Acid Mothers Temple live at the Z-Bau in Nuremberg on 6 June 2024

Foto: © Björn Bischoff (HHV Mag)
Acid Mothers Temple are more of a myth than a band. This is due to the sheer number of releases and their almost intangible sound. The Japanese collective around guitarist Kawabata Makoto manifests itself on 6 June 2024 in Nuremberg’s Z-Bau. A predictably unpredictable evening.

Normally, the audience knows more or less what to expect from an up-and-coming concert: setlists circulate on the Internet, live cuts are distributed and most bands report on their concert routine on social media. It’s all part of the business these days. It’s different with Acid Mothers Temple. Since the band’s inception in 1995, so many releases with so many different sounds have come out that predictability is impossible, and the dead links on the website reinforce the image of a collective that is hard to grasp. (Probably the gig in Nuremberg was also officially called Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., but who has the space on a concert ticket to print a name like that?) One thing in advance: There’s nothing better than feeling this clueless before a concert.

About eighty people had gathered in the Red Salon at the Z-Bau. Silently and promptly, Acid Mothers Temple came on stage. Makoto was joined on stage by four other musicians.

At first they played a bit of psychedelic, noise and Krautrock, with Makoto’s guitar leading the sound, while Satoshima Nani pounded out a groove on the drums. Jyonson Tsu on the other guitar sang along, but it was hardly audible—everything blurred into a wave of sound.

Transported upwards by the speed guru

What at first seemed like chaos gradually revealed its own set of rules. The noise never became an end in itself. Instead, Makoto’s guitar brought out the different layers of sound and showed why the name Speed Guru is next to his name in the line-up.

At times it all became an overdriven whirlpool, at others it flowed into a few moments of blues-rock, with Nani on drums and Sawano Shozo on bass providing the necessary flow for the latter manoeuvre.

As the evening wore on, more and more people found their way into the small concert hall. (The band’s punctuality was apparently as unpredictable.) Acid Mothers Temple played for almost two hours. In the end, everything was drowned in a sea of feedback while Makoto pressed his guitar against the speakers. The band and audience then drifted apart in silence, until murmurs and background music filled the room. An ocean of fantastic sound echoed in the ears as the realisation set in that no other collective lives up to their own myth as much as Acid Mothers Temple.