TVD Ticket Giveaway: Charanjit Singh with Protect-U at Tropicalia, 8/7

True musicians are organic transmitters of culture, like a bridge that spans our past, present, and future. The terms visionary and pioneer are often tossed around by music critics to distill the description of an artist whose artistic breadth is like trying to fit the ocean into a bottle.

Enter one Bollywood demo musician based in Mumbai, Charanjit Singh, who many allege is the unlikely founder of acid house music because of his 1982 release, Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat. The record certainly showcases all the trappings of acid house and subsequent styles: the Roland TR 808 drum machine, the Roland TB 303 audio oscillator and bass generator, synth tones galore, and a percolating, incessant 4/4 disco groove, but the clincher for me is that it’s set to ancient classical Indian musical raga scales.

Therein lies the rub: what makes this record a peculiar masterpiece and Charanjit Singh a living legend are all of these disparate elements coming together as one sonic anomaly.

I can’t claim to have been ahead of the curve on this one. I picked up the 2010 Bombay Connection reissue as soon as I heard a sample of the track, “Raga Bhairav” in an Other Music newsletter. It was like Giorgio Moroder met up with Kraftwerk in a basement in Mumbai to score a Bollywood musical.

Still, I found it hard to believe that this record never showed up in any family tree diagram of house music or that it was never cited by other music luminaries and writers like Aphex Twin, Simon Reynolds, or Daft Punk. It almost seemed like a ruse, too good to be true.

But the record and its creator are as real as the Himalaya mountain range and at 74, Charanjit Singh has embarked on his first US tour and will be playing Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, live on the original Roland TB-303, TR-808, and Jupiter-8 synthesizers. The handful of US venues hosting the legend are scrambling to find power converters and EU 2-pin power strips to accommodate the experience.

On August 7th he lands in Washington, DC for two performances in one day—an early show at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and a late night club gig at the global dancehall, Tropicalia with local electronic synth duo, Protect-U of the Future Times label.

Tell us why we should send YOU to next Thursday’s show at Tropicalia on us and we’ll choose the 2 most enthusiastic voices on Wednesday (8/6) at 9AM for 2 pairs of tickets each (2 total per person). So…go! Leave a comment below!

Charanjit Singh with Protect-U
Thursday, August 7
Doors 8PM  |  $10 Advance  |  $12 At the door
Tropicalia2001 14th St. NWWashington, DC 20009
Get tickets HERE!
RSVP on Facebook!

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  • MaxVonDuerckheim

    Oh man.  You should send me because I’ll be the most enthusiastic dancer there.  And because you love me.  You just don’t know it… yet.
    Max von Duerckheim… (look that up on facebook to find us)

  • ShreemaMehta

    I love 80s bollywood movies.. I’ve been listening to Charanjit Singh’s music longer than I realized! I’d love the chance to see him live!

  • timetodisco

    Because it would be SO dope and an honor to see the the man, the legend, and the master musician that is Charanjit Singh. 

    I also have an Indian friend who would absolutely twerk out if we got tickets…

  • PTRQ

    Been a big fan of Charanjit Singh since I found out about him and played his music on my college radio show in 2006-2007, when the Rochester radio market was really calling for amazing experimental Indian music from the early 80s. Can’t believe I actually have the chance to see him play live. Also have been a huge Protect-U fan for years, adore their new album, and am always excited to see them/captivated by their vibes.

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