Author: Bruce Jenkins  Date Posted:5 August 2022 


Acid Mothers Temple. Just one of many names.

Kawabata Makoto is the Japanese guitarist who founded the collective back in the mid-1990s, aiming to play improvised psychedelic rock around the world and document the explorations on their own record label. With a catalogue of hundreds of albums featuring almost as many players, they most certainly achieved that goal.

There are many variants on the collective’s musical moniker…

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno

Kawabata Makoto & The Mothers of Invasion

Acid Mothers Temple & Space Paranoid

Acid Mothers Gong

Acid Mothers Guru Guru

Acid Mothers Guru Guru Gong…

You get the idea.


Album titles are similarly eccentric, often demonstrating both a deep knowledge of rock music and a mischievous sense of humour. A few entertaining examples…

41st Century Splendid Man

(referencing King Crimson’s epochal "21st Century Schizoid Man")

Does the Cosmic Shepherd Dream of Electric Tapirs?

(an amusing nod to Phillip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel that inspired classic SF film Bladerunner)

Son Of A Bitches Brew

(Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, of course)

Dark Side of the Black Moon: What Planet Are We On?

(no further explanation necessary)

And of course, our album of the moment, Absolutely Freak Out (Zap Your Mind!!), a clever amalgam of the first two releases by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out! and Absolutely Free. With added Zap and exclamation marks, of course.

The playful puns and knowing references to album titles in a way reflect the eclecticism of the music. Across the four colourful sides of Absolutely Freak Out we have Ash Ra Tempel style stoner drones (opener "Supernal Infinite Space") and brass-synthesiser juxtapositions evoking Faust, both classic krautrock references. Several jams are reminiscent of the less structured (first) version of Amon Düül: tribal, primitive, soaked in white noise feedback ("Pagan Nova").

One standout piece is the Terry Riley homage "The Incipient Light Of The Echoes". Pulsing with phase waves and repetition, it is an oasis of beauty in a whirlpool of sound. That it segues into the noise/avant-garde experimentation of "Magic Aum Rock" is indicative of the wild ride AMT offer. One moment you are viewing the birth of a star, the next falling into a trench while mortar shells explode around your head.

In passing, let’s note that this 2022 RSD release on gorgeous yellow/orange vinyl is an edited version of the original 2CD set released in 2001 ("Children of the drab / Surfing’ Paris-Texas" is omitted). There’s plenty of music here, though, especially for the uninitiated.

Acid Mothers Temple and their companions are cosmonauts in a swirling, expanding universe where anything is possible and transcendence is just a galactic hyper-joint away. Absolutely Freak Out (Zap Your Mind!!) is a vivid introduction to the the space corps.






explorations to

fertilise minds


higher than high.

innumerable players

jammed or joined

kawabata makoto’s

lysergic inspired

mothers, a




quiescent and


seductive and


unfurled over

vast discographies.

wizardly trips:

x-axis jams

y-axis noise;

zen improvisers.


© Bruce Jenkins—August 2022

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