Charanjit Singh, Acid House Innovator & Bollywood Session Musician, Has Died
Charanjit Singh, who began his career as a Bollywood session musician before eventually recording what is generally considered to be the first acid house music, died in his sleep on July 3, according to a report from the Guardian. He was 74.
Singh played keyboard and guitar in soundtrack orchestras in India throughout the 1960s and 70s, and continued to produce Indian folk music throughout his career. It was his experimentation with both the Roland TR-808 drum machine and the Roland TB-303 bass synth on the 1982 album Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, though, that earned him cult status as an acid house pioneer -- twenty years after he released the record.
In the 2002, a Dutch record collector named Edo Bouman bought Ten Ragas on a whim during a trip to Mumbai, and was so awed by its prescient production that he convinced Singh to allow him to reissue it in 2010. The rerelease led Singh to perform the music from Ten Ragas live around the world, and to experiment further with electronic music. The international discovery of Ten Ragas required fans to rewrite acid house history, since its 1982 release was five years prior to Phuture's 1987 album Acid Tracks, previously considered the first of the genre.
Listen to Singh's Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat below: