Charanjit Singh and Project U – Aug 7

Sure to be the eclectic, electronic music event of the summer! We’re bringing DC’s own Future Times artists, Protect-U, to share the stage with Indian pioneer of electronic music, Charanjit Singh, who will be playing his legendary 1982 album, “Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat,” live in the US for the first time on the original Roland TB-303, TR-808 and Jupiter-8 synthesizers.Charanjit Singh:In 1982 the Bollywood session musician CHARANJIT SINGH imported with much pain some of the latest synthesizer equipment into India. A good investment as Bollywood composers liked to feature the latest sound in their songs, and with these keyboards Singh spiced up numerous Bollywood recordings. But apart from that, in the late nightly hours after the studio recording were over, Singh set out on his own, wholly original project. His goal was to translate the language of Indian classical music, the ragas, to the synthesizer. His basis was a plain disco beat, on which he synthesized the melodies of ancient Indian ragas. By chance the machines Singh bought were exactly the synths that would define the sound of electronic dance some years later. The beat he synthesized with the Roland TR-808; the bass-lines he programmed with a Roland TB-303, the synth that some 5 years later would create the sound of acid house. Last but not least, he used the Roland Jupiter-8 keyboard, with which he generated psychedelic melody patterns and improvised the melodies of the ragas. With its restrained minimalism and lack of cheesiness it is hard to believe Singh recorded and issued it in 1982. All that is essential to house is there: the hypnotic beat, the mesmerizing melodies. And the sound of the Roland synths give it that House sound and feel that some years later would captivate the world’s dance floors. On top of that the LP makes a consistent listen: all ten tracks are equally good, minimal and captivating.

Protect-U: Proxies for the word “synthesizer” usually imply some sort of limitation: box, rig, assembly, gear, array, machine, and so on. It’s all the unfortunate legacy of the rockist lexicography. In Protect-U’s hands, though, synths are liberated to contribute whatever they can toward body-moving and brain-waving. The Washington, D.C., duo — Mike Petillo (who co-runs the Future Times label along with Andrew Max D of Beautiful Swimmers) and Aaron Leitko — treats every piece of hardware as an expression of possibility, and then enjoins those circuits into its beat-driven mission. Free USA, Protect-U’s first LP that came out in May 2014, is merely one high-glow reference point in a planetarium that includes various head-approved EPs, mixes and remixes, as well as a solid history of live shows where established hooks, improvised grooves and new math unite to both honor and disrupt the precepts of house and techno. Rhythms braid and unbraid, keyboard motifs shift and reverberate, and legends of the switched-on universe are summoned and re-imagined.

Thursday August 7


Charanjit Singh
Doors 8PM
$10 Advance
$12 At the door
Get tickets HERE



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