Friday, January 25, 2008

Taj Mahal Travellers on Tour (1973, Matsuo Ohno), viewed on

When I first heard the Taj Mahal Travellers, one of those live CDs with an early-70s year in its title, I couldn't believe the vastness of their music. It immediately made me picture four or five ancient old wizards perched on top of mountains in the blackest night, calling to each other across canyons and valleys, conjuring up a sonic spell that clearly had the power to move the world. When someone told me that this feature-length documentary film not only existed but had footage of them playing music outside by the ocean, I just assumed it was my vision, common sense be damned - that they were perched high on sea cliffs, plugged in and droning deep while waves crashed on the rocks below. I didn't realize how fully I believed this until watching the first 10 minutes of the actual film and seeing the reality - different, but not at all disappointing, because this is a cool-ass movie. Just watch the opening band-introducing montage w/title cards and beautiful Herzogian shots of the sea, and watch the rest too as they travel to Scandinavia and blow minds. (Actually I haven't watched the whole thing yet, maybe there is some kind of bad-ass finale at the sea with huge amps and a gas-powered generator....)

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