Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO / Escapade - "A Thousand Shades Of Grey" (Fünfundvierzig 2003, 142)

Uploaded to Aural Innovations: January 2004

This new split CD from the German Fünfundvierzig label features three lengthy tracks: 18 & 13 minute excursions from American avant-space rockers Escapade and a 28 minute voyage from Japan's masters of complete and total freakdom, Acid Mothers Temple.

From New York City, Escapade are a band that deserve far more attention than they get in the space rock and improvisational music communities. They have released 7 CD's since 1996 and contributed to several compilations, and with the exception of a Pink Floyd cover on their last album all their music is improvised. The band call themselves avant-space rock, which only touches the surface of what Escapade are about, drawing on a variety of space rock, krautrock, progressive and avant-garde influences to create music that is intense, cosmic, exciting and uniquely their own.

"Because Because Because" opens with a pulsating organ line that holds its notes long enough to create genuine tension. After a few minutes some rumbling aggression is introduced that begins to stir things up nicely. Then around the 5 minute mark the band launch into a chest thudding groove with haunting space waves, drifting moans and drones, and a rhythm section that propels it all at a steady alien clip. And the rest is an intense blend of krautrock, heavy space rock and soundscape textures that kept me riveted as the anguished guitar wrenching and hypnotic but assertive groove tore along their cosmic path. Fans of Finnish rockers Circle would love this, though having heard quite a bit of Escapades' music I have to emphasize that despite the analogy they have a voice of their own that has developed over many years. "Transformation 2" begins with a cool combination of Can-like rhythms and drifting ambient waves. But the ambience soon takes over and we float along in deepest space for a while until the drums bring in the rhythmic pulse once again. There are multiple layers of sound textures, all coming together to create a haunting, barren bowels-of-the-spacecraft feel, the grinding space guitars adding a punkish sense of sonic aggression, and the pounding drums keeping everything on a determined and continually building path to its ultimate mercury bursting conclusion. VERY intense and I was completely drained at the end.

Acid Mothers Temple's "European Sun" opens with the trademark AMT freaked out alien electronics, a wailing violin drone and slowly developing minimalist patterns that are like a cross between chamber ensemble, Manuel Göttsching and Phillip Glass, all conducted in deep deep space. But as the gradually evolving music continues, Cotton Casino's space whispers add an extra tripped out element and the UFO electronics buzz about with increasing mischievous frenzy. But AMT resist the temptation to let the craziness dominate the mix, instead wisely allowing the minimalist ambience to lead the way and let the electronics add color, character and solid space fun. There are many sides to AMT and when I'm in the mood they are second to none for the ultimate freakout experience. But in this case it was nice to spend a half hour journey with the band as they paint a more cerebral and less sonically shocking landscape.

Visit the Funfundvierzig web site at
Visit the Escapade web site at:
Visit the Acid Mothers Temple web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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