Acid Mothers Temple & Melting Paraiso UFO/Escapade
A Thousand Shades of Grey
Maybe it’s the pairing with space-rock’s elder gods Acid Mothers Temple, but Escapade really stepped up their game on this split. Their previous full-length, Rule #3, was laborious and unfulfilling, something akin to aimless funk or a jam band with nowhere interesting to travel. Of the band’s two lengthy inclusions on this disc, “Because Because Because” does the most to distance the sound from their established territory. It’s drone music in every sense of the word, where electronic layers shift about meandering along before an oscillating guitar cuts through the pre-programmed fog bank and clears the way for a clipped, bludgeoning rhythmic finale. The second, less successful selection, “Transformation 2,” is decidedly more terrestrial, acquiescing little of the band’s predilection for funk for the disc’s overarching theme of atmospherics. Still, at thirteen minutes — and this release’s shortest track — it leaves a better aftertaste than expected.
Ensconced between Escapade’s offerings is Acid Mothers Temple’s twenty-eight minute epic, “European Sun.” Surely, at least an allusion to the Velvet Underground’s noisy, non-sequitur ending to their Velvet Underground & Nico album, AMT piles on the psychedelica, sending things into orbit early on and keeping any semblance of form miles below the gaseous surface until the closing minutes when a riff claws its way to the top of the mix. The song lives in its own little stratospheric paradox; its drone-based girth is intimidating, but close inspection yields an interesting and constantly shifting undercurrent. It’s definitely an intense, but rewarding listening experience for those with a high level of patience.