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

Troubadours from Another Heavenly World

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One of Acid Mothers Temple's first albums, Troubadours From Another Heavenly World first came out as a CD on P.S.F. in 2000. It was reissued three years later as a double LP with a bonus fourth track (ironically, the title piece). Much more atmospheric than later efforts like Univers Zen or Electric Heavyland, it presents long, trippy, neo-psychedelic tunes high in experimental content. The group features the twin drums of Hajime Koizumi and Robuko Emi, two keyboardists in Casino Cotton and Hiroshi Higashi, Atsushi Tsuyama on bass, and, of course, guitarist and leader Makoto Kawabata. Audrey Ginestet and Haco (of After Dinner and Hoahio fame) guest on vocals. "Heroin Heroine's Heritage" begins the proceedings with a soft, dreamy piece paradoxically propelled by a noise guitar. "She Is a Rainbow in Curved Air," only five minutes long, acts like an interlude. Casino Cotton's whispery voice hovers in the distance, while Kawabata tortures listeners' ears with a violin. The real treat here is "Acid Heart Mother," a fantastic half-hour freak-out. Titled after Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother," the piece retains something of the Englishmen's music: the psychedelic vocals (Haco and Ginestet), the reverberating guitar chords, and the spacy electric piano. The piece moves through a number of ebb-and-flow cycles, dragging the listener into its maelstrom of echoing sounds -- an experience that can become overwhelming at times, especially in the last seven minutes. In a couple of segments, things build up to a solid rock groove, the only such occurrences on the disc. Troubadours was instrumental in establishing the group's image and reputation, but it hits less hard than later albums. It also focuses more on Kawabata the producer than the guitarist. This one requires a few listens and an open mind to discover its beauties.

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