A music blog filled with new discoveries, edits, mash-ups and general musical inspirations by DJ Glamjack, an artist and enthusiast of dance, disco, house and left field music based in Brooklyn, NY.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Acid House originated in India!
Stop the presses! It's time to rewrite House music history and the legend of the discovery of Acid House as we know it! It turns out that it wasn't 1987 when a small group of club kids led by Nathan "DJ Pierre" Jones gave Ron Hardy a record to play at the Music Box labelled "Acid Tracks" by Phuture and as the story goes, this uncompromising sound quickly clears the dance floor, but Hardy hammers the tune again and again, until the masses are converted and a new genre was born - Acid House. This is all true yet recently I found this poignant, seminal and amazing body of work by Charanjit Singh. As the story goes, it was 1982 when Charanjit, known at the time as a Bollywood soundtrack composer, intending to capitalize on the disco phenomenon that just hit India decided to combine centuries old Indian Ragas and set to a disco backing using the latest technological gadgets such as the Roland TB303 bass melody sequencer, the TR808 drum computer and the Jupiter-8 keyboard. All instruments that became the prototype for the Acid tracks that were created 3-5 years later by amateur Chicago house heads experimenting with sound. Mr. Singh basically created a sound which mirrored, and more importantly, pre-dated the first acid house record - Phuture's "Acid Track", and even preceded Chip E's 'Jack Trax' in 1985! After nearly three decades of near complete obscurity, the record resurfaced when Bombay Connection label impresario Edo Bouman first heard it while traveling in India. He inmediately contacted Mr. Singh and said: "He was most friendly and surprised I knew the album. I remember asking him how he got this acid-like sound, but he didn't quite get my point. He didn't realized how stunningly modern it was." The word "disco" in the title is a complete misnomer since there wasn't a genre called techno or house that could be invoked yet. Synthesizing: Ten Ragas To a Disco Beat is no novelty record either, capturing the hypnotic potential of acid music in the most extravagant yet simple form, making explicit the similarities with the pulsating bass sequences which defined the soundtrack of dance floors for the next 30 years. This is vintage futurism of the highest calibre and made more amazing by the fact it came from India, a place hardly renowned for it's electronic output. This is a brilliant record and it's highly recommended. Acid House came from India! Learn it!