May 26, 2010

Charanjit Singh - Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat (India, 1982)

The good folks of the Dutch Bombay Connection label already pleased my sitar-fetish with their lavishly packaged double compilations Bombay Connection and Bombshell Baby of Bombay, now the're back with a real surprise: Indian ragas played by early synthesizers, and I must admit this is some pretty crazy sound. This is what they say about their record: a 1982 released LP called TEN RAGAS TO A DISCO BEAT containing Kraftwerk-like acid house music, years before the genre was invented. Only a few hundred copies of the LP were ever pressed, and only a handful seem to have survived. Performed on the synths that would later define Acid House, the Roland TB-303 and TR-808, the album sounds light years ahead of its time with its repetitive beats and hypnotic electronic melodies. Its maker, Bollywood session musician Charanjit Singh, set out to translate ancient Indian classical Ragas to the modern synthesizer and in doing so seems to have invented House music along the way. Its restrained minimalism and lack of cheesiness makes it incredibly contemporary, sounding animated, fluid and unabashedly alive.
more info & soundsamples here:

2 comments:

Alex said...

Most underrated electronic release off all time. ESSENTIAL.

Rana Ghose said...

Charanjit Singh Vs. Heems of Das Racist - Live November 2012: http://www.facebook.com/charanjitsingh2012