Takehisa Kosugi’s importance is impossible to be underestimated. Even if he had dropped out of music, right after his participation in Taj-Mahal Travellers, he would still be among the leading key figures of the Japanese experimental scene. This is an ample proof of the profound influence that this formation has been, for a number of contemporary artists and noisicians alike. And one must add that Takehisa’s works after the demise of said band were equally strong and provocative. But in this case, attempting to portray a somehow coherent text regarding his vision, I should take things from start.
Which leads me to Group Ongaku- a rather forgotten yet definitely vital avant-garde ensemble. Their approach to sound could be seen as illuminating and even, charming, forming its own peculiar wave. All these sound a bit distant, perhaps-since we are talking for the early sixties. Yet, this group’s audio emanations have aged really well-without losing any of their charm, eventually. Takehisa’s role as a violinist did not confine him at all, as he managed to create a gentle sort of manipulation, in regards to his instrument. Adding effects as well as exhibiting an obsession with crafting magnificent drones, his work on violin could be seen as revolutionary. His presence in the ranks of such a crucial ensemble allowed him to use various elements-including tape procession and saxophone- operating in a way as a mighty door, to his future endeavors.
This introduction to a vivid transparent sound universe, most probably created a kind of confidence in him, regarding improvised music. Moving on to Taj-Mahal Travellers, there is an even larger need to focus on the concept of free improvisation-if such a thing exists in the first place, that is! One could describe them as being a company of nomadic hippies, traveling in a quest for whatever lies beyond. I would not necessary agree with the above view, perhaps-yet it is obvious that this was no ordinary psych band case. Their imminent obsession with large scales of improvised drone projections created a space which literally functioned as a gateway to a path that since then has been followed and explored by a myriad of avant-garde artists and bands, in recent years. The only existing recordings of theirs are captured in two separate live settings. This rather unorthodox approach proved to be an excellent exhibition of their freely invoked psychedelic motifs. And, to my ears, this ensemble’s sound still emerges as a sort of nexion: blending together elements from different spheres and worlds. It is also important to note that the outer limits character of this collective, was a definite sign of its not so lengthy duration. After completing their astral assignment, Taj-Mahal Travellers dissolved-or disbanded, in a more earthly tone- leaving behind a solidly inspiring legacy, for years to come.
Takehisa’s sonic road did not end there, however. Moving on into operating as a solo artist, he had the chance to create his own formulas. While not neglecting a series of collaborations with fellow minded individuals. His sixties affiliation with the fluxus movement shines throughout his personal career, if I can use this word in order to describe his output as a whole. The always present sense of denying artistic archetypes defined his later pieces, whether are we speaking of recorded works, or live performances. The later included a handful of insurrectionary tactics that beyond all doubt still stand as proof of his never ending audacity towards imagination. Watching some of them now, convince me of certain things-the brightest of whom being his ability to create fragments that combine a variety of tools. And yet somehow are unleashed in the form of love gestures. Love towards sound, as a phenomenon as well as a healing method. It is obvious that while completely fresh and personal, his solo offerings still possess the paradigms taught and learned during his early stages.
A fact that should come as no surprise, me thinks. The visions created and shared are parts of a larger picture. A picture that perfectly summarizes Kosugi’s emotions, thoughts and illusions altogether. In that sense, his presence in this Cosmos was even more important than his influence. Thus, his absence is of equal importance, to be exact. Yet, this revered absence does not actually exist. Since his works remain in light-and easily stand out as patterns of a non-patterned universe. Companions of knowledge in motion, these recordings and images hold the same amount of significance that other monumental art forms have. And that alone, is indeed a task of magick on his behalf!