Monday, July 6, 2015

RIP Charanjit Singh

Charanjit Singh wrote hundreds of Bollywood film scores and recorded a bunch of other material, but in the west he'll probably always be best known for Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, an album he recorded in 1982 that is infamous for sounding peculiarly similar to what dance music would sound like by decade's end.  It's interesting to see how over these past 5 years the narrative has distorted from "listen to how ahead of the curve this guy was" to "he invented acid house".   I think it's important not to subscribe to any of this false narratives because:

  1. Acid house definitely arose out of a time/place, there's context and complexity into how it came to be at its specific historical moment  
  2. It's unlikely any of the actual acid house pioneers ever heard Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat and thus it bears no real influence on the music or the scene.  Synchronicity is not a substitute for history 
and most importantly

3. Not being the guru of acid house music in no way diminishes the achievement Singh accomplished.  It's a reflection of historicity, not aesthetics.  Ten Ragas is a stunning album no matter what vacuum or what context it came out of. 

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