For Immediate Release:
Revolutionary Japanese guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi's archives to be released in definitive vinyl editions.
Photo by Tatsuo Minami
August 5, 2019:
Black Editions Group and Jinya Disc Japan have reached an exclusive agreement for the release of definitive vinyl editions of the archives of legendary Japanese guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi (1932-1991). Since Takayanagi's passing, Jinya disc has worked to preserve and advance his legacy by releasing CD reissues of his albums as well as producing entirely new releases largely drawn from the extensive archives Takayanagi left behind.
The first release will be a 3 LP presentation of Takayanagi's incredible 1970 recordings that were originally released by P.S.F. records on CD as "Call in Question" and "Live Independence" an additional side of previously unreleased recordings will also be included. The second release will be a reissue of the 1975 LP "Eclipse", one of the holy grails of Japanese free improvisation originally produced in an edition of 100 by the Japanese ISKRA label.
Masayuki Takayanagi was without question a giant in 20th century music. Having begun his career at the age of 16, Takayanagi established himself as a master of swing, bop and modal jazz in the scene that was blossoming in Tokyo in the early 1950's. By the early 1960's Takayanagi's playing began to take radical turns, breaking with idiomatic forms to embrace free improvisation and reject any traditional notions of melody, harmony or fixed meter. His playing was often marked by an intense, violent energy using feedback and other dissonant elements. By the late 1960's this had developed into a fully realized and entirely unique personal musical language; one that was primal while also being rooted in a meticulously conceived concepts and theory. He innovated what he termed "Mass Projection" and "Gradual Projection" as his main approaches- later he would add "Action Direct" as a means of solo noise guitar exploration.
Black Editions also intends to translate and publish for the first time many of Takayanagi's writings in English. In addition to his music, he was also well known and often controversial for championing an uncompromising philosophy that expanded on music as it related to, among other things, social dynamics, politics, authority and the environment.
Writing in 1981 Takayanagi asserted "Those who live in the present but who harbour no doubts about the structure of authority, about the extreme dangers of our society, including the estrangement of man and nature, those whose anger does not drive them to delve into the essentials, and those whose approach to their art raises no questions, all of these must renounce their status as artists."
Black Editions Group is deeply honored to be able to work with Jinya Disc. This agreement is a significant, long-term step in our mission to champion uncompromising and truly unique artists and present them in a deeper cultural context- making them easier to discover and experience for this and future generations.