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

Mantra of Love

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AllMusic Review by

This is where it all starts to get strange and beautiful. While it's true listeners have come to expect the strange from Acid Mothers Temple, this is indeed a new phase of recording for them. For starters, it's the final album of the Mothers with Cotton Casino (who not only sings but plays "beer and cigarettes," too). There are two tracks here that total an hour. Given that, the average punter(though Mothers heads tend to be anything but "average") may be thinking, "Oh, it's more of that cosmic supersonic freakout stuff, and who needs another one of those?" Well, that's wrong -- and right. First, "La Le Lo" is a snaky, hunted, long droning modal thing with Casino chanting the verses over and over again as the band dips and winds, crawls and walks to the middle section, where all hell breaks loose and the synth comes careening from the stratosphere into the middle. But the cut never loses its melodic sense; it remains "a song," beautiful and haunting, and only its tension changes from languid and relaxed to speed freak and then unravels slowly and purposefully to reach its starting point once more, like a Möbius strip. "L'Ambition dans le Miroir" also begins as a minor-key ballad, a song with an improvised intro of Tibetan bells, synth fluctuations, and sonic modulation (great in headphones). The guitars slowly enter, the space sounds float and hover in the center of the mix, and the chords become their own chant, fluctuating ever so slightly as drums and bass prod them forward. Casino's vocal -- and her own backing vocal tracks -- seem out of kilter, along the changes but apart from them, slipping and swooping the words over and through the band's progressions, trancelike, until the tune erupts and opens up into an entirely new psychedelic universe of oblivion and emotion. This is music for transcendence, for travel, for memory, for dancing yourself into a whirling ball of chaos governed by centrifugal force and humming all the while, until the Acid Mothers once more bring you back to the place of drone and drift, gently, almost whispering into silence.

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