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

La Nòvia

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Acid Mothers Temple, led by guitar visionary Kawabata Makoto, is the preeminent Japanese psychedelic folk-rock band. Given the guitarist's penchant for extremes -- he's also a member of Main Liner and Musica Trans Sonic -- there's no reason to suggest that this little gem, which is a CD reissue of a lost vinyl collector's item, would be anything other than something that skirts the outer edges of Japanese and Eastern European folk and driving psych & roll pyrotechnics. Simply put, one listen to the 40-minute mind-expanding jam of the title track, and the listener will never fully recover from a journey that takes musical conventions, tosses them into an acid-drenched blender, and makes a delicious, thick, many-textured hallucinogenic soup. Makoto plays electric guitars, bouzouki, harp, and bowed peacock feather, all on the title track, and is accompanied by bandmates on guitars, recorders, drums, and synths. From Tibetan chanting to medieval chanting to drifting guitars and percussion to screaming, cascading rock & roll feedback, all harnessed -- barely -- by a euphoric sense of the ever-expanding sonic universe, La Nòvia carries listeners on a journey so far-fetched, so extreme, yet so compellingly listenable, they will be hard-pressed to believe what happened by the track's startling conclusion. From the Muzikas to Can to the Electric Prunes, Acid Mothers Temple carries the weight of sound and dimension into the territories at the edge of the sonic imagination. That they can do this is remarkable, that they can do this so musically is a damn miracle! The other standout of the three "selections" here is "Bon Voyage au LSD," a loose, droning, seemingly improvised work that becomes a guitar and percussion symphony along the same lines as Glenn Branca's, only less muddled by artsy pretension. Ultimately, La Nòvia is about rock & roll soul and vision, and the ability to create something new from a music that was said to be dead over 25 years ago. La Nòvia is, simply, "the good."

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