Saturday, March 27, 2010

Charanjit Singh, "10 Ragas to a Disco Beat," 1982

I don't usually post music here, despite running a world music program by the same name, but since I'm not doing the show and since this is retro electronic music, here you go.

In 1982, Indian electronic musician Charanjit Singh decided to reimagine traditional Indian Ragas in the style of contemporary electronic pop music. The result is explained in the title: "Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat."

Which sounds promising enough in a hokey, disco-kitsch kind of way, except that the music is pure acid, ahead of its time (We'd get that 303 squelch stateside sometime around 1989, unless you were in Detroit).

Check it out below on the blog, or at the link if you're on FB/RSS:

(Youtube: Raga Bhairav, 1982)

It's so good that I almost don't buy it. The sound quality is kind of too pristine (compare it to other, mainstream Bollywood musical recordings: Disco Dancer's 'homage' to 'Video Killed the Radio Star', for example):

Which is funny, because Charanjit's music could have actually benefited from tape warble; it would have made a pretty sweet chillwave record. As it stands now, the most accurate comparison I've seen is to Aphex Twin's "Analord" series. The melodies do fit in with the standard Raga fare.

There are liner notes in the sleeve, for what it's worth. Props to Bombay Connection Records for the find.


Krampus said...

This is life-changing. Thanks!


Rana Ghose said...

Charanjit Singh Vs. Heems of Das Racist - Live November 2012: