Reviews: Acid Mothers Afrirampo, Kitsune Udon, Amazon Saliva

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6 May 2007, 2:09

More (unedited) Japanzine reviews

Acid Mothers Afrirampo
We Are Acid Mothers Afrirampo
AMT/Eclipse

Yes, the rumors of an unholy alliance between Japan’s most exalted psych-rock troubadours and Osaka’s most psychotic girl-band (currently on a pregnancy-induced hiatus) are true, and this document, recorded who-knows-when, but just now making it into major chains, is proof positive. Three long tracks of squeaks, babbling, echo effects, balloon rubbing, hurdy-gurdy and glockenspiel abuse and (inevitably) fiery guitar freak-outs. AMT fans will definitely know the drill, but casual Afrirampo lovers may be a bit put off by the free-form, rambling nature of these compositions (although Pika and Oni have displayed a penchant for this kind of nonsense on Kore Ga Mayuka Da, their release for John Zorn’s Tzadik imprint). Still, this is comparatively light and (dare I say?) accessible stuff compared to fuzzed-out noisefests like Electric Heavyland. As the cliché goes, though, AMT releases at this point are pretty much unreviewable; either you’ve hitched your wagon to Tsuyama, Higashi, and Kawabata’s psychedelic death-train long ago, or you’ve already written them off as cosmic knock-knock jokesters short on subtlety and (recognizable) melody.

Various Artists
Kitsune Udon
AVEX

Safe to say that a lot of club-junkies got their first dose of electro-house from legendary French cyborgs Daft Punk in the late 90’s. Well, Daft Punk’s recent efforts have been mediocre at best, but fear not, a new generation of DJs, bands and producers have been brought together here to fulfill your most embarrassing impulses to do pop, lock and do “the Robot”. On the first disc we find a selection mixed by Kitsune’s Gildas & Masaya, and it’s a blast overall, mixing goofy electro from the likes of Simian Mobile Disco (best line: “Let’s get the rhythm of a hot dog!”), electric rock from the white-hot Klaxons and even a guitar-laden cover of “Around the World” from Nicky Van She & Dangerous Dan. Disc 2 is brought to you by Mondo Grosso’s Shinichi Osawa and kicks just has hard, featuring remixed tracks from Armand Van Helden, Soulwax, Anna Tsuchiya (!) and Daft Punk themselves. Complaints? Well, the excellent flow is maintained throughout by inclusion of some rather generic tracks, but I suppose this is the curse of nearly every DJ mix. Yet more evidence that AVEX may not be contractually obligated to make ALL of their releases pure shit…

Amazon Saliva
Just Like A Maggot
Amazon Saliva

Alright, yet another stellar side-project from Kansai’s craziest underground players. Hide (from Ultra Bide) leads the madness, with Tabata (Zeni Geva) on guitar and NANI (Zuinosin) on drums providing most excellent support, and Just Like A Maggot is their most coherent outing yet. Swinging for the fences right off the bat, “4 Times Not 3” is a trippy instrumental adventure that hints at Tabata’s AMT connection while actually providing a solid groove throughout. “Up To Smoke” rachets things up a notch with some fuzzed-up guitar spazz-outs and goofy lyrical turns from Hide, and the lyrics only get weirder on “Atomic Kahuna”, Hide mumbling drunkenly about “a feeling in your vagina”. Creepy. Things gets rounded off by the vaguely electronic “Okidoki Execution”, a new, tropical version of “Loco Weed” and the excellent pseudo-cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” subtitled “Yes! the chords are not right that way we don’t have to pay royalties! ASCAP, BMI, JASRAC, same all shit”. Face it, everyone here seems to be having more fun here than in their ‘real’ bands, and let’s just pray Tabata’s recent medical problems don’t clip Amazon Saliva’s wings just as they’re starting to take off.

Acid Mothers Afrirampo
AfrirampoAcid Mothers Temple and The Melting Paraiso UFO
Atsushi Tsuyama
Kawabata Makoto
Daft Punk
Simian Mobile Disco
Klaxons
Mondo Grosso
Armand van Helden
Nicky Van She & Dangerous Dan
Soulwax
Anna Tsuchiya
amazon saliva
Ultra Bide
Tabata
Zeni Geva
Zuinosin

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