If you were to ask me about the origins of acid house before two days ago, I would of told you it started either in Chicago or some ancient druid castle squatted by neo-pagans in the hinterlands of Northern England. Phuture’s “Acid Tracks” released in 1987 is generally accepted as the first example of the genre but to learn about the true origins of acid we have to back a full five years and across the globe to India, I repeat, India:1982. I know, it sounds strange to believe but trust me on this one, it’s dope.
Back in the early 80′s Charanjit Singh was a session musician whose main source of income was covering the popular Bollywood songs of the day at weddings and parties. In 1982 disco hit India like a monsoon, inspiring Singh to infuse the infectious rhythms of western dance music with the sacred melodies of the classical indian ragas. Using his Jupiter- 8, TR- 808 drum machine and newly purchased TB- 303 bass synthesizer (one of the first to ever do so) he recorded Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat in two days, a stunning example of technological ingenuity and creativeness that is at least a decade ahead of its time. How was he to know his choice of gear would eventually be the basis of acid house?
Upon first listening to the LP I could not believe my ears and thought it was some sort of bizarre practical joke complexly orchestrated by the likes of Warped Records but I was wrong again. Some might claim that the whole album is essentially one song at varying speeds and different synth progressions but I’ll let you be the judge. Singh’s genius comes from taking the more esoteric elements of dance music, stripping it down to bare components and accenting it the entrancing rhythms of the indian ragas… in space Though previously out of print for almost 30 years it has since been reissued by Bombay Connection
Posted by Laurence ‘Pucho’ Henriquez