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ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE & THE MELTING PARAISO U.F.O. – ASTRORGASM FROM THE INNER SPACE

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A few months back, Japan’s masters of far-out progressive psychedelia ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE returned for another go-round as THE MELTING PARAISO UFO, and Astrorgasm From The Inner Space has grown on me steadily ever since. It’s a fine, thick slice of fried-brain improvisational psychedelia from a group of musicians at the height of their power. The entire full-length is composed of just four songs at about 19 minutes each, so I think we may as well just go through each of the tracks individually, no?

Astrorgasm From The Inner Space starts with a new recording of Acid Mothers’ classic GRATEFUL DEAD homage “Dark Star Blues”. This epic version enters a frenzied jazzy peak around 12 minutes in. It builds and builds until finally, when the tension is unbearable, it returns to its primary riff. Return seems to be a theme for the 19 year strong ensemble at this point, and the return of original vocalist Cotton Casino after a decade’s absense serves to strengthen that point significantly.

The shortest song at a positively spritely 16 minutes is “Pleasure Mantra of Sorrows”, an amorphous jam that is as ethereal and laid-back as something showcasing such unpleasant feedback squalls is capable of being.

The fantastically titled “Kiss in the Tangerine Dream House” starts off as the closest thing this album has to a pop song, riding a pair of eastern-tinged folk rock riffs back and forth in a fashion that wouldn’t be out of place on a Brian Jonestown album (except, you know, for three times as long and with various long synth noise interludes). Like “Dark Star Blues”, it starts to deviate heavily from where it starts off around the 12th minute, allowing some noisier guitar soloing to really take the reins for the back half of the song. Unlike the leadoff track however, this one does not resolve back to its earlier incarnation but simply abandons it like a husk or an old skin to strike off into exciting new terrain. It is most excellent.

The closing title track slowly builds from the merest whisper, unfolding into a haunting passage on what sounds like accordion and tablas. Driving rock drums pick up about 7 minutes in and the song enters full freakout mode before building to wilder, noisier sounds in the fashion that so many of these jams tend to.

Astrorgasm From The Inner Space doesn’t reinvent the wheel for what an ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE & THE MELTING PARAISO U.F.O. album should sound like, but why would you want it to? They have a million other slightly-different band names for stuff like that. This is just a great addition to their wide and sprawling canon from a group about to enter their 20th year. Theirs is an inner space that is kaleidoscopic and inviting. Check it out.

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