Toho Sara

Hourouuirin

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AllMusic Review by

You would expect any team-up between Acid Mothers Temple's Makoto Kawabata and High Rise's Asahito Nanjo to be a hard-hitting, noise-ridden acid rock fest. And you would be wrong. Among these words, the only one suitable to describe Toho Sara's third album Hourouurin is "acid." Instrumental credits are not mentioned, but one can hear a lot of violin, tamboura, electric guitar, tabla or some other kind of hand drum, and crude electronic effects. The result is a barely-controlled purée of Oriental jamming as seen through the acid prism. The bowed strings generate thick granular textures (unless a computer is also involved) and the tabla playing is as remote as possible from the rock idiom (although it doesn't allude to any specific music tradition). Disconcerting at first, the album becomes either unnerving or hypnotic, depending on your resistance to drones. The music takes the form of a 36-minute suite in three parts. The third one is the noisiest, while the second one attempts a very unusual form of beauty, not quite successful but enough so to be intriguing. If you want an evaluation of this album on an AMT vs. High Rise basis, then it falls into the AMT camp, although this likeness is limited to the most tripped-out, beatless moments in Acid Mothers Temple's music. Hourouurin is definitely an acquired taste (even for seasoned fans of Kawabata and Nanjo) and a profoundly odd listening experience.