High Mountain Tempel - Pacific Sky Burial (Axaxaxas mlo)
Lotushouse Records (release date 02.12.07)
by Fred Laird (Earthling Society) 01.12.07
Ego is a bad thing. It can cause you to make blundering skyscraper decisions that make you look a fool. Especially in music. I have occasionally fell foul to this beast and have wandered like a stargazer in a cul-de-sac trying to find my way out.
It's like walking down the street and catching a glimpse of yourself in a shop window wearing your new leather jacket, thinking 'I look f**king cool'. You start to strut like an electrocuted chicken and blindly walk into the biggest pile of dogshit on the pavement. That is ego my friends. It's not good.
Fortunately for us this music is stripped of any ego. There has been no desire here to record a record that will hopefully make them millions and take them on a cocaine burning tour of the planets stadiums. Here is art for the sake of art and the love of life. Sorry if I'm going over the top.
It's clear what has happened here. Surrounded, Morricone style by gongs, Cymbals, guitars and chimes. Adepts Keith Boyd and Eric Nielsen subjected each other to a ritual of trepanning. Through the holes in their skulls emerged their ego's which they grabbed before ascending into the morning sky. They then proceeded to roll them into some fine Nepalese and smoke them into oblivion.
After a breakfast of scrambled Harry Partch on Acid Mother's toast and a couple of glasses of fresh UBIK juice (Do not exceed the recommended dose) Mr Boyd and Mr Nielsen casually picked up their instruments and recorded this fine piece of freeform music.
Full of chants and percussion, mixed with minimal Klaus Schulze 'Cyborg' era synths, HMT have created a highly meditative album of ambient awareness. It's damn spooky at times too with sounds that remind me of sunken world war 2 ships on the bed of the Pacific. Their barnacled hulls groaning and creaking. Chains clanging muffled and flange-like against decrepit steel. The ghosts of dead sailors, clutching photographs of loved ones, appear, sullen and watery at the port holes.
HMT tell us in the sleeve notes that this album is dedicated to the Pacific ocean blue. Where I live on Albion's North west coast, the sludge of the Irish sea, brown, radioactive and stenchlike washes up from time to time dead sheep that have fallen off the edge of the Lake district. They are a source of fun and an interesting plaything for the booze riddled idiot teenagers who poke things at the rotting carcasses and scare the girls. I can listen to this music and look at the same sea without the disgust I had previously. It really could be the Pacific.
If I cited their influences would take away the mystery of the album?. Early Residents, Pharoas period Popul Vuh, Harry Partch and Acid Mothers Temple?. You'll make your own conclusions.
I am envious that these guys have the Pacific to inspire them even if it maybe a romanticised vision on my part. I would like to take this opportunity tothank them for a great piece of music that has inspired and directed me back onto the crooked path that I sometimes stray from.
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