Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. - "New Geocentric World" (Squealer 2001, 034)
From Aural Innovations #19 (April 2002)
On this, one of their many current releases, Acid Mothers Temple come across as the definitive Japanese version of the Cosmic Jokers, taking the sounds of Hawkwind, Gong, Amon Düül II, Ashra Tempel and Blue Cheer and infecting it all with new personalities and an inherent Japanese penchant for noise, creating some inspiring space-rock for the new millenium. However the opening track "Psycho Buddha" defies all band references, at least as far as I'm able to conjure. The intensity level for the full 20 minutes is beyond anything I've ever heard or tried to describe before... "Blanga" doesn't even come close. There is almost a "beat" but the drums are rolling and all you can really make out is a storm of snare and cymbals... how this joker ever managed to thrash it out like this evades me, and it's almost drowned out by every classic freak-out sound imaginable anyway... swirling synth, squonk-sax, space-whisper (though more like screams and at times difficult to distinguish from guitar feedback) and bagpipe sounds totally blitz the listener. This is so over-the-top, giving it the definitive "thumbs-up" is difficult, though headphones are an asset as the synth takes to an astral stereo mind-fuck. No build-up... ends the way it begins. God, but it's so devoted, there is something beautiful in it. It's hard to believe anyone would be so brash as this. Kudos for trying to break the mold!
The pure dreamy '60s psyche of "Space Age Ballad" follows with repeating hypnotic organ lines, allowing the listener to take a few breaths. Actually nothing comes close to the same kind of intensity of "Psycho Buddha" again, fortunately. "You're Still Now Near Me Everytime" is a slow-driving Kosmiche-jam, with a jangling '60s guitar riff, distant unintelligable female vocals and nice use of cosmic 'tronics... and it actually has a couple time-changes! Half-way into it the guitar starts to solo rather amateurishly, though the synth continues to twitter blissfully. "Far Out", says the Freak-O-Meter. "Universe of Romance" is a dreary medieval guitar piece contrasted with clean spectrum-crossing space-synth that gestates in your belly and exits high in your head like something from F/i's Grant Richter, the ancient and futuristic elements combining beautifully. But then you're ambushed by "Occie Lady", an insane bluesy stoner-rock blitz, so noisy that the rhythm guitar just crumbles, the synths splatter with abandon and Kawabata solos like an inept Hendrix. It actually works pretty well... though the tuneless meandering solo piano bit that closes the tune is unnecessary, even if it teases to become Hawkwind's "One Change" for a moment before falling off the edge again. "Mellow Hollow Love" is another brief medieval space-age ballad with a nice enough organ melody but is sabotaged by intrusive, random, annoying synth-bleats. Closing track "What Do I Want To Know" is a lengthy droning harmonium-meditation piece that towards the end displays a gentle touch and restraint that is the antithesis of the maximal "Psycho Buddha"... a reverbed guitar that just exhales a simple lovely lullabye melody. A few weak spots, but highly recommended!
For more information you can visit the Acid Mothers Temple and the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. web site at: http://www.acidmothers.com/.
New Geocentric World is distributed by Squealser Music. You can visit their web site at: http://www.SquealerMusic.com.
Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg