'I Found the Roots of Electronic Music in a Cupboard!': The Tale of India's Lost Techno Pioneers

  • 2020-05-15
  • The Guardian

In the 1960s, a group of Indian students accidentally invented minimal techno – and hoped their synths could cure disease. A new documentary unearths their story

In 2016, the British artist and musician Paul Purgas had his curiosity ignited: he had read that the electronic musician David Tudor, a close collaborator of John Cage, took a Moog synthesiser to the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, India, in 1969. This struck Purgas as odd. The machines were very new then; bulky, breakable, and a nightmare to transport. India also had no history of electronic music, to his knowledge, before Charanjit Singh’s Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, which was released in 1982 to little fanfare but proclaimed a proto-acid house classic on its reissue in 2009.