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Kawabata Makoto's Mainliner - Revelation Space [Riot Season - 2013]

The Tokyo-based "psychedelic solid free attack group" Mainliner first emerged in the mid 90's. The lineup included Kawabata Makoto of the Acid Mothers Temple, and Koji Shimura on drums, both of whom are still in today's incarnation, which they are calling 'Kawabata Makoto's Mainliner'.  The original bassist/vocalist Asahito Nanjo, who played with them until they disbanded in 2001, does not appear on this new release, "Revelation Space", being replaced instead by Taigen Kawabe.

I'm not familiar with Mainliner's older material (though I would certainly like to be), but the sounds found on the album are not far from what one may expect from Makoto or Acid Mother's Temple, in that they are speaker annihilating displays of acid drenched feedback and cavernous amplifier soundspace with hints of blues here and there.  Both groups have chosen improvisation as their method. 

The difference is that Mainliner sounds closer to a rock band, with an active and propulsive rhythmic component, where the Acid Mothers typically opt to space out for 10+ minutes at a time, reverberating the tones of their instruments into a soupy nebulous womb.  Mainliner settles into a mid-paced stoner rock groove with such a vast, weightless feeling about it that one might experience vertigo.  One can sense the sound reflecting off the walls of a deep canyon, and feel a smooth gliding sensation as they pulled along it.  The deep, surging chords resound in a cosmic 'aum'.

Psychoactive shreds of feedback erupt from Makoto's guitar like sparks off a piece of metal being cut.  This is a profoundly deep, blown out distortion sound, and I imagine my listening volume is only a tiny fraction of the level he must have pushed his amplifier to in order to achieve this tone.  The distortion is so monstrous and lacerating that it nearly consumes everything else in the mix, ripping off chunks with cyclone force.  Their sound has a muddy washed out 'garage' quality about it, but this never works against them, insteading enhancing the otherworldly aspect of their music.

Choruses of high pitched siren voices fill in the crevices in the soundspace with mournful and mysterious melodies in classic psychedelic fashion, intertwining with wails of feedback in the most of the pieces on the album.  The third track, the punkish "D.D.D." is 2 minute of driving powerchords with vocals of a different kind, rapidfire monotone almost-shouting, once again unintelligible.  All the pieces are of equal quality, and listening to the album as a whole, I hardly notice one track become the next.

Their sound is almost unimaginably powerful and full of burning universal energy, and in the summoning of so much energy there could only be joy.  This record is therefore an absolute pleasure to listen to.  If one can't handle generous dosages of abrasive sound textures, they could find themselves reluctant to commit to this trip, but on the other hand this could be the recording that could show you once and for all the joy and the zen in noise.  Profound stuff.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Josh Landry
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