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Various Artists – In Search of Hawkwind

Critical Mass

In Search of HawkwindIn Search of Hawkwind is a tribute album, whereby nine venerable old battle hymns originally cranked out by the veteran psychedelic cosmonauts are re-interpreted by younger, hipper bands, mostly from the US (at least I think so — I’m not actually hip enough to have heard of all of them). There have been other Hawkwind tributes, but they’ve tended to be low-budget releases featuring deservedly obscure free festival-type acts, though the likes of Acid Mothers Temple (of whom more below) and Wire’s Colin Newman have popped up on them too. This looks to be a bigger-league affair, nicely packaged and featuring a couple of biggish names in Mudhoney and the aforementioned Acid Mothers, alongside established neo-psych stalwarts Bardo Pond and a clutch of younger acts: Kinski, Mugstar, White Hills, Magoo, and Wooden Shijps

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Acid Mothers Temple And The Melting Paraiso UFO – Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream Of Electric Tapirs?/The Penultimate Glactic Bordello Also The World You Made

Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream Of Electric Tapirs? Label: Space Age Format: CDThe Penultimate Glactic Bordello Also The World You Made Label: Dirter Promotions Format: 4CD

Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream Of Electric Tapirs?With a band as prolific and expansive as the Acid Mothers Temple, it’s somewhat difficult to select a “typical” release to settle on, and perhaps (perhaps not) Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream Of Electric Tapirs? is as good as any as a starting point for the uninitiated. The album opens with a kosmische wind and wibbling analogue synths, mysterious voices from the aether and a sense of psychedelic foreboding, so the ingredients for a lengthy trip are there from the off. In fact, by the time “Daddy’s Bare Meat” kicks in to full Space Rock effect, it’s clear that the ride on Cosmic Shepherd is

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Mind Your Head 03: Current 93/Carter Tutti/Danielson Famile/They Came From The Stars, I Saw Them/Diamanda Galás/Acid Mothers Gong/Damo Suzuki/The Incredible String Band (live)

9, 15, 17, 21 October 2003 The South Bank Centre, London

The Mind Your Head festival for 2003 is subtitled “Exploring new meanings in sacred music”, though this seems more of a loose thread connecting the line-up together somewhat tenuously. However, the intriguing double bill which opens the series at The Queen Elizabeth Hall provides some food for thought on the issue, as do the series’ participants in nearly two weeks of events which follow.

Carter Tutti is the re-branded identity of stalwarts Chris And Cosey, and their manifestation on stage opens the series with an esoteric concoction of glitch and drone, of male/female interplay and the surge of a powerful psychedelic imperative – which is perhaps what the new sacred music allusions refer to in their particular case. A quantum step on from their CTI ambiences and Electro-Disco songs as C&C, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti‘s glistens with

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Acid Mothers Collective: – Guru + Zero – Tsurubami – Pardons – Kawabata Makoto/Salvatore (live at the Kosmische Club)

The Spitz, London 5 June 2003

When the Acid Mothers Collective come to town, a few things are certain – extended improvisations, guest appearances (tonight’s honourable psychonaut is none other than Daevid Allen), antics and japes at the keyboards, and hair. Lots and lots of hair: not just on the heads of Makoto Kawabata and Higashi Hiroshi, what with the Camembert Electrique crowd out in force, some spectacular mullets are in evidence in the capacity crowd too.

Salvatore (Click for larger image)Hirsute fans aside, the evening opens with the shorn Norwegian Kosmische favourites Salvatore, whose progression beyond Post-Rock finds them riding on solid grooves accompanied by rippling melodies. Their instrumental glide is usually right at home, but tonight their performance lacks a continuous sparkle, breezing through on a pleasant churn of electronics and assorted guitar, basses and drums without really ever lifting off.

Kawabata 

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Acid Mothers Temple/Southall Riot (live at the Kosmische Club)

Acid Mothers TempleKosmische @ The Garage, London 31 May 2001

Acid Mothers TempleBeware all snow leopards; indeed all mammals were at risk of having their asses rocked Thursday at the Kosmische Club‘s presentation of Acid Mothers Temple. Once Southall Riot was done with their opening imitation of all that was Krautrock in a Nineties sort of style, all three chord-led and droney – and most of which I missed – Acid Mothers Temple strolled on, lit up and rawked out. An enthusiastic audience had to have been relieved by the breathing space afforded by the last minute manoeuvre to downstairs at The Garage, knowing that Upstairs would never have accommodated the sweating, grooving, smoking crowd, much less the band’s hair. You would never want to invite this group over for showers, unless your idea of fun is gathering hairballs from the drain,

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Acid Mothers Temple/Southall Riot/Floach (live)

The Social, Nottingham 30 May 2001

The first act were Floach, an electronics duo from ScoobyDooLand. With a table full of electronic contraptions that would have made Throbbing Gristle drool (and a hairstyle that would have frightened Dave Hill from Slade), they cooked up a glorious electronic rumpus. If Pierre Henry had been commissioned to compose the incidental music for a Carry On film, it would have probably sounded like this. Sometimes they hit a groove, other times they just turned up the heat and let their pots boil over. Watching lab technicians at work is usually a boring experience, but Floach were smart enough to suss this out and took the piss out of themselves in such a charming way that you couldn’t help but like them. They made you like them.

Next act, Southall Riot. Oh dear. The classic scenario; It’s all very well, and they’re probably nice

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