RIP Charanjit Singh (1940-5 July 2015), inventor of acid house music

Charanjit Singh
Film Hits from Mera Naam Jokar

India (1970)

Rana Ghose reports for Dazed:

Disillusioned with the creative insecurity of a music machine that he was now becoming reluctantly a part of, he proceeded to hide away from the unforgiving hustle of Bombay’s film industry and make a record of classical Indian music fused with dance music. He ignored those who told him that it was a bad idea to put ragas to a disco beat and that there need to be tablas. Unrelenting, he asserted his vision.

EMI India released Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat based on Charanjit’s past track record and musical pedigree, but the label “didn’t really promote the record, and so nothing really happened,” he recalls today. “Maybe they lost money, or didn’t want to lose more, I don’t know.” The inevitable outcome transpired: a landmark record banished into obscurity, seemingly never to be heard again. In this case, the record slept for almost thirty years until its re-release in 2010. Observers began to take note, writing about a “lost” record that presented a convincing argument towards the premise that acid house was created in India in 1982. 

Charanjit Singh
Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat

India (1982)

concrete abstraction. on a critical theory of brutalism

we are currently writing an article on a critical theory of brutalism which will be published in DIALECTIC IV, a refereed journal of the School of Architecture, University of Utah, in spring 2016. you’ll find the abstract below:

Inbetween hip hop tracks, step-by-step instructions in diy art magazins for creating your own concrete egg cups, and electronic music labels that employ brutalist aesthetics, concrete recently has seen an upsurge in (pop) cultural attention. But besides the view that mistakes concrete for being beautiful there is very different perspective on concrete, one that takes its sensual awkwardness serious. Coming from the old brutalist intuition, this view understands concrete buildings as reminders that there is something fundamentally wrong with society. Brutalism is the architectural answer to the catastrophes of the 20th century. In return, this turns brutalist buildings into objects of rejection and hatred.

This is the setting in which we want to analyse brutalist architecture. Brutalist buildings do not serve as escape routes. They do not flesh out a perspective beyond capitalist society. And they shy away from establishing a safe haven within precisely the kind of wrong society which they aim to denounce. Brutalism is no counter-culture. But following Hegel one has to say: »philosophy must beware of the will to be edifying«. A statement that is all the more true for (post-Shoah) architecture.

The potential of brutalist buildings lies somewhere else. They serve as interruptions. By exposing their fabric, basic structures, they expose their own conditions of production and reproduction and shed light on the structures of capitalist society. We argue that, emphatically put, brutalist buildings can be read as anti-fetishistic buildings. This means they are interesting phenomena for a critical theory of architecture that asks for the service and ethics of architecture, even though – or precisely because – they are not examples of counter-culture in a strict way.

We want to demonstrate these thoughts at the example of a peculiar building: the former headquarter of the Deutsche Bahn AG in Frankfurt, Germany, built in 1993. This building is a spectacular combination of the Hayward Gallery in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, of brutalism, bowellism and post-modernism. With its combination of concrete and glass and its formal transparency it serves well as an example for the specific relations of visibility on which we focus.

cncrt abstraction, May 2015


An animated teaser for the release of MAGNATRON (summer 2015)

youtube link :