from the realm of death to the top of the mountain.

The B side is "Dou No Kembai" (Copper Sword Dance). It starts as the male counterpoint to the first female song. A male ritual choir which alternates to a soloist occupy the first minutes. Not particularily appealing for western tastes, specially if one, like me, doesn't understand the Japanese. This track is based on rhythm produced by choirs instead of percussions. It is more challenging than the previous. It's tribal. I don't know if a copper sword dance really exists, but this B side can probably have a sense for Japaneses only. I can listen to it as I do to some unstructured Krautrock, with the difference that this is structured instead, but on a basis that's too far from what I'm used to.

For anyone who wants a unique, challenging album, I definitely recommend checking this out. It may be uneasy listening for some, but it's worth the effort of getting to know it.

Datetenryu - 1971 - Datetenryu


01. Mizutamari
02. Nada's jam
03. Tears for life
04. Old sun
05. Happy stone

Hiroshi Nar - vocals, bass
Masao Tonari - organ
Kei Yamashita - guitar
Shogo Ueda - drums

Included here as representatives of the early ’70s festival scene, Datetenryu was an obscure cousin to Communist agitator bands Zuno Keisatsu (Brain Police), Yellow, Les Rallizes Denud?s and Murahatchibu. Led by organist Masao Tonari, the band on UNTO[album] played a frantic hogwash of soul-based progressive space rock that inhabited the same territory as The the Soft Machine’s debut- LP period (imagine ‘Why Are We Sleeping?’ or ‘Hope For for Happiness’ by way of ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’). Mainly instrumental, their music is a space trek through endless R&B riffs and classic soul moments, like some ever- unfolding medley. UNTO purports to be what the band members would have chosen had they had the opportunity to release an official debut album at the time, ie: a total barrage of lo-fi progressive garage rock. The 20-minute epic ‘Doromamire (Covered All Over In in Mud)’ is the killer, but really it’s all one insane 47-minute-long rush. Formed in May 1971, at Kyoto Sangyo (‘Industrial’) University, Datetenryu was a right bunch of refusenik longhairs. Masao Tonari set up sideways on to the rest of the band, while drummer Shogo Ueda played, head down, facing away from the stage pointing towards Tonari’s Yamaha organ. Indeed, guitarist Kei Yamashita appears to have been permanently out of proceedings in the same way that Yes’s Pete Banks and the Nice’s Davy O’List were forever being sidelined. Datetenryu’s biggest claim to fame, however, was the presence of bassist/singer Hiroshi Narazaki, who later became Hiroshi Nar and joined Les Rallizes Denud?s, thereafter forming his own very excellent band the Niplets, who continue to perform right up to the present time.

Akira Ishikawa Count Buffalo Jazz And Rock Band - 1970 - Bakishinba - Memories Of Africa

Akira Ishikawa Count Buffalo Jazz And Rock Band 
Bakishinba - Memories Of Africa

01. Sandstorm
02. Sunrise
03. Flamingo
04. African Deer
05. Bakishinba
06. Mirage
07. Blue Soul

Akira Ishikawa_drums & african percussion
Kiyoshi Sugimoto_electric guitar
Isao Eto_electric bass
Hirosama Suzuki_keyboards
Norio Maeda_organ
Takeru Muraoka_tenor sax
Masami Kawahara_latin percussion

Great drummer & bandleader, Akira Ishikawa featuring his Count Buffalo band who were prolific on the japanese Jazz Rock scene of the late 60s and early 70s. He was also a member of the legendary japanese quintet the Freedom Unity with Hiromasa Suzuki and Takeru Muraoka. Akira explores African rhythms and creates an intelligent fusion of Jazz, Soul and Rock as evidenced the 'African Deer' suite, all in collaboration of two great arrangers, Norio Maeda & Hiromasa Suzuki. This 'African' orientation will reach its apogee with cult album, 'Unganda', released in 1972. Titles include Sandstorm & Sunrise composed by M. Yoshino, Flamingo & African Deer by Norio Maeda, Bakishinba, Mirage & Blue Soul by Hiromasa Suzuki. All tracks arranged by Norio Maeda & Hiromasa Suzuki.

Akira Ishikawa Count Buffalo Jazz And Rock Band - 1972 - Uganda

Akira Ishikawa Count Buffalo Jazz And Rock Band

01. 動物達と夜明け [Wanyama Na Mapambazuko]
02. 求愛 [Na Tu Penda Sana]
03. 戦い [Vita]
04. ピグミー [Pigmy]

Ishikawa Akira:  drums, percussion
Kimio Mizutani:  electric guitar
Larry Sunaga:  percussion
Chihara Hideaki (=Takebe Hideaki, from Adams): bass.

Akira Ishikawa had a mission. He wanted to find the eternal now of rhythm. After a mind-blowing trip to Africa in 1970, the Japanese percussionist had a goal — true Afro-delic Acid Rock. He hooked up with composer Muroaka Takeru and this album was born in 1971. Awash in minimalist percussion — at times sounding like a field recording of a commune or some street performers — the album devolves into primitive heavy acid rock and throbbing seriousness. Ishikawa's intense personal vision and mission is no record-collector curiosity. This beauty deserves our attention.
Long known to collectors of bizarre Japanese psychedelic/heavy rock (see Cope, Julian), Uganda became something of a mystery and a holy grail. The album screams, too. It stumbles into that same primal early rock, excuse me, RAWK place that bands like Leaf Hound, The Edgar Broughton Band, and Australia's Buffalo ended up. In fact, this record comes off like a recording of the jam sessions that led to the riffs and beats of the James Gang's "Funk #49" but without all that familiarity from FM radio. Famed guitarist Mizutani Kimio trades monster licks with rambling percussion, an impressive drum kit (Ishikawa) and lots of moaning and throb.
The opening cut "Wanyamana Mapambazuko" will attract the most attention. It's utter heaviness will recall the stomping feet of Flower Travelling Band's Satori or even the Groundhogs' monstrous Split. The layers of percussion unsettle and make the walls wiggle. They evoke the sound of long dead gods in old amplifiers and fingers rubbing on hide
If you like wah, this record will blow you away. Kimio Mizutani is essentially Japan's version of early 70s Peter Green, but without any of the subtlety. I can see so many similarities. Both this album and Peter Green's 1970 record have the two most consistent and heaviest tracks as the opening and closing tracks, while the the inner tracks have a few great moments buried in long, guitar-less percussion jams (which reminds me, the last minute of "Na Tu Penda Sana" has some absolutely psychotic fuzz noise after warming you up with 8 minutes of tribal drumming). Both have a really strong bass player with a nice and thick fuzz tone. And although this last part is only a superficial similarity, Peter Green did coincidentally release "Uganda Woman" in the same year. So the problem is basically the same as Green's solo debut (not enough guitar), other than that it's a brilliant record. Actually, I do have to admit that Vita is a bit disappointing.

And just like Peter Green in 1970, Kimio appeared on at least four 1971 albums with some similarly brilliant heavy guitar work. I honestly can't understand why the hell Shinki gets all the hype.

Akiko Yano - 1976 - Japanese Girl

Akiko Yano 
Japanese Girl

01. 気球にのって [Kikyu ni notte]
02. クマ [Kuma]
03. 電話線 [Denwa-sen]
04. 津軽ツアー [Tsugaru tour]
05. ふなまち唄PartII [Funamachi uta Part II]
06. 大いなる椎の木 [Ooinaru Shii no ki]
07. へこりぷたぁ [Helicopter]
08. 風太 [Futa]
09. 丘を越えて [Oka wo koete]
10. ふなまち唄PartI [Funamachi uta Part I]

Congas – Sam Clayton
Drums – Richie Hayward
Electric Bass – Kenny Gradney
Electric Guitar – Lowell George, Paul Barrere
Percussion – Richie Hayward, Sam Clayton
Piano – Akiko YanoSynthesizer – Akiko Yano
Pedal Steel Guitar – Hiroki Komazawa
Acoustic Guitar – Chuei Yoshikawa
Congas – Tetsuro Kashibuchi
Percussion – Kisaku Katada
Piano – Akiko YanoS
trings – Ohno Ensemble
Backing Vocals – Morio Agata
Drums – Tetsuro Kashibuchi
Electric Bass – Hirobumi Suzuki
Electric Piano – Akiko Yano
Guiro – Akiko Yano
Mandolin – Masahiro Takekawa
Pedal Steel Guitar – Hiroki Komazawa
Piano – Akiko Yano
Pipa – Masahiro Takekawa
Taiko – Keiichi Suzuki, Tetsuro Kashibuchi

Akiko Yano was born in Tokyo and raised in Aomori, Japan. She began playing piano at the young age of three and demonstrated promising talent. When she was only fifteen, Akiko moved to Tokyo on her own and entered into Aoyama Gakuin High School where she pursued her musical career. She later began performing in jazz clubs where her masterful skill at the piano brought her popularity among other musicians. Akiko joined a band with roots in Tin Pan Alley.
Akiko recorded her debut album, Japanese Girl, primarily in Los Angeles with Lowell George and Little Feat. She began collaborating with Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). They continued to play on her next recording projects and invited Akiko to join them on two of their worldwide tours. Akiko expanded her musical collaborations with YMO on her subsequent CD releases. Akiko continued to release CDs joined by JAPAN and Pat Metheny and has performed on albums by Thomas Dolby and other artists. In 1990 Akiko relocated to New York where she collaborated and toured with some of the world's most renowned musicians including The Chieftains, Toninho Horta and Jeff Bova on his project THE HAMMONDS.

26th Greatest Japanese Rock Albums of All Time according to Rolling Stone Japan.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2015 - High on New Heaven, Live in New Haven

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
High on New Heaven, Live in New Haven

01. Born Free, Stone Free
02. In Search of Lost Divine Arc
03. Pink Lady Lemonade - Including OM Riff From The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Part One
04. Pink Lady Lemonade - Including OM Riff From The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Part Two
05. Cometary Orbital Drive
06. Space Speed Suicide

Tsuyama Atsushi (bass, voice, recorder, percussion, cosmic joker)
Higashi Hiroshi (synthesizer, percussion, voice, dancin’king)
Tabata Mitsuru (electric guitar, guitar synthesizer, voice, maratab)
Satoshima Nani (drums, another dimension)
Kawabata Makoto (electric & acoustic guitar, electric sitar, bouzouki, electric sho, electronics, hurdy-gurdy, percussion, field recording, voice, speed guru).

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. celebrates it’s 20th year as Japan’s premiere psychedelic freak-out collective with the release of this intimate live 4/20 recording. Recorded on site at Cafe Nine in downtown New Haven, CT, Kawabata and crew delivered a solid live show totally deserving of the holiday it was conceived on. Sometimes heavy, sometimes slow and quiet, the set endlessly climbed through the frequencies delivering the fuzzy and hypnotic to a sweaty, gleeful, bleary-eyed room of psychedelic enthusiasts.

“Today is 420, so please, High On!”

This is a fantastic live cd and a must have. It is fairly representative of a their concerts and is a must have. I love it and if I could I would give it a ten star rating. My only complaint is that I wish they would release a full concert album. Hurry and Get it! You will not be disappointed. Play loud and play often. With headphones they are a real trip. Man, these guys have shown me that the sixties have never ended....

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2015 - Benzaiten

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

01. Benzaiten 17:54
02. December Stops 19:06
03. Benzaiten Reprise 18:18
04. Benzaiten Coda 14:06

Tsuyama Atsushi (bass, voice, recorder, percussion, cosmic joker)
Higashi Hiroshi (synthesizer, percussion, voice, dancin’king)
Tabata Mitsuru (electric guitar, guitar synthesizer, voice, maratab)
Satoshima Nani (drums, another dimension)
Kawabata Makoto (electric & acoustic guitar, electric sitar, bouzouki, electric sho, electronics, hurdy-gurdy, percussion, field recording, voice, speed guru).

Another smoker from Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., in typically fine form. Benzaiten is an In C-style homage to the classic Osamu Kitajima record Benzaiten (1973). Acid Mothers Temple covers the title-track and reprise using Kitajima's original composition as a departure point to explore the outer realms of AMT territory. Further instrumental explorations reveal textures of the original composition while launching out further into the cosmic domain. Numerous Acid Mothers originals are scattered in between. Benzaiten!

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2014 - Astrorgasm From The Inner Space

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Astrorgasm From The Inner Space

01. Dark Star Blues
02. Pleasure Mantra of Sorrows
03. Kiss in the Tangerine Dream House
04. Astrorgasm From the Inner Space

Kawabata Makoto: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bouzouki, sarangi, tambura, harmonium, electronics, tape, yangqin, drums, engineer, mixing, producer
Jiji No Hoppetaroman: tabla
Tabata Mitsuru: guitar, synthesizer
Higashi Hiroshi: synthesizer
Shimura Koji: drums
Ichiraku Yoshimitsu: drums
Tsuyama Atsushi: bass, acoustic guitar
Cotton Casino: voice, guitar

Acid Mothers Temple’s albums usually seem to come across as polarizing experiences. Sometimes there’s something incredibly wonderful about the psychedelic rock the band pushes out, whilst other times, it all feels a little bit too indulgent and over-bearing. On the bands’ latest album ‘Astrorgasm From The Inner Space’, Acid Mothers Temple once again bombard their listeners with an unrelenting and incredibly explosive psychedelic rock workout. There’s nothing new about ‘Astrorgasm From The Inner Space’, though this appears to be one of the albums that falls into the enjoyable category of Acid Mothers Temple albums.

The new album from the somewhat absurd psychedelic rock band featured four newly recorded compositions, all lasting roughly 20 minutes each in length. There’s a great range of style and ideas being presented by the band on the new record though, ranging from the freak-out sections that dominate many tracks, to very peculiar almost ambient passages, as well as other little instrumental passages of varying styles. It’s an incredibly challenging listen, but for the most part, it feels like Acid Mothers Temple are presenting their listeners with a more cohesive listening experience, or at least as cohesive as Acid Mothers Temple could ever get. There’s actually a lot to enjoy here, with Acid Mothers Temple sounding at arguably their best, with the whole listening experience being full of twists and turns and psychedelic blow-outs that really challenge the listeners.

The bands’ music is always something to be desired of course. The incredibly lengthy tracks are always a lot to chew, resulting in very challenging listening experiences. Whilst there’s actually a fair amount to be enjoyed here, there’s still a lot to really get through. At times, Acid Mothers Temple demonstrate some wonderful instrumental passages, some of which almost border on the accessible, though at other times it all descends into the madness the band is known for. It’s pleasing to some, though there’s an almost tiring element to the whole effect, as we’ve heard it so many times before.

‘Astrorgasm From The Inner Space’ is certainly challenging, but so is any other Acid Mothers Temple album. It’s incredibly bizarre and indulgent music for the mad, and there’s something incredibly enjoyable about that. In terms of other Acid Mothers Temple albums, ‘Astrorgasm From The Inner Space’ seems to come across as a very strong experience, standing alongside ‘Electric Heavyland’ and ‘St. Captain Freakout And The Magic Bamboo Request’. Something about the four tracks being presented at this time by Acid Mothers Temple just seems to work incredibly well, with the whole thing being a wonderful yet maddening album experience.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2013 - In Search Of The Lost Divine Arc

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
In Search Of The Lost Divine Arc

01. Space Speed Suicide (5:01)
02. Born Free Stone Free (16:49)
03. Skillfiul Grinning Skull (4:57)
04. Escape Horoscopes (2:57)
05. Babe, I'm gonna Reave You (7:24)
06. In Search of Lost Divine Ark (19:32)

- Tsuyama Atsushi / bass, voice, flute, pipe
- Higashi Hiroshi / synthesizer
- Shimura Koji / drums
- Tabata Mitsuru / guitar, guitar-synthesizer, maratab
- Kawabata Makoto / guitar, bouzouki, electric sitar, hurdy gurdy

Seeing Acid Mothers Temple on stage, you get an air of calm from the band, they're very comfortable up there, and they playfully unleash a sonic menagerie of sounds that wash over and bounce around everywhere. Sometimes a bit slower and in droning fashion, and at other times loud and strong. This recent LP "In Search of Lost Divine Ark" starts out as if the gas pedal is all the way down. The first song "Space Speed Suicide" starts everything with a huge roar, a loud Hawkwind-esque barrage of distortion and pulsating solo guitar rants. An as usual spacey quality surrounds the tracks here, which are all strong numbers, the extended "Born Free Stone Free" and "In Search of Lost Divine Ark" being standouts. The former tune is reminiscent of recent work by Master Musicians of Bukkake.

Perhaps part of it's strength comes from being released on experimental music label Important Records. First issues came on beautiful light blue swirled vinyl, with second pressings being on black. The LP packaging is stunning in addition, with an uncoated thick stock gatefold cover with wonderful, rather subdued and minimal, artwork than what they usually produce for their releases. Will hope for much more of this sort of thing from them in the future. Highly recommended.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - 2013 - Doobie Wonderland

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno
Doobie Wonderland

01. Do You Remember Doobie Wonderland? (21:56)
02. Planet Golden Love (12:44)
03. Dance With Space Gypsy Queen (13:05)
04. M.J.Love 666 (18:39)
05. Shining O and Jupiter 8 (11:37)

- Kawabata Makoto / guitar, electronics, speedguru
- Pika? / drums, voice, cosmic shaman
- Tabata Mitsuru / bass, voice, maratab
- Higashi Hiroshi / synthesizer, dancin' king
- Shimura Koji / drums, latino cool

You gotta just love this CD's cover. 'Doobie Wonderland' truly deserves a five-star rating but with it's duration of 78:03, in all honesty - this disc may be a bit too lengthy for some (even old school) Acid Mothers fans. Starts off with the tripping / (sort of) funky - maybe disco semi-inspired (?) twenty-two minute "Do You Remember Doobie Wonderland?" that does feature some (a bit) disappointing female vocals - however very shortly after that - this tune (fully) progresses into your typical Acid Mothers Temple acidic guitar freak-out. Also got a lot out of the wonderfully cosmic "Planet Golden Love", the superb AMT galactic ~psych~ journey of the eighteen-minute epic "M. J. Love 66" and the similar "Shining O And Jupiter". Unlike most Acid Mothers Temple CD releases, this piece comes with a must-have / irreplaceable eight-page CD booklet. You just really need to check out some of these (unreal) pics. Essential.

Acid Mothers Temple & Space Paranoid - 2013 - Black Magic Satori

Acid Mothers Temple & Space Paranoid
Black Magic Satori

01. Black Magic Satori
02. Devil Inside
03. Space Paranoid

Tabata Mitsuru : bass, voice, maratab
Higashi Hiroshi : synthesizer, dancin’king
Okano Futoshi : drums, godspeed
Kawabata Makoto : guitars, speed guru

Japan's premiere psych collective come together again and form Acid Mothers Temple & Space Paranoid. More stoner rock than psych, this collection of tracks emulate Black Sabbath in all the best ways possible. Slow, doomy starts lead to endless jams and stoner drone.
You never know what yr gonna get, with an Acid Mother’s record. The infamous Japanese psych collective ply at least 3 unique genres: straight-up space rock/classic psych, a la Pink Floyd; sludge/stoner/doom, a la Black Sabbath; and what someone described as space folk, a mixture of acapella, acoustic instruments, and traditional music from various parts of the world, shot through with the music of the spheres.

Black Magic Satori falls heavily into the stoner/doom camp, with the band taking Sabbath’s leaden grooves into Hawkwind‘s space station. The band, dubbed Space Paranoid for the occasion, is a stripped down version of the sprawling collective, with a very rock ‘n roll line-up of guitars, bass, drums and synth. This is more of a streamlined, garage psychedelia, than the sometimes dense psychedelic symphonies of The Melting Paraiso UFO It tastes of cheap booze and bad speed; it reeks of gasoline and napalm and chromo. You’ll feel like you’re shooting through a wormhole on White Cross, white knuckles gripping the command console.

controlpanel9Each of Black Magic Satori’s 3 tracks, the title track, “Devil Inside”, and “Space Paranoid” (a spacey and far-out version of Paranoid, by Sabbath), follows a similar template – starts off with a solid and steady repetitive riff, either guitar or bass or often both, which then builds, loops and layers, crashing into crescendo, and finally, breaking free from the atmosphere, into the pearly night.

“Black Magic Satori” and “Devil Inside” are the main attraction here, with the former a colossal 16 minutes, and the latter coming in at 10. These are miniature sci-fi psychodramas, that could transport yr commute or Friday evening into intergalactic intrigue and adventure. The title-track is the higher-fi of the two, and i would dub it a staple to AMT’s cannon; truly thrilling stuff! The embellishments of Okano Futoshi trancey breakbeats and Higashi Hiroshi‘s burbling oscillators makes this some next level galactic tsunami, that is bound to pry yr third eye open with amethyst, leaving the taste of wet sabretooth tiger fur on yr tongue.

“Devil Inside” is the lo-fi twin shadow of “Black Magic Satori”; it’s a real crunchy bummer flick of mongoloid guitars, spasmotic drums, and canned incantations. This is like some interdimensional biker gang coming to yr town. Godspeed You! black wizard. H. P. Lovecraft meets The Wild Ones.

“Space Paranoid” is a lagniappe, a nice excuse to hear the musicians flail and freak. There’s some essential flying fretwork from Kawabata, and some intense Vishnu-work from Okano Futoshi – what an awesome drummer! I’ve heard permutations and ramifications of Paranoid in their live set, so it’s nice to have a version laid to wax.

The pared-back line-up really lets you hear and appreciate each individual player here, each one a top notch jammer. I really love the addition of the synth, on top of the biker grooves, which gives BMS a unique flourish. One lesson we can take from AMT is:


I also really like how the stable, repetitive riffs lets the drums slice up and subdivide each beat, giving a powerful thrash funk feel; loose and tight at the same time.

hallpsyhI’ve always been fond of AMT’s stoner/sludge side – it might even be my favorite of their manifestations. I love the power and force of the riff, cranked and jacked all the way up. It’s a heavy metal minimalism, a 150 W meditation. It’s a lovely (and essential) mixture of metal, retro SF and mysticism.

Acid Mother’s back-catalog is monolithic, so i just picked the second to newest, to get a flavor what they’ve been up to. Going to see them tonight at Mississippi Studios. If you live in Portland, you can too.

This might seem like a surprising leap, from the last 2 days posting, but the threads of witchcraft run through Black Magic Satori. It’s like some troupe of nature worshipers come across some extraterrestrial monolith in the forest, which spontaneously gives them electricity, as well as telepathic powers. The cult begin worshiping the monolith with electric instruments, frenzy and abandon.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2012 - Son Of A Bitches Brew

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Son Of A Bitches Brew

01. Son Of A Bitches Brew (17:15)
02. Helen Buddha: Miss Condom X (7.01)
03. Fellatioh's Dance Also Bitch's Blow (12:21)
04. Water Babies Kill Kill Kill (19.10)
05. Theme From Violence Jack Johnson (5:30)
06. Tabata Mitsuru (3:31)
07. Sweet Peanut Vs. Macedonian Beauty (8:38)

Tsuyama Atsushi - bass guitar, vocals
Higashi Hiroshi - synthesizer, guitar, vocals
Shimura Koji - drums
Kawabata Makoto - guitar, vocals

Do you know what I like even more than Acid Mothers Temple? Miles Davis' 70's Fusion period. Here, Acid Mothers pay tribute to that period of Miles career. From the song titles, to references in the music itself (most recognizable to my ears is a bit of Moja from Dark Magus, which Kawabata sprinkles in here and there throughout this album.) This album also sees the welcome return of Cotton Casino back to the fold. Her other worldly vocals reminiscent of a sound Acid Mothers haven't had for years. The primary instrument used, aside from Kawabata's shredding guitar, is a Fender Rhodes piano, which also hints at Miles' 1970's repertoire. While the song titles hint at parody, Acid Mothers pay due tribute to one of history's funkiest, freest bands.

Yamamoto Seiichi & Acid Mothers Temple - 2012 - Giga Psychedelia

Yamamoto Seiichi & Acid Mothers Temple
Giga Psychedelia

01 Shine on Your Crazy Dynamite 20:29
02 Back Door Man of Ghost Rails Inn - La Nòvia 22:42
03 Pink Lady Lemonade - Including Grandson of a Bitches Brew 35:02

    Yamamoto Seiichi : guitar
    Tsuyama Atsushi : bass, voice, soprano sax, soprano recorder
    Koji Shimira : drums
    Kawabata Makoto : guitar, voice
    Higashi Hiroshi : synthesizer, voice
    Tabata Mitsuru : guitar, guitar-synthesizer, voice

live recorded at Tokuzo (Nagoya) “AMT Festival vol.10? on 10th Dec. 2011

The third showdown between Yamamoto Seiichi and Acid Mothers Temple! Marvel at the psychedelic, metaphysical demolishing of the AMT repertory! This is it, your one-way ticket to the Galactic Railroad! No return possible!!

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - 2012 - Chaos Unforgiven Kisses Or Grateful Dead Kennedys

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno
Chaos Unforgiven Kisses Or Grateful Dead Kennedys

01. Enough To Make You Fuck By Two Fingers (16:15)
02. Grateful Bedtime For Fresh Pussy Landscape (16:38)
03. How Does It Feel To Be The Acid Mothers Of 1000 Grateful Dead? (20:57)

- Opera / Drums, Violin, Voice, Operatic Bomb
- Tabata Mitsuru / bass, voice, maratab
- Higashi Hiroshi / electronics, dancin'king
- Shimura Koji / drums, latino cool
- Kawabata Makoto / guitar, guitar synthesizer, tambura, speed guru

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2011 - The Ripper At The Heaven’s Gates Of Dark

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
The Ripper At The Heaven’s Gates Of Dark

01. Chinese Flying Saucer (12:03)
02. Chakra 24 (4:07)
03. Back Door Man Of Ghost Rails Inn (15:17)
04. Shine on You Crazy Dynamite (21:57)
05. Electric Death Mantra (19:22)

Tsuyama Atsushi - monster bass, voice, soprano sax, cimpo flute, soprano recorder, acoustic guitar, cosmic joker
Higashi Hiroshi - synthesizer, dancin'king
Shimura Koji - drums, latino cool
Kawabata Makoto - electric guitar, electric bouzouki, sitar, organ, percussion, electronics, speed guru

The renowned Japanese Cosmic freak-out heavyweights return with a brand new studio album and tour, marking ten years since their mothership first descended on the UK ....

Now a steady four piece led by Kawabata Makoto (guitar) and including Tsuyama Atsushi (bass/vocals), Higashi Hiroshi (synthesizer/guitar) and Shimura Koji (drums). The collective recorded the album in the aftermath of the Japan disaster at their mountaintop retreat where the collective still reside.

With the exception of the album's opener 'Chinese Flying Saucer' and it's unashamedly obvious musical references to Led Zeppelin II (hello 1969!) the rest of the album locks into a much more laid-back groove than on recent AMT releases. This dynamic shift is best displayed on the 22 minute jam, 'Shine On You Crazy Dynamite' and also the album's closer 'Electric Death Mantra'. The band opt for less frantic explosions of electric guitar overload and fuzz, replacing those elements with a more epic, blissed-out and at times brooding Japanese psychedelia, with more emphasis on acoustic guitars, sitar, organ, synthesiser and at times, really trippy vocals (most prevalent on 'Back Door Man Of Ghost Rails Inn'), recalling the twisted psychedelics of early Pink Floyd. Yet still, their sound remains so expansive that it is easy to become totally immersed in this album.

Epic in proportions, cloaked in a cosmic haze and shimmering in a synth utopia. 'The Ripper At Heaven's Gates Of Dark' maintains AMT's status as masters of out-of-this-world music and reveals their darker side of the moon.

CD is limited to 1500 copies, and is packaged in a special first edition 350gsm card gatefold sleeve. Repress will be in standard sleeve.

Double vinyl edition limited to 500 copies for the world and features slightly different sleeve artwork.

Acid Mothers Temple SWR - 2011 - Stones, Women and Records at Taku Taku 2009

Acid Mothers Temple SWR
Stones, Women and Records at Taku Taku 2009

01 Today I Remained Utterly Unmoved When I dug Up the Time Capsule I Buried Three Days Ago...
02 The Stiff Neck Quartet
03 Keep Your Sticky Mitts Off the Azuki Futures Market! Part 1 ~ Alibi Lullaby
04 Super Golden Special Campaign
05 March of the Planetary Monks (Those Who Seek the True Path of Fidgeting Meditation)
06 Jazz - The Approaching Beggar
07 Keep Your Sticky Mitts Off the Azuki Futures Market! Part 2 ~ Part 100

Tatsuya Yoshida: drums, sampler, voice, producer, mix engineer
Atsushi Tsuyama: bass guitar, voice
Makoto Kawabata: guitar, guitar synthesizer
Kazutoki Umezu: saxophone
Seiichi Yamamoto: guitar

'Let's do that exact same thing that we always do, but with one twist...'

'Oh? What's that?'

'We put a sax on it!'

'Yeah! No, wait... we did that last week.'

"Oh...' *scratches head* 'I know! Let's keep the sax... but add the guitarist from Boredoms!'

'Kawabata, you're a genius.'

Acid Mothers Temple SWR - 2011 - Sax & The City

Acid Mothers Temple SWR 
Sax & The City

01 The Jetplane of the Derangement 5:59
02 Feng Shui Infected Schweitzer - A Free Agent Declaration 7:56
03 Sax, Truck, Doujiima Roll 6:48
04 To Our Parents "Parents" Parents 7:18
05 No Stone, No Woman, No Record 8:31
06 Sax & The City 3:04
07 Timeless Kitchen 6:55
08 Battle of Komeido 4:18

Tatsuya Yoshida: drums, keyboard, voice, engineer, mixing, editing, artwork
Atsushi Tsuyama: bass, voice, flute
Makoto Kawabata: guitar, guitar synthesizer
Kazutoki Umezu: clarinet, alto saxophone

'Let's do that exact same thing that we always do, but with one twist...'

'Oh? What's that?'

'We put a sax on it!'

'Kawabata, you're a genius.'

Yamamoto Seiichi & Acid Mothers Temple - 2011 - Mega Psychedelia

Yamamoto Seiichi & Acid Mothers Temple
Mega Psychedelia

01 Space Introduction ~ Planet Dreaming Turtles ~ Brain Stormbringer 27:02
02 Electric ~ Pink Lady Lemonade Acid 2009 36:56
03 Cometary Orbital Driver ~  Mega Psychedelia or Absolutely Mu 15:09

Yamamoto Seiichi : guitar
Tsuyama Atsushi : bass, voice, acoustic guitar
Shimura Koji : drums
Higashi Hiroshi : synthesizer
Kawabata Makoto : guitar, electric bouzouki, electronics

Recorded at Tokuzo (Nagoya) “AMT Festival vol.8? on 12th Dec. 2009

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - 2011 - For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Goofy Funk

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno
For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Goofy Funk

01. Space Hurricane Funky Night (14:51)
02. Sick Of Heaven Or Hell (6:25)
03. For How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Goofy Funk? (29:58)
04. Force Of Obsession (10:25)

- Pikacyu / drums, voice, cosmic shaman
- Tabata Mitsuru / bass, voice, maratab
- Higashi Hiroshi / electronics, dancin'king
- Shimura Koji / drums, latino cool
- Kawabata Makoto / guitar, guitar synthesizer, tambura, speed guru

Given away at the gig “Chaotic Acid Noise Fes 2011!!” for the first time.
Limited 1000 copies

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2011 - Pink Lady Lemonade - You're From Inner Space

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Pink Lady Lemonade - You're From Inner Space

01. Part 1 (31:59)
02. Part 2 (5:00)
03. Part 3 (10:33)
04. Part 4 (18:39)

- Shimura Koji / Drums
- Kawabata Makoto / Guitar, Guitar Synthesizer
- Higashi Hiroshi / Synthesizer
- Tsuyama Atsushi / Bass, Vocals

Anyone who has ever witnessed Acid Mothers Temple live has more than likely heard them perform Pink Lady Lemonade. It’s a staple of their live sets and has been released in various forms over the years on of now out of print releases. It is offered here for the first time in double vinyl and single CD editions.

While Pink Lady Lemonade is a single piece of epic proportions, it comes off more like a very cohesive full-length recording, as the tune is broken down into four separate movements. The record’s first movement runs for about 30 minutes and introduces the album’s central motif, a mesmerizing and repetitive guitar riff. The track eventually dissolves into a particular jazzy section that has the band frantically freaking out somewhere between ragtime and Sun Ra. This jazz-inspired section ends rather abruptly after just under six minutes, yet it’s enough to radically alter the previous vibe and prepare oneself for the third movement.

The third segment marks the return of main riff being played in a very gentle manner with slight processing on Kawabata Makoto’s guitar and additional synth action from Higashi Hiroshi being panned in and out of the mix. The results are very intriguing and verge into psychoacoustic territory. The effect of the layered sounds is reminiscent of that experienced when listening to the music of contemporary classical composer Luigi Nono, whose compositions created something entirely new out of manipulating taped recordings of vocalists and orchestras.

Pink Lady Lemonade maintains the same heavy spiritual qualities that so much of the Acid Mothers output does, but the hippy elements are kept a little further at bay and instead replaced with an artier drone component. The effect of the cascading drone alongside the full band playing is both refreshing and strange, almost as if you were listening to two different pieces of music being performed simultaneously.

For the remainder of the recording it’s the guitar heroics of Speed Guru, a.k.a. Kawabata Makoto, going head to head with Hiroshi’s droning synth madness. These occasionally subside here and there to allow some drum and bass flourishes to find a moment to compete for the listener’s attention. When all is said and done the journey of this album is one that is frantic yet calming at the same time, thanks to very gentle opening and closing to the recording.

Pink Lady Lemonade will be release in a digipak CD edition and two separate gatefold double LP editions on color vinyl (either yellow or pink/black) limited to 500 copies each. Both formats feature the amazing collage artwork of Felix Morel.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2010 - In 0 to 8

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
In 0 to 8

01. In 0 (18:15)
02. In A (18:21)
03. In Z (18:39)
04. In 8 (18:29)

- Tsuyama Atsushi / monster bass, voice, soprano sax, recorder, chimpo pipe, temple block, cosmic joker
- Higashi Hiroshi / synthesizer, dancin?king
- Shimura Koji / drums, latino cool
- Ichiraku Yoshimitsu / drums, doravideo
- Kawabata Makoto / guitar, organ, synthesizer, analog guitar synthesizer, gong, glockenspiel, tape-loop, voice, speed guru
- Cotton Casino / voice

Acid Mothers Temple is one of those bands that I can't help but loving just for the self-indulgence alone. I find it extremely awesome (and fun) that they create music at the rate they do however the heck they want and it's that type of freedom that flows through many of their records, many that I love.

But this album is a different thing entirely from their psychedelic albums that recall the sixties themself, this album is dark and pulsating electronic drone music that is ominous and sort of an obscurity in the Acid Mothers Temple catalog.

This album is a beauty, the sound the band achieves (there's even polished production!) is stunning and leaves the listener breathless. With each second that passes in this album, the more your mind is pulled into the spaced out void of drone that is prominent on this record. It's more literally "space-out" than the bands earlier space rock releases!

For some it may not be easy on the ears, but it's the easiest on the ears I've heard from this band and they really created a beautiful record here, not just a self-indulgent psych record.

Acid Mothers Guru Guru - 2009 - Underdogg Express

Acid Mothers Guru Guru 
Underdogg Express

01 Flexitwister 3:13
02 Underdogg Express 28:52
03 In the Cave of the Mountain Gods 13:03
04 In To ... 9:42
05 Spirit of Nara 8:07

- Mani Neumeier / Drums, vocals
- Kawabata Makoto / Guitar, vocals
- Atsushi Tsuyama / Bass, flute, vocals

I like Acid Mothers Temple and I like Guru Guru (well, Kanguru and UFO at least) so I guess that means I should like Acid Mothers Guru Guru and Underdogg Express (CD/LP) certainly has its moments. The first is the cover which features baps in the Acid Mothers tradition, combined with dogs in neckties, neon signs and a hot dog stand. It seems rich with meaning but I'm fucked if I can discern anything from it other than 'this must be the best record ever made'. As far as the music goes this is your usual live jam recording jobbie and to be honest the fidelity isn't incredible, but Makoto's heroic overuse of his wah-wah pedal and the fact Tsuyama manages to more than match half of Guru Guru's legendary rhythm section certainly is. While there's a fair amount of semi-aimless noodling it does come together from time to time in surprisingly funky fashion. Not bad at all!

Acid Mothers Temple SWR - 2009 - Stones, Women & Records

Acid Mothers Temple SWR
Stones, Women & Records

01. Uzumgayu/Just George Benson
02. The Condition Of International Job Hunting Activity
03. Little Stone Little Woman And Little Record
04. Jet Stream, Jet Stream
05. Very Very Very Jazz/Deer Cries With "KAYEEYO" In The Breeding Season
06. The Harekaimogs Monster
07. Ahla Hassanbeck Lamborghini Rock
08. Davideo Said To Himself/Incognito Blues
09. Just Like A Stone, Just Like A Woman, Just Like A Record
10. Fairy Music Of Foolish Sushi Bar/Country Singer Narena Baystar
11. The Hametnyara Lady
12. Beyer
13. Mastering Master Builder
14. A Gastric Ulcer And The Prostate Part I
15. Picture Of Romance
16. The Complete Dancing Barefoot
17. A Gastric Ulcer And The Prostate Part II
18. Forever Stones, Forever Women, Forever Records

- Tsuyama Atsushi / guitar, bass, vocals
- Ysohida Tatsuya / drums, vocals, keyboards
- Kawabata Makoto / guitar, violin

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE SWR, the ultimate power trio of YOSHIDA TATSUYA from RUINS and TSUYAMA ATSUSHI and KAWABATA MAKOTO from AMT, present their shocking second album. The album references psychedelic and progressive rock, jazz and contemporary composition motifs but filtered through the group's unique digestive and interpretative processes and placed within a terrifying structural framework of infinite chaos that rocks on every level. In the hands of these three masters from the Japanese underground scene talent, insanity and heaviness spark a fusion reaction that creates a wildly weird and mysterious form of music that seems barely of this earth. Truly psychedelic-progressive rock that kicks sand in the face of both metaphysics and mysticism.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2009 - Lord Of The Underground. Vishnu And The Magic Elixir

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Lord Of The Underground. Vishnu And The Magic Elixir

01. Eleking the Clay (13:59)
02. Sorcerer's Stone of the Magi (3:51)
03. Vishnu and the Magic Elixir (25:33)

- Makoto Kawabata / electric guitar, organ, percussion, rhythm machine, speed guru
- Atsushi Tsuyama / monster bass, voice, cosmic joker
- Hiroshi Higashi / synthesizer
- Koji Shimura / drums, latino cool

The output of Acid Mothers Temple in 2009 continues to be so staggering it's almost literally impossible to keep tabs on each new release -- including limited live recordings, they issue eight to ten in a given year on an astonishing number of labels. The upside for the band is always having something new to sell at shows, while the downsides for AMT fans are numerous. Another downside is quality control. It may indeed be the mission of AMT to document every single studio moment or every gig and release as many as possible. But given the sprawling nature of AMT in general, this can often lead to some tedious and boring recordings. Lord of the Underground: Vishnu and the Magic Elixir is a mixed bag. It contains three pieces, two longer jams, and one pointless bit of "folk" music tomfoolery in the middle. The set kicks off with "Eleking the Clay," written by bassist Tsuyama Atsushi and guitarist and speed guru Kawabata Makoto. The track begins unexpectedly with some trippy organ before morphing into a bit of Middle Eastern modal folk improvising with droning and moaning vocals before it gets transformed into a first-rate AMT jam. While the original riff doesn't change much, Kawabata handles the boards and transforms it musically and sonically into a wild free-for-all with loads of psychedelic guitar and bouzouki, with the organ getting all Terry Riley-esque and the synth whooping and soaring all over the mix. It begins minimally with bouzouki and guitar improv, all spare and noodling. Singular synth sounds erupt from Higashi Hiroshi, just tripping all cosmic and spacy, but, as with all AMT mega jams -- and this one is 25 minutes -- it begins to change shape and textures as bluesy guitar, vocal sounds, and other weirdness enter the mix. The tune begins to take some form at about four minutes, and transform itself into a slow, bluesy psych jam before picking up speed at about 13 minutes. From here, the electric guitar, and a kazoo strangely enough, begin to assert themselves in slow, purposeful groove. By 15 minutes, the piece has left the ground and distorted basslines, propulsive drums, and the rest of the AMT arsenal all join the party, and mental consciousness expansion multiplies until total psych meltdown.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso - U.F.O -. 2009 Are We Experimental?

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Are We Experimental?

01. E.S.P. (Experimental Spooky Peace) (04:25)
02. 40000000000000000 Love Hotel (06:51)
03. Daruma Clause in Opposition (07:26)
04. Wired Stinky Pussy Luver (07:15)
05. Hallelujah Mystic Garden (01:31)
06. Iyomange of the Rising Sun (05:03)
07. Close Encounters of the Electric Cspirits (02:44)
08. Holy Rock'n'roll Bible (06:43)
09. Goodbye Big Asshole Emmanuelle (03:38)
10. Ultimate Unhip Blues (08:09)
11. Are We Experimental? (03:15)

- Makoto Kawabata / electric guitar, organ, percussion, rhythm machine, speed guru
- Atsushi Tsuyama / monster bass, voice, cosmic joker
- Hiroshi Higashi / synthesizer
- Koji Shimura / drums, latino cool

On their Spring 2009 US Tour, Acid Mothers Temple's Atsushi Tsuyama started the show by reapeatedly asking the audience "Are We Experimental?" This question has led me to ponder what exactly "experimental" music is in the 21st century. More than 80 years since the earliest electric instruments were introduced, and 50 since electronic instruments first hit the scene, it seems that the experiments have already been done. I have never really considered Acid Mothers Temple to be "experimental." While they break virtually every rule of music with their often cacophonous noise (anchored by moments of beauty), it seems that AMT are simply doing what they do.

On this disc, AMT ask that same question. The opening three tracks contain hints of 20th Century Minimalist Works, like Terry Riley's Terry Riley in C and Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, but if these works were played under blistering guitar lines. After these tracks the disc turns to a fairly standard guitar noise freak out for the middle section. One surprise for me was the fairly straight jazz chording that opens, Goodbye Big Asshole Emmanuelle, and the fact that the closer and title track is the least experimental, a basic acoustic song written and sung by Tsuyama.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - 2008 - Pink Lady Lemonade You’re From Outer Space

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno
Pink Lady Lemonade You’re From Outer Space

01. Pink Lady Lemonade - You're From Outer Space (Part 1) (24:07)
02. Message From Outer Space (17:59)
03. Take Me To The Universe (10:48)
04. Pink Lady Lemonade - You're From Outer Space (Part 2) (10:56)

- Tabata Mitsuru / Bass, voice, malatab
- Higashi Hiroshi / synthesizer, dancin' king
- Shimura Koji / drums, latino cool
- Pikachu / drums, voice, cosmic shaman
- Kawabata Makoto / guitar, voice, speed guru
- Audrey Ginestet / voice, cosmos

Utterly gorgeous. Unlike most Cosmic Inferno releases, this one is really, really mellow. This particular Acid Mothers guise was usually used mainly for the heavier or riffier compositions, but this one is really stripped down. In fact, most of the guitar work is acoustic. Listening to it is a lot like looking at the sugary artwork.

The album is bookended by two title tracks. The first is a lengthy acoustic one that I originally thought "Wow, this is pretty repetetive. I hope it doesn't get worn out", but the time passed amazingly quickly. It has a lot of subtle changes, and you'll hardly believe that 25 minutes has passed. The second title track is the familiar side of Pink Lady Lemonade that has been performed countless times by the band before. Personally, I prefer the Myth of the Love Electrique version since the vocal repetition of the track title grates on me a bit, but I don't think anything could ruin that track for me. It's so beautifully recognised.

As for the other two tracks found between the two title pieces, there's not much difference. The first one is very similar to the rest of the album, but adopts a bit more rhythmic sections, as well as a bit of surf rock influence. Finally, 'Take Me To The Universe' is the only track on the album to feature male vocals (courtesy of drummer and album cover artist, Pikachu) and reminds me a lot of Pink Floyd for some reason. It's very "plain" for Acid Mothers Temple, and probably my least favourite on the album, but it's still fantastic. Bearing in mind "plain" for AMT is still a lot more out there than most music.

Acid Mothers Temple The Cosmic Inferno - 2008- Journey Into The Cosmic Inferno

Acid Mothers Temple The Cosmic Inferno
Journey Into The Cosmic Inferno

01. 1st Movement: Cosmic Inferno's Gate (8:53)
02. 2nd Movement: Master Of The Cosmic Inferno-Heart Of Earth (22:53)
03. 3rd Movement: Cosmic Blood Feast (4:33)
04. 4th Movement: Ecstacy Into The Cosmic Inferno (15:05)
05. 5th Movement: Usisi (8:20)
06. 6th Movement: Shalom Cosmic Inferno (8:33)

- Tabata Mitsuru / Bass, voice, acoustic guitar, guitar (torotiseshell), percussion
- Shimura Koji / drums, percussion, latino cool
- Pikachu / drums, voice, taiko, percussion, keyboards, acoustic guitar, bouzouki, cosmic shaman
- Kawabata Makoto / guitar, huydy gurdy, bouzouki, sitar, electric sitar, organ, glockenspiel, ney, hyotan shamisen, percussion, voice, speed guru
- Higashi Hiroshi / synthesizer, alto recorder, percussion, voice, dancin' king

YOHKOSO JIGOKU NO ITCHOHME E (Welcome to the Entrance of Inferno). Pikachu says as above and laughs weirdly (cutely? :-P).

1st Movement - Cosmic Inferno's Gate...that's the start of Journey Into The Cosmic Inferno(I wonder there is Inferno in the cosmos... :-P). A solemn keyboard solo can take us to the outer world...with a bewitching sitar and inorganic percussion sounds. Just in Japan is a river named SANZU NO KAWA toward the entrance of the heaven and the hell, and in the first half of the movement we can feel like riding a boat on Sanzu river. The latter half has confusion and dilapidation as the river should be rough and stomy, with our feeling so anxious about the future.

2nd Movement - Master Of The Cosmic Inferno is the masterpiece of this album. Makoto's heavy guitar explosion can punch us strongly away. Wow, that's absolutely the Inferno absorbing us deeply! Pikachu's eccentric words (HAMAYARAWA IKISHICHIBA SUBARASHIKI JIGOKU UCHU...meant wonderful cosmic inferno?) add more and more weirdness and heaviness to the sound. Complete improvisational battles with each instrument go after her unearthly laughing. Causion! Exactly raging inferno about 14 minutes! Don't be burned by the fire!

2nd Movement - Heart Of Earth is an illusion of the earth's pulse. The earth under the Inferno has palpitations, expressed by Pikachu's sensual whisper. Already we have dived under the thick ground...? Indeed we can't breathe enough. At any rate, I consider in this album Pikachu is the most active and brilliant with her voice and illusion.

3rd Movement - Cosmic Blood Feast can let us dream for a moment. Glittering percussions and her laughing with pleasure (I feel) go round and round. A beautiful smile...isn't it?

4th Movement - Ecstasy Into The Cosmic Inferno is again an improvisational one. Speed Guru Makoto can make his guitar growl loudly and blow like a typhoon. And there Pikachu's fine but aggressive voice is added...all are messed up. Wait, the movement is exactly a song. Under such a condition they can construct a music...wonderful I wanna say...ha-haa!

What should 5th Movement - Usisi mean? Oxen? Laugh or chuckle? This may have various meanings. After the storm with hellish sounds, we should laugh calmly on the back of an ox. Don't be tired...The Cosmic Inferno won't end...we chuckle in spite of ourselves, don't we? :-)

Really? Real shalom? At 6th Movement - Shalom Cosmic Inferno we may want to say that. Our mind and body has been already broken, burnt by previous movements and can't make re-union. However, the Comic Inferno will NEVER end...surely come again in front of us... and we must be absorbed forever...LOL.

By the way, can you feel weirdness or horror in the sleeve? At least for me NO. All members seem to be very happy and enjoying. Now, after listening to the album from start to finish, it's no use crying over spilled milk.

Good luck! :-)

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - 2008 - Hotter Than Inferno Live In Sapporo 2008

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno
Hotter Than Inferno Live In Sapporo 2008

01. Master of the Cosmic Inferno / Heart of Earth
02. Pink Lady Lemonade (Including Doobie Wonder Land)

Recorded live on June 29, 2008 at the Counter Action - in Sapporo, Japan. CD art work done by Tobi Kaori. Pretty much your typical live Acid Mothers Temple concert performance. This 73 minute disc has two tracks - the noisy tripped out "Master Of The Cosmic Inferno" (26:30) in which after about twelve head-spinning minutes, the more space rock-like somewhat-hypnotic "Heart Of Earth" takes over. Features Pikachu (according to the CD's liner notes) providing some hot female vocals. Sounds great. Next up is "Pink Lady Lemonade" (45:50) with bassist Tabata Mitsuru on vocals, then after twenty minutes, we hear "Doobie Wonder Land" (you have to love that song title) that employs some whirlwind electronics with Kawabata Makoto's trademark R-I-P-P-I-N-G guitar work. Then 'Live In Sapporo' comes to a close, they play a "Pink Lady Lemonade" reprise. Well done. I've seen AMT play live - twice now and I wanted to mention their usual gigs consist of three actual songs, lasting about fifteen minutes each, then (depending on how much time they have until curfew) the second an maybe third song leads right into another tune out of their (seemingly) endless repertoire. As 'Live In Sapporo' may not be for the Acid Mothers novice, it's every bit as out-standing as the Acid Mothers Gong - 'Live In Nagoya' - also on the Vivo label. Get it now, before it becomes out-of-print.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Pink Ladies Blues - 2007 - The Soul Of A Mountain Wolf

Acid Mothers Temple & The Pink Ladies Blues 
The Soul Of A Mountain Wolf

01. Ramble 4:16
02. Anger 8:31
03. Twilight 6:57

- Tsuchy / electric guitar
- Magic Aum Gigi / electric guitars
- Mai Mai / drums

This is an aweome release, it's still Acid Mothers Temple but they sound so focused, the guitar isn't just going completely insane, it actually sounds like a proper Hard Rock/Psychedelic Rock Jam album, I don't know, just listen to it.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - 2007 - The Early Acid Mothers Temple Recordings 1995–1997

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
The Early Acid Mothers Temple Recordings 1995–1997

01. From The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (3:56)
02. The Acid Mothers Prayer (8:38)
03. Amphetamine A Go Go (4:55)
04. Aum Over Drive (3:27)
05. Speed Guru (19:51)
06. L: Zen Feedbacker (3:14)
      R: Candy Aum
07. Pink Lady Lemonade (12:54)
08. Tibetan Esoteric Rage (5:44)
09. Aunt Ema Blues (6:18)
-Glutton For Punishment
10. Rolling Buzz Fuzz Fucker (5:00)
11. Satori LSD (8:29)
12. Freak Out Mu (18:20)*
13. Speed Guru (19:39)*

Tracks 1-5 originally released as Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. 1 (AMT-001).
Tracks 7-12 originally released as Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. 2 (AMT-002).
These cassettes were issued on the Acid Mothers Temple label in February 1997 in limited editions of 50 copies.
Reissued as The Early Acid Mothers Temple Recordings 1995-1997 by Synesthetic Recordings on 26 November 2007 on 2xLP limited to 408 copies (SYRE 011) and in a 3xLP + poster Triple Trip Edition limited to 100 copies (SYRETRIPP 011). 2xCD version (SYRE 012) and digital version (SYRE 012 DL) released in 2015.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. at the time of these recordings were:
Cotton Casino: voices, sitar, synthesizer
Suhara Keizo: bass
Momo: bass
Higashi Hiroshi: guitar
Koizumi Hajime: drums, percussion, saxophone
Takahashi Atsuki: drums
Yasuda Hisashi: percussion
Sakakibara Daiji: didgeridoo
Mano Kazuhiko: saxophone
Ishida Yoko: violin
Johan Wellens: cosmic narration
Kawabata Makoto : guitar, synthesizer, sarangi, harmonium, bagpipe, organ, voices

Tracks 6 and 13 are bonus tracks originally released on Acid Mother's Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., a cassette issued in 1996 in a limited edition of 10 copies. The cassette also featured a track called "Psycho Line", but it was considered by Kawabata Makoto to be of inferior musical value and has been omitted from this reissue.
Reissued by Synesthetic Recordings on 26 November 2007 as the bonus disc of the 3xLP + poster Triple Trip Edition of The Early Acid Mothers Temple Recordings 1995-1997. 2xCD version (SYRE 012) and digital version (SYRE 012 DL) released in 2015.

Acid Mother's Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. at the time of these recordings were:
Cotton Casino: voices, synthesizer
Suhara Keizou: bass
Momo: bass
Higashi Hiroshi: guitar
Koizumi Hajime: drums, percussion, saxophone
Mano Kazuhiko: saxophone
Kawabata Makoto: guitar, synthesizer
Releases information

Synesthetic Recordings SYRE011 2xLP 2006. Recorded at Acid Mothers Temple 1995-1997.
Produced and engineered by Kawabata Makoto. *This tracks are on the triple LP edition also in Synesthetic Recordings SYRETRIPP 011 3xLP

The compilation was released as a double LP (SYRE 011) in a limited edition of 408 copies. A special Triple Trip Edition (SYRETRIPP 011) including a third bonus LP and a poster, limited to only 100 copies, was issued at the same time. A double CD version (SYRE 012) is planned for release in 2011.

The compilation features the first sessions of the band, recorded at Acid Mothers Temple from 1995 to 1997. Disc 1 was originally released as Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. 1 (AMT-001) and disc 2 originally released as Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. 2 (AMT-002), two companion cassettes issued by the Acid Mothers Temple label in February 1997 in limited editions of 50 copies each.

The bonus material on disc 3 was recorded at Acid Mothers Temple from 1995 to 1996 and originally released on Acid Mother's Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., a cassette issued in 1996 in a limited edition of 10 copies. The cassette also featured a track called "Psycho Line", but it was considered to be of inferior musical value and was omitted from this reissue on the request of band leader Kawabata Makoto.

Most of the songs were later released in different forms on the band's eponymous debut album and other recordings.

n 1995 the quartet of Kawabata Makoto (Musica Transonic, Mainliner, Toho Sara), Koizumi Hajime (ex. Mainliner, ex. Seventh Seal), Suhara Keizo (Arijigoku, Rashinban), and Cotton Casino (Mady Gula Blue Heaven) formed a new group and started to record their improvised jam sessions. The group did not yet have a name at this point in their existence. A group of social dropouts of every description - musicians, dancers, artists, farmers, channellers, ex-yakuza, mermaid researchers and professional vagrants - known as the Acid Mothers Temple Soul Collective, had already begun to coalesce around Kawabata.

Several years earlier Kawabata had spent some time in a beatnik commune in Nagano, but he soon left, having become repulsed by their exclusionary left-wing ideology and hypocritical ecological activities. In response he had founded his own commune, one without any political ideology or ethics save that of non-interference in each other's lives. The mission of this "hometown of souls" would be to open its doors to anyone who was still searching for something in life.

Around the same time Kawabata had become involved in the Tokyo underground scene through his role as guitarist with Musica Transonic. Determined to do something to introduce the world to the other members of the Acid Mothers Temple Soul Collective, he decided to invite them to join his as yet untitled new improvising jam band. His old friend Higashi Hiroshi and many other members of the collective started to participate in the group's recording sessions. This would be the beginning of Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (AMT).

In 1996 a limited edition cassette entitled Acid Mother's Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (note that the band's name was spelled with an apostrophe in the beginning) was sold at an event that Kawabata played at. This was the first release to bear the AMT name, and it included recordings by the original quartet, an early take of "Speed Guru", and other recordings dating from 1995 and early 1996.

In 1997, Kawabata joined Mainliner on their US and European tour. He took with him two limited edition cassettes entitled Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. 1 and Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. 2, which were sold at gigs on the tour. They consisted of recordings from 1995 to 1997, including tracks by the original quartet with added overdubs and newly recorded tracks. After the tour ended, Kawabata went back to work on these pieces, mixing and adding new overdubs. These would eventually become the recordings that were released by PSF as the band's eponymous first album (PSFD-93), so the original cassettes may be considered as "demo" versions of that record.

While these early recordings were released under the AMT name, they were in fact closer in concept to Kawabata's solo albums. Recordings of improvised jams were manipulated using musique concrete methodology and remade into Kawabata's personal image of psychedelic music. There was no intention for the group to play live, and in fact there were no gigs in the first few years. But when the first PSF album was released, Kawabata decided to tour overseas for the first time in June 1998. Soon afterwards Tsuyama Atsushi joined the group, and began to cement its identity as a live band. The process of transformation from a Kawabata solo project into a group was one that began around this time and still continues today.

This compilation reissues most of the early recordings of Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. and makes them available to a larger audience for the first time.

Acid Mothers Guru Guru - 2007 - Psychedelic Navigator

Acid Mothers Guru Guru 
Psychedelic Navigator

01. Stonerrock Socks
02. Bayangobi
03. For Bunka-San
04. Psychedelic Navigator
05. Bo Diddley

- Mani Neumeier / Drums, vocals
- Kawabata Makoto / Guitar, vocals
- Atsushi Tsuyama / Bass, flute, vocals

Another Acid Mothers spinoff. By now these are all something you'd look forward to or absolutely hate. Prolific is a word that comes to mind. Acid Mothers Guru Guru is all about what they do best: psychedelic music. Psychedelic Navigator does kind of start off slow but it builds up to a much more enjoyable level of groovy and fuzz influenced rock. While not as hectic or noisy as a lot of Melting Paraiso U.F.O. releases I have listened to, the separate Guru Guru incarnate has a bigger krautrock as well as stoner rock vibe (as evidenced by Stonerrock Socks, for instance) and brings da ruckus in its own special way. AMT fans would certainly want to look into this.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - 2007 - Ominous From The Cosmic Inferno

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno
Ominous From The Cosmic Inferno

01. Ecstasy In Hell (4:57)
02. Nipples In The Dream Woods (18:49)
03. Omen Amen (17:16)
04. Dark Side Of The Apocalypse (13:44)
05. Golem Rock (7:31)
06. Na Na Hey Hey From The Cosmic Inferno (4:11)

- Tabata Mitsuru / bass, vocal, acoustic guitar, maratab
- Higashi Hiroshi / electronics, dancin' king
- Shimura Koji / drums, percussion, latino cool
- Okano Futoshi / drums, percussion, god speed
- Kawabata Makoto / electric guitar, bouzouki, electronics, speed guru

A super-wild, punishing, dark slab of experimental psychedelic hell featuring fuzz-blasted riffing and hypnotic speed-guru guitar chaos courtesy of Mr. Kawabata Makoto. Think early Amon Düül-influenced druggy, acoustic mantric folk experimentalism and eastern drones from below. Presented in a deluxe sturdy gatefold sleeve featuring cosmic artwork by Jason Killinger--including a striking pop-up design!

Nice to see an Acid Mothers Temple CD that has more than one or even two tracks to it. Pieces that I absolutely got the most out of were the tripping "Entrance To Hell" (with it's nice echoing vocal effects and freakout guitar), the seventeen-minute (sort of) ethnic sounding "Omen Amen" and the fourteen-minute sonic Japanese space-noise rock anthem (?) "Dark Side Of The Apocalypse"