October 2002Hello. This is a fan page for Charanjit Singh. I have a recording of the second side of his album, "Ten Ragas To a Disco Beat." It is my ideal music. I know nothing about him. This album was made in 1983 perhaps. My friend Ryan has a copy.
The music is nuanced while repetitive, electronic but warm, full. It seeks and it fills. It is perfect to work to but you can lose your mind within it. It is powerful and gentle. Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat is my best album to hear now, Fall of 2002.
I don't know much about CS either, and I'm not sure who does. From what I recall, he performed on soundtracks by LP (Laxmikant-Pyarelal) in the '70s. Those cheezy Farfisa accordions were real popular in Hindi film music at the time, but I don't remember whether he played that, or guitar, or both. I think he used steel guitar through an echoplex on several cuts, too. Anyway, there was one album of CS's film tunes that was commonly found in Indian shops in the late '70s or so. I probably still have it here somewhere, but...? (I scavenged my way through dozens of ethnic food markets back then to gather cheap cassettes for a series of compilations I called "The Grocery Store Tapes.")And Michael B found these experiments in calypso by CS.
The "Ten Ragas" record isn't one I've ever spotted, though. Your MP3 cut refers to a well-known raag, Megh-Malhar. (It's a monsoon raag, so play sparingly!) I guess CS's disco versions of familiar Hindustani classical raags are comparable to Walter Murphy's "Fifth of Beethoven" or David Shire's "Night on Disco Mountain" (even more so because both served as film music in "Saturday Night Fever"). So it wouldn't surprise me if CS's name is as relatively unknown in India today as Murphy's is in the U.S. But who knows? I'll be interested to hear what else you learn from your readers.
My (and millions of others') favorite is Rafi Sahab (aka Rafi Saab, aka Mohammed Rafi). Did you see the movie "Ghost World," by any chance? It's nothing special, except for the fact that Zwigoff inserts a film clip of Rafi performing his 1965 film music hit, "Jaan Pehechan Ho." Supreme pleasure warmth for always glamour!