Indian ragas are believed to have a natural existence. Some Hindus even regard music itself as a means to reach enlightenment. During the 20th century, the subcontinent attracted many avantgarde artists and musicians of the counter culture, especially from the US, Europe and Japan – most of them in pursuit of answers to spiritual needs or wanting to leave something behind.
56-minute mix with Alice Coltrane, Coil with Lori Carson, Psycho Baba, Sun Ra And His Arkestra, and others.
Featured cover art: Deuter – Aum
Sun Ra And His Arkestra – India
mystic rhythms in an ancient exotica style (1956, El Saturn Records / Re: Sun Ra LLC)
Alice Coltrane – Sita Ram
recorded in Alice Coltrane’s hometown New York City after a trip to India, the multi-instrumentalist articulates her spirituality with the album Universal Consciousness; a year later she’d convert to Hinduism (1971, Impulse!)
Angus MacLise, Tony Conrad, Jack Smith – S.O.S.
haunting tambura drone piece from one of the many sessions the three New York City based avantgarde artists recorded between 1964 and ’68 (ca. 1968, Boo-Hooray)
Bill Laswell, Coil, Janet Rienstra, Lori Carson – Kála
Coil’s music is enhanced with Bill Laswell’s field-recordings from India’s spiritual capital Varanasi and Lori Carson‘s vocals (1997, Sub Rosa)
Psychedelic Sex Kicks (OST) – Like, Preview Time
sitars and tablas are omnipresent in the US counter culture of the sixties, like in the low budget film Psychedelic Sex Kicks about San Francisco’s free love and drug crazed hippie underground (1967, Modern Harmonic)
Deuter – Soham
the self taught German musician combines acoustic and electronic elements with ethnic instrumentation and nature sounds (1972, Kuckuck)
The Residents – Om Is Where the Art Is
from the group’s first demo tape, mailed anonymously to Warner Brothers – and rejected for not being commercially viable (1971, New Ralph Too)
Psycho Baba – Tablovedubla (exc.)
between 1999 and 2003, the Japanese group around drummer and jill-of-all-trades Yoshimi (OOIOO, Boredoms, …) and sitar player Yoshidadaikiti are exploring Indian musical traditions (1999, Japan Overseas)