Saturday, January 29, 2011
*Until recently it wasn’t much more than some rumours on the web: a 1982 released LP called TEN RAGAS TO A DISCO BEAT containing Kraftwerk-like acid house music, years before the genre was invented.
So it turns out, the record was no rumour. Only a few hundred copies of the LP were ever pressed, and only a handful seem to have survived. Moreover, the LP outdoes all expectations. 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. The 10 tracks make a consistent listen from A to Z. Its restrained minimalism and lack of cheesiness makes it incredibly contemporary, sounding animated, fluid and unabashedly alive.