Live Review: Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O in Brighton

acid mothers temple, live in brighton

Brighton’s cosmonauts enjoyed a cosmic bounce as Acid Mothers Temple materialised at Patterns. The Japanese collective, tweaking synapses for over 20 years now, showed no signs of slowing down.

In fact, this was clearly a reborn AMT, as evidenced by openers Blue Velvet Blues and Dark Star Blues. Re-recordings of old standards, they pulsed with kinetic energy. The former meandered along on a hazy, brooding ebb while the latter exploded into a wholly satisfying crunch. It brought to mind Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, the same elephant-thick grooves and eastern inflections supplemented with a cosmic vitality.

Key to all this was new troubadour, Jyonson Tsu. His bouzouki added further depth to the Acid Mothers sonic squee while his joyful whoops ignited the welcome return of Chinese Flying Saucer. Certainly, as band figurehead Kawabata Makoto unleashed wave after wave of in-the-red squall the group revelled in a new balance. Avant-rock luminary Geoff Leigh’s  swathes of flute and sax were the perfect counterpoint to the maelstrom around him.

Soon enough, a trance had descended. A key aspect of the band’s sound has always been their ability to gradually mutate a riff before blowing it up entirely. Julian Cope once opined that a band has to be supremely confident to continuously play the same riff. This same confidence was evident as Disco Pink Lady Lemonade bounced into existence.

Galactic Groove

Already a firm crowd favourite, the interplay of bassist Wolf and drummer Satoshima Nani propelled the song into a joyous new orbit. With the venue starting to levitate this writer’s eyes welled-up at the sheer bliss of it all. Has there ever been a more perfect, life-affirming tune? Probably not, and when Lemonade reappeared in its original dreamlike form, via a detour of La Le Lo and the propulsive Nanique Dimension Pt. 2, it felt like a genuine privilege to watch this masterclass of subtlety, dynamics and shredding unfold.

As ever, Higashi Hiroshi’s synth machinations proved vital. An unassuming presence, it was his flourishes which gave the band their spacy, psychedelic edge. Indeed, as six-note set closer Cometary Orbital Drive gathered pace the added electronic textures lent the song an added urgency. The band were rocketing along, locked in some infinite, cyclical groove. It was a frantic, glorious finish, with the members seemingly competing to see who could finish the set first.

Underneath the expansive surface Acid Mothers Temple are a tight, tight group, perfectly in sync. When Makoto finally lay his guitar to rest and the band trooped off the attitude was one of semi-disbelief. Had we crashlanded? Or transcended? Who knows, although the gushing hubbub at the merch stand afterwards suggested one thing. Our third eyes had well and truly been opened.

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Live Review: The Orb, Bridport Electric Palace

the orb, bridport

the orb, bridport

Ravers young and old had much to celebrate this evening as The Orb brought their 25th Anniversary tour to Bridport.

The ambient house pioneers have been exploring the stratosphere since 1988. Tonight they again hit the heights with a joyous blend of timeless tunes, irreverent samples and surreal visuals.

From the off they’re in complete control, allowing opener Spanish Castles In Space’s celestial synth washes to ebb and flow for nearly 15 minutes before a beat finally kicks in.

For the next two hours, they produce an immersive set that sees huge peaks being tempered with mellower, reggae-infused grooves.

Never content to stand still, they take their back catalogue and remould it. Huge slabs of dub bass and electro throb through classics like The Blue Room, Towers of Dub and UF Orb.

These hard edges give their material a directness that keeps the music exciting and offers the dance floor plenty to work with.

And in a final flurry, Little Fluffy Clouds is reborn with a techno bounce that takes the song into a euphoric new orbit, showing they’ve learnt a thing or two about subtlety and dynamics over the decades.

Come the end of a triumphant show, it’s clear The Orb still have a lot to offer.

Here’s to the next quarter century.

(Music Editor: This review was originally published in the Dorset Echo, as was this album review. EITM really do like The Orb.)

 

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