Taj Mahal Travellers

August 1974

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This double CD reissues the legendary Tokyo improvisational group's Columbia LP from 1974. Like European experimental ensembles A.M.M. and M.E.V., Taj Mahal Travellers were dedicated to sonic experiments beyond categories of free jazz or avant-garde, and throughout the '60s and early '70s challenged musical norms the world over. Lead by Fluxus member and avant-garde composer Takehisa Kosugi, the ensemble featured instrumentalists Kyo Koike, Yukio Tsuchiya, Beiji Nagai, Tokio Hasegaw, Kinji Hayashi, and Hirokeszu Sato. The group adapted traditional instruments and electronics, yet saw no hierarchy in what could and couldn't be adapted into their battery of experimental instruments. Any number of devices were employed in making this massive and noisy drone piece. Recorded live in the studio, this music adapts methods from avant-garde, electro-acoustic, and ethnic music, and often takes the form of magnificent clouds of treated acoustic sound. The double-CD length is a compelling and thorough retrospective of the group, who recorded just two albums in the '70s. A vital and influential document of the Japanese avant-garde this was a hallowed artifact of the underground for many years. Made available in retrospect, it gives an insight into the early beginnings of an improvisational style which would be of incredible significance to the experimental music of later years.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick