F****g finally! First legit vinyl reissue of Taj Mahal Travellers channelling the earth’s most haunted vibrations in 1974, remastered by Rashad Becker, and pressed on actual vinyl (two LPs to be precise), in an actual sleeve (woiii!). Takehisa Kosugi’s intrepid, tree-whacking troupe has long ranked amongst Japanese out-rock’s most revered outfits, thanks in no small part to the cheerleading of Julian Cope, who memorably compared the experience of listening to TMT to “an acid trip I once took in South Wales, in 1981, throughout which I lay recumbent and immobile for six hours believing that I could hear the raindrops outside screaming as they hit the ground, each desperate to enjoy just one more millisecond of individuality before being subsumed into waters’s vast eternity.” AYE. Perhaps more helpfully, he also invoked AMM, Anima and Kluster (all useful, if imperfect, signposts). To be sure, this is no flower-picking, dolphin-bothering early '70s psychedelia, but rather the most potent recorded document of the distressing, inward-facing journey music that the TMT pedalled throughout the 70s with the likes of Don Cherry and the attendees of their (sometimes all day) concerts on their legendary tour that took them across Asia and Europe - although it was recorded, funnily enough, at Nippon Columbia’s enormous Studio Number One. ENORMOUS is the word for this album, really: it’s an oppressive, all-consuming, all-saturating experience - less an album than a malevolent weather-system. If being trapped in 90 minutes of sinister, paranoid drone-muzak sounds like more than just a bad trip, you will find August 1974 to be one of the most substantial and invigorating and life-affirming interzones that exist between improv / free jazz, noise and psych. Really it sounds like nothing else on earth, but we'll file it alongside Sun Ra, The Curfew Recordings, and Michael O'Shea's Dome LP in our own bastard canon. Highest possible recommendation, August 1974 is one of the all-time greats, fully embodying a truth that the mind becomes adept at evading: YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!