The sprawling psychedelia of the Japanese collective Acid Mothers Temple–more formally known as Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.–makes the neohippie trappings of their countrymen in Ghost seem downright subtle. On their recently released second album, Pataphisical Freak Out MU!! (P.S.F.), about 15 of the 30-some “famous and unknown musicians, artists, dancers, farmers, etc” associated with the group spin through a kaleidoscope of guitar-driven psychedelic styles with an overarching theme of excess. The group is led by guitarist Kawabata Makoto, and not surprisingly AMT’s sound recalls the overdriven, in-the-red choogle of his work in Mainliner and Musica Transonic. But here the assault is leavened with summer-of-love folk rock, clouds of vaporous space-rock reverb, and spooky vocal chants. While listening to the album all the way through is something of an endurance test (and the CD booklet, with photos of various Acid Mothers frolicking naked in a field, is even tougher to get through), the moments when the band fires on all cylinders at once tend to make the rest seem slightly less ridiculous. Despite the name, the English duo Spaceheads couldn’t be less like AMT: trumpeter Andy Diagram and drummer Richard Harrison craft funky, futuristic instrumental music with a cerebral bounce, resourcefully manipulating electronics to eke enough sound for a small orchestra out of their supersparse setup. Diagram (who also played with David Thomas & Two Pale Boys, the Pere Ubu front man’s 1996 project) treats his toots with effects like digital delay and harmonizer and loops his own lines live onstage to construct propulsive frameworks over which to improvise. Harrison keeps him on track with tight but accommodatingly elastic drumming. Like earlier recordings, the band’s new album, Angel Station (Merge), features insistent bass lines and whiffs of dub, elements they adapt for their engaging live shows via computer. Saturday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. AMT’s Kawabata and bassist Tsuyama Atsushi (who also plays in the Boredoms spin-off Omoide Hatoba) will play solo sets Sunday at 9 PM at Roby’s, 1944 W. Division; 773-252-9250. PETER MARGASAK
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/John Broadbent.