Sunday, February 14, 2016

Takehisa Kosugi - 1975 - Catch-Wave

Takehisa Kosugi

01. Mano Dharma (26:32)
02. Wave Code (22:27)

- Takehisa Kosugi / violin, voice, radio, oscillators

Takehisa Kosugi is an inter-media artist and performer who started his career back in the 60's in Tokyo. With his first band "Group Ongaku"(free anarchist-conceptual improvisations)he was introduced to the Fluxus avant garde movement. During the 70's he was a member of the mystical psychedelic droning rock band "Taj Mahal Travellers". He co-founded the band in 1969. Since the end of the 70's until now he has released several solo albums and commissioned works for events, sound installations. His album "Catch Wave" (1975)is an absolute progressive masterpiece, bringing Takehisa Kosugi's musial talent on territories usually reserved to Kosmic Krautrock.

Takehisa Kosugi - the main member of the mystical and psychedelic Taj Mahal Travellers came up with the goods big style on this release.
Kosugi formed the Japanese equivalent of the Fluxus movement in the early 60's with his 'Group Ongaku' and later went on to create one of my all time favourite bands 'The Taj Mahal Travellers' who would release three brilliant albums in the early 70's. Catch Wave delivers in a similar style.

This completely solo album continues his previous experiments with electronically processed violin using what I imagine must have been pretty expensive equipment back in'75. There are no drums, guitars or bass present, just a swirling melee of highly distorted strings and oscillators creating one of the most unique sounds I've heard.

Track two "Wave Code" introduces vocals into the equation, but they're no ordinary vocals - being subjected to the same incredible distortions as the violin.

Sounding like the best Kosmische Kraut and similar in some respects to Klaus Schulze's 'Irrlicht', only more refined, spacious and less claustrophobic. It's the kind of music you'd expect to hear on a planet orbiting Sirius.

An incredibly fresh sounding recording that hasn't dated one iota which is amazing considering it's now 36 years old.

One of those rare albums of a rather brilliant nature, 1975's 'Catch Wave' found the experimental Japanese electric-violinist Takehisa Kosugi going it alone after his five year stint as head of the similarly-intoned Taj Mahal Travellers. Nicely described by one critic as 'existensial drone music', Kosugi's work both with-and-without group has always been of a very spartan and experimental nature, and about as far from conventional forms of rock & pop as one can really get. A similar touchstone could be the synthesized soundscapes of Klaus Schulze's 1970's albums or the earlier electro- moans of Terry Riley and Steve Reich, yet somehow Kosugi transcends even these stylistic boundaries; truly, there is nothing quite like 'Catch Wave'. Rare is the album that simply cannot be stopped or paused, even for a miscrosecond, yet the quivering, rolling and vibrating strains of Kosugi's phaser-laced violins simply transfix you and take hold, drifting seamlessly along a single unbroken line for what seems like a blissful eternity. Very much like a certain psychotropic experience musicians and artists are known to enjoy, 'Catch Wave' is a pure and dramatic experience of a deeply transcendental nature. Quite extraordinary, utterly engrossing and all consuming.



  2. Fantastic! As always.You continue to Amaze! Any chance of some early Pauline Oliveros stuff?Thanks!!!

  3. I have the 2012 - Reverberations - Tape & Electronic Music 1961-1970 twelve cd box if you are interested, most of the other stuff i have from her is from later work