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Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO - Interstellar Guru and Zero

  by Andrew Carver

published: 26 / 5 / 2009

Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso UFO - Interstellar Guru and Zero
Label: Homeopathic
Format: CD


Latest electronic-based offering from prolific Japanese avant-garde experimentalists Acid Mothers Temple, which is liable to appeal to their hardcore fanbase only

Acid Mothers Temple and its central figure, Kawabata Makoto, are responsible for a huge outpouring of albums – at least 44 since they first emerged from the cassette underground on the PSF label in 1997. Indeed, ‘Interstellar Guru and Zero’ is just one of five albums released over the last few months, with more no doubt on the way. Naturally, this means that some of the band’s output falls into the category of “mostly for fans.” While Italian label Homeopathic has gifted ‘Interstellar Guru and Zero’ with an eye-catching cover by Croatian film artist and psychedelic musician Niko Potocnjak – a naked, not so demure blonde reposes in a triangular cutaway – the two long tracks inside are mainly for drone fans and the Acid Mothers Temple hardcore. The album starts with a looped chant on the relatively short ‘Astral Projection From Holy Shambala.’ Some strummed guitar and electronic squiggles graduate to a droning instrument and more mantras before blistering electronic guitar frenzy swamps over them around the five minute mark. After a few minutes the maelstrom fades away for the acoustic guitar, but the noise quickly jumps back in, burying much of the remaining 10 minutes in Merzbow-style noise, full of pounding drums, coruscating guitar sounds and disembodied voices. The track echoes away in the last three minutes for a sitar chaser accompanied by the ebb and flow of chanting and electronic noises. The title track, a 40-minute epic, hearkens back in inspiration, if not content, with the band’s cover of loop-loving minimalist composer Terry Riley’s ‘In C’. It begins with a single tone, joined soon enough by a second, then a third to form a pulsing, shivering soundscape. Krautrock’s more ambient outposts, such as Tangerine Dream, have also been pointed out as an inspiration. The entire track is one of Acid Mothers Temple’s more electronic creations, making heavy use of Higashi Hiroshi’s synthesizers. A quarter of the way in drummer Shimura Koji kicks in, then there’s a sudden change of direction as the percussion is looped to play backyards. The rest of the track works its way through various permutations and combinations of those basic elements, with some distant but searing guitar working its way into the final quarter. As long-form Acid Mother Temple tracks go, ‘Instellar Guru and Zero’ and ‘Astral Projection From Holy Shambala’, sit near the middle of the pack. Fans will enjoy, the newly initiated can head to ‘In C’, ‘Crystal Rainbow Pyramid Under The Stars’, Mantra of Love’ (or indeed several other offerings) for a more engaging look at this facet of Kawabata and Co.’s muse.

Track Listing:-
1 Astral Projection From Holy Shangrila
2 Interstellar Guru And Zero

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