For a band, who by their very nature, have never had a concrete line-up, instead operating as an amorphous collective of like-minded musicians, artists, innovators and generally out-there cats. The idea of Acid Mothers Temple ‘plus guest’ dropping a recording (let alone two) seems somewhat bizarre but Geoff Leigh has entered into the pantheon of artists, like Rosina de Pèira and Yamamota Seiichi, to have such a profound stature that they simply deserve mention. Following on from this year’s Reverse of Rebirth Reprise, Chosen Star Child’s Confession presents a sublime melding of two distinctive sonic palettes, transformed and transfigured into an album that should be regarded highly by fans of either.
Opening with Nightmarish Heavenly Labyrinth, things set off an unhurried pace that taps into everything its title hints at, though not always to the same degree. The nightmarish aspect is muted, the bubbling bass trills and Kawabata Makoto’s bristling guitar work at the song’s climax adding a splash of unease, but it’s hardly ‘bad trip’ territory. Instead, Leigh’s bright flute contributions take the listener on a twisting, crystalline journey that’s pleasant yet offers enough weird twists and turns that it primes you for the journey to come.
Diamond Eyes Are Hurt isn’t quite the curveball that it first seems. Acid Mothers Temple are no strangers to taking things slow, and a certain chilled demeanour is to be expected with a sizeable amount of their output, but the fact that this is full-on lounge jazz, all breathy sweet nothings and cosmic saxophone accompaniment, makes it something of an outlier. Everything about it is effortlessly cool, and even when more established tropes kick in, they fit neatly with the new ambience, Higashi Hiroshi’s familiar whooshes and blips not detracting from the groove, but instead tying it neatly to their past.
The attack of Infected J Also Live Beast Catastrophe provides a typically chaotic finale, a babble of horns and muttering voices that are soon drowned out under a truly ferocious onslaught by Kawabata…
It’s maybe strange, then, that another flashback appears with a near quarter-hour take on live favourite Cometary Orbital Drive. The minimalism remains intact, with the entrancing A-E-D-A-G-D flat progression looping unwaveringly at its centre, but with Jyonson Tsu’s voice now providing a vocal mantra to simultaneously cling to it, subtly transforming into one of the song’s most involved renditions to date. It’s astonishingly funky when it begins to build up speed and when ten minutes have passed, time itself ceases to matter – there is only dancing, and sound, and blessed-out vibes. Even Kawabata dipping into speed freak mode isn’t enough to break through the hypnosis of those six notes.
The attack of Infected J Also Live Beast Catastrophe provides a typically chaotic finale, a babble of horns and muttering voices that are soon drowned out under a truly ferocious onslaught by Kawabata. It’s fast, aggressive and undeniably weird, and isn’t that all anyone wants from Acid Mother Temple? Chuck in the CD-only bonus cut Santa Maria Enfance, a blistering raga-infused freakout that seesaws between hysteria and nirvana, and you have a collection that stands amongst Acid Mother Temple’s most vibrant outpourings.
There’s a redundancy to talking about ‘essential’ releases from the Soul Collective – you’re either an obsessive, or you frankly don’t give a damn – but this is one of their records that stands out as being unique, both pleasantly familiar and delivering a unique twist that even the die-hards won’t be fully au fait with. There’s a little something for everyone here so get on board and come along for the ride.
Scribed by: Dave Bowes