Review - Live Stockholm, July 1971

Artist: Taj Mahal Travellers


This double CD represents one sustained improvised set (over 118 minutes) by the legendary-but-scarcely-heard Taj Mahal Travellers. Interestingly, it was first issued by CBS/Sony Japan and no doubt a testament in that respect to the de-evolution of the penurious major-label breed. The Travellers were led by Fluxus member and Group Ongaku founder Takehisa Kosugi, and on this little gem we get a sonic glimpse into their collective songs of innocence. But their youth here dares not belie their individual sense of creepy and cosmic stoicism. An ever-balanced and challenging foray into lysergically-processed ethnic instrumentation of overlapping frequencies, "Stockholm" unceasingly plumbs the depths and nadirs of the will-shattering consciousness. Fragmented iterations of distant melodies alternate with sparse pluckings underpinned with the deliria of drones and groans. Utter patience is demanded by the Travellers. Those insisting on easily processed pop-melodies should steer clear.