His heart beat may have stopped, but 10 ragas to Disco continue
Tears roll down as we write….
Creation of the legendary Roland TB 303 synth and pairing it with the Roland TR 808 to produce the album,‘Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat’ did not happen overnight. The ordeal that preceded and the controversies that ensued immortalised the Acid House Music pioneer and veteran, keyboardist and guitarist, Charanjit Singh.
But the musical sensation of India, who called off his mortal journey a couple of days ago on July 5, remains in the hearts of the music aficionados imperishable and immutable.
The album, ‘Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat’, was released in 1982, and was unanimously voted and announced to be the best and much ahead of its time.
Charanjit Singh had the bliss of breathing his last in his sleep at his home in Mumbai after leading a full 75 years of life.
Singh’s death came as a rude shock to his friends, family, and the Indian and international music communities. Because he had been preparing for a show in London and working on a new album of Indian folk music. And over two years ago, Singh performed live at the flagship edition Magnetic Fields Festival, 2013. He regaled the milling euphoric crowds at the festival and everyone remained hooked on to the show till the end, true to the name of the festival, Magnetic Fields.
Charanjit Singh was known as a sessions musician and a one-time Bollywood composer who had worked with many legendary Bollywood composers like Shankar-Jaikishan, RD Burman, his father – SD Burman, and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
Singh was famous for playing various instruments but was best known for playing the synthesiser.
In one of his earlier interviews, Singh had said that since disco music was very widely used in Bollywood films, he had now decided to do something different with the genre. He now had got the idea to play all the Indian ragas, without the tabla and give it a disco beat. When the album got released, though it flopped; it was released again in 2010 and became a cult in its own right.
Even if he wasn’t always aware of it himself, we can say, Charanjit Singh was undoubtedly and undeniably a musician far ahead of his times.
A great loss to the music industry. We will miss his presence. RIP….