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Album Review

Minstrel in the Galaxy exists in another universe from the rest of the AMT catalog, being one of their most restrained and spacy releases. Joined by Oni and Pikachu, the two vixens from Afrirampo, on vocals, usual suspects Tsuyama Atsushi (on bass, vocals, and acoustic guitar), Higashi Hiroshi (on synths and guitar), Koizumi Hajime (drummer extraordinaire), and Kawabata Makoto (on guitar, bouzouki, sarangi, and tamoura) keep things very quiet. Sounding as if Scorn covered Pink Floyd's "Echoes," this record documents a rare exercise for the band. And a well-executed exercise, as well. Building over the course of its near 40-minute running time, the title track starts off in a cold, distant part of the galaxy, but slowly heats up, first with Hiroshi's keys, then Atsushi's Krautrock-groove bass, joined by Hajime's steadily more frenzied skins work and Makoto schooling the doubters with acid-drenched guitar soloing. And then, while you're not paying attention, the skies open and the band is in full freak-out mode that aligns itself with the sound AMT is famous for, before grooving back to Planet Earth. The record closes with a fantastic acoustic folk number, "St. Bel Canta," that again showcases a new face for the group, like interstellar psychedelic troubadours, in a way. A unique highlight in the extensive Acid Mothers catalog, Minstrel is recommended highly.

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Minstrel In the Galaxy, Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
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