May 31, 2010

live Stockholm July, 1971 - Taj-Mahal Travellers

The sound of Taj Mahal Travellers was unlike anything heard before then, except maybe a psychedelic and exuberant version of 60’s American minimalism. A lazy and complacent press dubbed them “La Monte Young on acid”. There is, effectively, an element of shamanistic trance in their music in common with Young’s work at the time. The first principle of the group is improvisation, a strategy inherited from Fluxus, the movement from which emerged Takehisa Kosugi, the central figure of Taj Mahal travelers.

The tools habitually used by any self-respecting psychedelic rock outfit have little place here. An eclectic assortment of instruments are brought into the action: electric violin, mandolin, trumpet, harmonica, all types of percussion instruments, synthesizers, home-made invented instruments, chants, cries, incantations, vocal drones, groans and grunts, all treated electronically in real time. Each instrument seems to follow its own path, but from this vibrating mass emerges a coherent world, a deep, dark, expansive, organic world, a monstrous living being which moves slowly, breathes, growls, throbs and seems to exist beyond the will and actions of the musicians.

Oddi wrth y brawd

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