TOHO SARA - Hourouurin
Aquarius Record website - List n°196, 10 September 2004 (USA) :
It’s sad to say, but it’s gotten to the point that a new Acid Mothers Temple release or AMT-related is met with a yawn instead of a shiver of excitement. Hard to avoid when releasing a record every month or two. But there is one Acid Mothers Temple related project that always has everyone here at Aquarius Record all a quiver in anticipation, and that’s Toho Sara, the experimental shamanistic musical ritual of AMT’s Makoto Kawabata and High Rise/Musica Transonic/Mainliner’s Asahito Nanjo. This is exactly the sort of stuff we here at Aquarius Record can never get enough of : buzzing reverberating drones over muted tribal drumming and simple spare scraping and rattling percussive ambience. Totally transcendental, dreamy and mesmerising. Sunroof !, Skullflower, Lamonte Young, John Cale, Tony Conrad, No Neck Blues Band, Sunburned Hand of the Man sort of otherworldly, higher conciousness, rambling, primal tribal free form abstract divine drone. So goddamn good !
All-Music Guide website - August 2004 (Canada) :
You would expect any team up between Acid Mothers
Temple’s Makoto Kawabata and High Rise’s Asahito Nanjo to
be a hard-hitting, noise-ridden acid rock fest. And you would be wrong.
Among these words, the only one suitable to describe Toho Sara’s
third album Hourouurin is “acid”. Instrumental credits are
not mentioned, but one can hear a lot of violin, tamboura, electric guitar,
tabla or some other kind of hand drum, and crude electronic effects. The
result is a barely-controlled “purée” of Oriental jamming
as seen through the acid prism. The bowed strings generate thick granular
textures (unless a computer is also involved) and the tabla playing is
as remote as possible from the rock idiom (although it doesn’t allude
to any specific music tradition). Disconcerting at first, the album becomes
either unnerving or hypnotic, depending on your resistance to drones.
The music takes the form of a 36-minute suite in three parts. The third
one is the noisiest, while the second one attempts a very unusual form
of beauty, not quite succesful but enough to be intriguing. If you want
an evaluation of this album on a AMT-versus-High Rise basis, then it falls
into the AMT camp, although this likeness is limited to the most tripped-out,
beatless moments in Acid Mothers Temple’s music. Hourouurin is definitely
an acquired taste (even for seasoned fans of Kawabata and Nanjo) and a
profoundly odd listening experience.