Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Acoustic Mothership

Released 1997 on Circle Sunshine (SUN#202)
Reviewed by dave, 28/02/2001ce

Hanadensha is the child of Boredoms bass player Hira. I first came across Hanadensha's Acoustic Mothership in 1998 when I was on a big Japanese music kick. Since then I repeatedly come back to this album and it never ceases to amaze me.

Acoustic Mothership is the second CD in a trilogy (unfortunately I have not been able to track down the other two CD's in the trilogy) that contains four epic tracks. The title of the album may be a bit misleading. It is not an acoustic album in the least bit, but rather a fantastic journey into spaced out overdriven ambient beauty.

The brief opening track, Brazilian Morning Fever, bleeps and vibrates with hypnotic noises shifting in pitch erratically. At first appearance you might think that your CD is skipping but it's not.

Acid River comes on with waves of what seems to be keyboards and guitar flanged and phased to the umpteenth degree. Melody lines bounce up and down, back and forth, undulating and repeating over itself in a hypnotic fashion. As the trip moves on, the listener is enveloped in sound as the mix gets louder and then drifts away like a fleeting thought that won’t go away and leaves you wondering, “When did I take that hit…”

Elemental Jam is an organ-loaded monster that, like their contemporaries Mainliner and High Rise, shows Handensha can push the VU Meter one step further than most, even during their more “quiet” moments. As the song progresses the washed out repetitive organ riff is augmented by heavily delayed and sporadically panned lead guitar.

The closing track, Acoustic Mothership, starts out with cool rhythmic (synthesized and who knows what else) chirps and noises that slowly change as other synthesized sounds come and go. For the most part the tune stays on one rhythmic line that diverts ever so slightly at times and drastically at others, as the flick of a switch on a delay pedal changes the course of the rhythm while always bringing it back to the main line.

Acoustic Mothership continues to be a disc that kicks my ass every time I listen to it. Maybe it will kick yours...

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