Part of the continuing series of Acid Mothers Temple's "record and release" policy, Live in Japan is, well, just that. Taken from a December 2001 concert, it features that particular version of the group from the era (Makoto Kawabata, Hiroshi Higashi, and various other bods, including two drummers and the impish keyboard player, beer drinker, and cigarette smoker Cotton Casino). Casino's own visual art can't really be conveyed via CD, but as a recording, the three-track disc shows the band up to its usual brand of "find the extreme and then go beyond it" mayhem. For all that, the opening track is actually fairly calm at the start -- "Cosmic Introduction/Untitled Space" initially consists of only a repeated tone punctuated by long pauses, though some murkier free-form guitar swirls herald a rather more chaotic jam for the rest of the song. After that comes one of the band's all time head-f*cks, "In E," which originally surfaced as the counterpart to their cover of the Terry Riley minimalist classic "In C." Kicking off with as pristine a Krautrock guitar chug as one could want, "In E" alternates between blaring chug and solo keyboard swirls and swoops, and the whole thing really should be put on an infinite loop for people driving across continents. "La Novia -- Speed Guru" concludes the disc -- though at 40 minutes, it's more accurate to say that it takes up the rest of the space. Moving in its own particular pace from high-speed rampages to eerie, heavily flanged a cappella vocal chants (possibly from tapes, but who can really tell?), it's practically a puree of every last part of the extreme psychedelic experience in one place. About the only thing that's holding this release back from perfection is a somewhat muddy mix at points, but it's a minor complaint.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett