Possibly inventing House music before anyone else did, Charanjit Singh, an Indian studio musician, released this LP, Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat, in 1982. Hoping to translate traditional Raga music to modern sounds, the album’s use of repetitive beats, synth sounds, and futuristic melodies hit a perfect combination that make it sound so incredibly ahead of its time. Charanjit Singh’s work barely sold when it came out, though, and only a few copies of his music have survived the years. Despite this, Bombay Connection, a record label dedicated to finding old electronic Indian jams from the eighties, recently found the album and remastered it. Sounding even better than it did before, Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat can finally carve out its legacy as the pioneering work it was.
Here’s 5 videos for you to jam with – two recently new ones, one classic, and two that are lesser known.
1. Animal Collective – Today’s Supernatural
I’m not really a fan of Animal Collective’s visual work. As trippy and psychedelic as their music is, I never imagine it with such a heavy horror element that so many Animal Collective videos have. Thankfully, though, this video lacks all that usual dredge and keeps a largely pleasant tone. Off their upcoming album, Centipede HZ, “Today’s Supernatural” features dragon go cart races, weird face paint, and violently inclined disembodied arms.
2. Black Moth Super Rainbow – Windshield Smasher
After hitting their goal three times over with their recent Kickstarter, Black Moth Super Rainbow are having a pretty good year so far. “Windshield Smasher,” the first video and single from their upcoming album Cobra Juicy , has a lot of windshield smashing (obviously) and other shenanigans. After a couple, misled by their GPS, stumble into a alley of orange-skeleton masked thugs – their car is destroyed, their heads are shaved, and they are force fed birthday cake lovingly dissected by a chainsaw. Minus the vehicular destruction, though, a free haircut and some cake doesn’t sound all that bad even if it is forced on by a gang.
3. CLASSIC: Cibo Matto – Sugar Water
Cibo Matto’s track “Sugar Water” from their 1996 album Viva! La Women was a minor hit when it came out. The video, directed by Michel Gondry of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame, shot it in one continuous take. Dividing everything via a split-screen where one half of the video plays forward and the other plays in reverse, this one will give you a real head trip near the middle when everything comes together.
4. HOTT MT – Never Again (ft. Wayne Coyne)
HOTT MT, a relatively unknown band from L.A., showed up at Wayne Coyne’s doorstep earlier this year to record a track with him without announcing their intentions or knowing if he would even let them. Rather than turn them away, though, The Flaming Lips frontman housed the group, recorded the track, and shot a video for it (not a bad deal). Anyway, this is a surprisingly great track. Expect more from this band soon.
5. Ghosthustler – Parking Lot Nights
Ghosthustler, the former band of Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo, is extinct now, but their music still lives on like a thought in the wind(?). The video is pretty fun and features a lot of NES Power Glove punching and dancing inside televisions. So there’s that.
Summer music is some of my favorite kind of music. It’s fun, relaxed, warm, and reflective. DJ Jazzy Jeff and Mick Boogie put out the first of their Summertime Mixtape series a few years ago full of old school hip hop and summertime classics, and they’ve been putting out a new one each year since. While I can’t vouch for Volume 2 & 3 (I haven’t listened to them that much), Volume 1 is a mix that still gets played in my household regularly. You can stream/download them all for free below. DO IT.
Fuxa (pronounced “fuchsia”) is a space-rock group mainly helmed by Randall Niemann. First formed in 1994, Fuxa trickled out a steady stream of releases until the early 2000’s when the group dropped off the radar completely. Back now after a lengthy hiatus with an album that features contributions from members of Spiritualized and Spacemen 3, Electric Sound of Summer is a psychedelic mindtrip. You can order the album from their label’s website or hey, you can stream the album on Spotify here. Check out their trippy cover of the classic Go-Go’s track “Our Lips Are Sealed” below.
Oh! Also, the cover art to their album was done by one of my favorite artists, Anthony Ausgang, who I really love (he did the cover art for MGMT’s Congratulations) because he just paints these pictures of cartoon cats on acid over and over and…oh, you stopped reading. Not cool, man.
Preteen Zenith, the new band by Tim Delaughter (leader of The Polyphonic Spree), just put out a record on Good Records, Rubble Guts & BB Eye, and it’s a psychedelic epic. Check out the video they made for the song “Relief,” recorded right before they premiered at last year’s Gorilla vs. Bear fest, or listen to the track they recorded with Erykah Badu, “Damage Control,” below.
Tim Delaughter just wrapped up a tour with The Polyphonic Spree who have been touring all around the country this past year. Here’s hoping he makes a few dates with this outfit soon.
While it came out over a year ago, Explosion in the Sky’s video for their track “Last Known Surroundings” off their 2011 album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, is one of the few music videos that can match up to the sonic grandiosity of the track its promoting. Made by the folks at the Austin-based design company, Ptarmak, it’s definitely worth checking out if you missed it before.