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Music Reviews

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No Age - Everything in Between
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Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
Recurring Dream and Apocalypse of Darkness

Rating: 8/10 ?

May 12, 2008
A storm of feedback. Squeals of saxophones that make Sun Ra proud in space. Racket that cracks like earthquakes. One clusterfuck of a beautiful mess. The ringing tones that break the bones. Bending notes to the death of the bourgeoisie. Walloping waves of reverb. Fuzz factories are formed. Whammy bars strain vibrato on struggling strings. Swift doesn't begin to describe the note intake. Exhausting. Droning swallows the speakers. Cymbals crash harder than cars and the toms slam on brakes. Psychedelia never sounded so choice. Chaotically organized and full of noise. Geometric shapes and sounds presented in visual and audio mediums. Synthesizer oscillator orgasm. Atonal apocalypse. These are the thoughts that emerge while watching a VHS tape called "3D Roller Coaster," purchased for less than a quarter and saved for the very special experience of Acid Mothers Temple.

Where does this music come from?

What kind of culture produced these altered statesmen of psychedelic, droning madness?

Balilla Pratella, one of the leaders of the Futurist movement, said in his 1912 Manifesto of Futurist Musicians, that "the result [of vegetating schools] is prudent repression and restriction of any free and daring tendency; constant mortification of impetuous intelligence; unconditioned propping-up of imitative and incestuous mediocrity; prostitution of the great glories of the music of the past, used as insidious arms of offense against budding talent; limitation of study to a useless form of acrobatics floundering in the perpetual last throes of a behindhand culture that is already dead."

Kawabatu Komoto has been one of the most visible leaders of his country's near decade-old movement of neo-Psychedelic music, Japan's musical equivalent of Futurism. The type of music improvised within the constraints of one of Komoto's Acid Mothers Temple albums will likely never be taught in schools or recognized by musical academics, which is unfortunate as few bands so capably realize an alternative musical universe in the way Komoto does. Featuring two tracks that span almost an hour, Recurring Dream and Apocalypse of Darkness is their manifesto into the mode of thinking. The album feeds off of inspiration and feeling, aptly illustrating that there is no set way of doing things when it comes to Acid Mothers Temple.

Released under the cumbersome name of Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., this is Komoto and company's heaviest set of tunes to date. It thrives on the power of a drone-induced trance and builds around that for the duration of an hour, serving as more of an experience than an actual album. Recurring Dream and Apocalypse of Darkness is a composition to sit and be consumed by, rather than anything that can be half tuned to while doing something else. It demands your attention. The record is a definitive outlier in a musical landscape punctuated by quick-listening singles prepped for fans who have a hard time making it through one song while in shuffle mode on their iPod. Acid Mother's Temple is not for the impatient, the weak-hearted, or the pansified; twenty-minute tracks are the norm for these workhorses.

Massive as it is, Recurring Dream and Apocalypse of Darkness is an album built around a purpose - that of testing and challenging the listener. The entire experience runs sequentially, and the endurance to make it through to the album's end is rewarded with a feeling of gratification that is more closely related to watching a film than listening to a traditional record. Rather than making music an option in your everyday schedule of events, one should be prepared to make it a priority if they intend on approaching Recurring Dream and Apocalypse of Darkness. The album leaves no room for substituted activities. There is no compromising in this music - so that leaves no compromising for you.

Reviewed by John Bohannon
An LAS contributing writer based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, John Bohannon is also a regular contributor to the pages of Prefixmag.com, Daytrotter.com, and Impose Magazine.

See other reviews by John Bohannon



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