Aug 19, 2009

Taj Mahal Travellers. July 15, 1972.


UPDATE: I just discovered the download link was redirecting back to this page. That's been corrected. Sorry about that.

Speaking of the Taj Mahal Travellers, here's their second album. I learned of them through Julian Cope's excellent book, Japrocksampler: How the Post-War Japanese Blew Their Minds on Rock 'n' Roll.I'm always amazed to discover that music like this exists, much less was made so long ago. It's psychedelic in the purest sense of being capable of transporting your mind to a completely new and unknown space. It's more landscape than music (one member's instrument was "tree branch"), complete with its own peculiar, unnerving weather.

I've become more and more attracted to music that disorients me from where I am and what I'm doing. There's nothing to hum along to here, the singer has a voice like a rough-hewn wooden bowl (his few vocals are deep, rumbling throat calls), there's no melody or trajectory to anything they're doing, and most of the music is so heavily treated it's hard to tell (or believe) that a human being has mapped out that noise on a known instrument. This (thankfully) isn't even free jazz. It was something completely unique to these guys at the particular time it was recorded. Despite the processing, it remains purely organic. Despite its amorphousness, it's never anything less than compelling.

July 15

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