Published on April 6th, 2019

Acid Mothers Temple

Let’s invent a creation myth. The people of the world began as a tiny pebble atop the tallest mountain to have ever existed. When the Heavens decided it was time, the skies parted, and a mighty wind pushed the pebble down in a terrible tumble. As it descended, it grew and grew, picking up debris until finally, after a hundred years, it came to a stop at the base of the mountain. The now wizened and seasoned pebble rose as the first humanoid, Kawabata Makoto.

As improbable as this may sound, it’s not too far-fetched an explanation for the artistic vision of guitarist Makoto and his outfit, the Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Are they a visionary psychedelic collective formed in Japan in the mid-’90s? Yes. Like the creation pebble, have they been shaped over years by the traits of their member legions and the sonic landscapes they’ve traversed? Yes.

Acid Mothers Temple is experimental prog-rock with digital acceptance and studio know-how. Think the Residents and Captain Beefheart reduced over the low heat of broken-folk recluse Jandek and choreographed by filmmaker Takashi Miike at his weirdest best for a satisfying, soul-altering musical experience. It’s the kind of experimentation that really explores. For Makoto, who’s been active since the ’70s, AMT is the perfect vessel.

Rounded out by Higashi Hiroshi on keys, strings and vocals; Jyonson Tsu on guitar, bouzouki, vocals and electronics, Satoshima Nani on drums; and “Wolf” on bass for this tour, AMT has 120 releases — 120! — listed in Discogs, a monstrous feat even given its 24 years of existence.

They are joined on tour by the Québécois all-nations art collective Yamantaka // Sonic Titan. With them in the mix, the mind-melting throb of a live performance will eradicate all sense of reason and time. You’ll wake renewed with the knowledge that a tiny pebble can become much more, and this might be as close as you get to experiencing what the Grateful Dead did for a whole generation in its day. Or maybe not. AMT has evolved from that, as it has evolved from itself.

Acid Mothers Temple play 8pm April 27 at Gramps in Miami with Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, $15-$18. ~ Abel Folgar

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