Indian Electronic Music (IEM)…

… a collection of essays for the INDIA MUSIC WEEK 2013 (6th-13th Oct) in New York City (USA). Author: ElJay Arem (cultural journalist, independent media producer, radio presenter)

1996-2005 – The first 10 years of IEM. Ladies spinning (the turn tables)… – Women in IEM. Relevance of Bhangra for IEM. The Buddha Phenomenon
The ARChive of Contemporary Music

IEM on the European Continent (part 1 & 2) Ethno or what ? (Tendences in IEM since 2009…)

(Source: 2010-2013| Indian E-music - )

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Essay No. 5: IEM on the European Continent (part 1/2)

Indian Electronics on the European Continent (part 1/2)
Author: ElJay Arem ( (IE-m/HH -04072010) – Recently in Central European the clocks have been changed to summer time … and we have straight Easter behind us, also in Hamburg impressing Easter fire along the Elbe river had not been inconvenient in view of the cool holidays. I would like to take this “heathenish rite” which was included from the Catholic church into the Easter liturgy to the cause that we look about musical activities in the European
ElJay A. live “onair”…

community which we can assign to the genre of Indian electronic music. At present the European community consists of 27 countries with approx. 500 million humans and three further countries, who already applied for a full membership: Croatia, Turkey and Macedonia as former Yugoslavian republic. Our own language region (Switzerland – Austria – Germany) we will consider in an extra IE-m show, particularly under the aspects of the historical background of electronic music considerably was affected world-wide out of Germany. Here shortly to memory the names like Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze alias Richard Wahnfried or Oskar Sala, Harald Genzmer and Karlheinz Stockhausen who departed in December 2007. We begin our journey in our closest Western neighbourhood, in the Netherlands. Direct neighbour to Germany… In the past shows since our premiere in January this year we already became acquainted with the sound acoustic linkage between Indian classical music and Indian electronic music a little. The Rotterdam Conservatory, today it is called CODARTS (Rotterdam World Music Academy) is one of the prominent training facilities outside of India for Indian Classics under the controllership of the legendary flutist Hariprasad Chourasia, a representative of North Indian Classics, the Hindustani music. At Codarts three musicians became acquainted with each other, who published as trio Aesh their debut album of the same name in the year 2007. Aesh, that are Celine Wadier, trained in the oldest Indian vocal form, the Dhrupad, the Tabla player Heiko Dijker resident in Amsterdam we can found as programmer on the laptop and keyboards and Martijn Baaijens, likewise keyboard and on the Sarode, which belongs to the instrumental family of Indian lutes (e.g. Sitar, Veenas). Celine, Heiko and Martijn are trained all in the Indian-classical music by prominent
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Essay No. 5: IEM on the European Continent (part 1/2)

Indian Maestros… like Ustad Zia Fariddudin Dagar in Drupad, Buddhadev DasGupta on the Sarode and Ustad Faiyaz Khan on the Tabla. Aesh had presented for the first times at Indian Electronica Festival in London in the year 2006 to a broader public and gained a larger recognition. With theCD Ash the trio understood to link Indian chansons with French ragas and funky world music as expressed on their MySpace site. City of Love… Ile-de-France… We leave now the country of the tulips and shift further southward to another abutter. Digital Bled is residing in Ile-de-France, as the Paris metropolis is called officially since 1976. Its the 26th district with estimated 12 million inhabitants (11,7 million). If Digitally Bled would get the possibility for creating a new slogan for Paris perhaps the city of love on the Seine would be decorated with “peace, unit and a lot of fun”. Digitally Bled designates its music likewise. In the translation with reference to Africa the name means “digital back-country” or “digital nest“. The label Digital Bled represents the Portuguese Joao Pedro Veloso or just simply known as DJ Pedro. Pedro established himself in the suburbs of Paris in the 70′s. Already at the age of 11 years Pedro sucked the music of one of his neighbours, who was a trumpet player. One day he brought home a bandoneon to Pedro. With 18 he played the drums, the bass and guitar. The musical result of Digital Bled is a mixture from Orient and Occident, Africa and Europe. On the CD “Caravane” (2000) DJ Pedro mixes street sounds with Southern music. The influences of modern North America are not missed out briefly with heavy bass beats, Rap elements, psychedelic Funk and Hip Hop passages. Not atypically for music from France against the background of its colonial history African elements are dominating. The co-operation of Pedro Veloso with Dany’O, a West Indian bassists or the Indian singer Najma reflect the musical self understanding of Pedro. In his sound mixtures Pedro concerns around the excavation of sounds and avoids a cultural raid. South of France… After DJ Pedro’s world of sounds which he creates in Paris under the synonym “Digitally Bled” we remain still in France for a while. In the South West on the banks of the Garonne is situated Toulouse, exactly between Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. The region with 1.1 million inhabitants is the sixth-largest in France (after Paris, Lyons, Marseille, Lille and Nice). Toulouse made itself an international name with the head office of the European space industry an international name. Here we find also a music Combo, which calls its style “Fusion-Rock-Reggae”.
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Essay No. 5: IEM on the European Continent (part 1/2)











BlackBombayBrain this formation exists today simply as Black Bombay, with nine (9) musicians. The front man and lead singer is Shadu, at his side a rhythm section with bass, percussion and drums; the melodic part take over (background) vocals, trumpet, piano and guitar. To assign the music of Black Bombay to the genre of Indian electronic music one may regard as marginal, admittedly. The constant Tabla beats we can find in the tunes “Karnatak Journey” and the Indian vocals or Sitar in “Night at the Temple” make the sound nevertheless very, very Indian. Both recordings are on the CD Black Bombay which was published in 2002. So beautifully its only at the waterfront… With Black Bombay and Digital Bled, after stations in Toulouse and Paris yet it’s not enough of the French flair in the matter of Indian Electronic music. The triplet is completed by Nataraj XT from the Southern French port Marseille. The musicians Richard Bernet and Pierre Moitram met the Tabla player Kapi (DJ K314&Philipp De Mont Redon) in the 90′s. Thus in July 1999 the group Nataraj XT was founded. Nataraj is derived from the Indian word Nataraja: The king of the dance, a representation of the Hindu god Shiva, as the cosmic dancer, who fights with his divine dance the lack of vigilance of the universe to make way for the goddess Brahma and to initiate the process of the act of creation. As the generation of the baby boomers in the 60′s after they had discovered the Indian classical music in the 60′s. This style Bernet studied for more than 20 years on the Sarode and Esraj under the tutelage of the Sarode legend Ali Akbar Khan (1922-2009) at the Ali Akbar College in California while Moitram learnt in Paris from Professor Pramod Kumar, himself a pupil of the Sitar legendRavi Shankar, who celebrated his 90th birthsday these days (born 7th April 1920). Grown up with Rock’n roll and Techno and computer generated samples the modern sound of Nataraj XT is to be particularly owed to the Tabla and piano player Kapi. He also plays guitar, bass, drums and percussion. Tandava was the first album of Nataraj XT, distributed already in the year 1999 over the Internet to the world-wide fan club before the booming of eMusic began and music downloads became the horror ghost of the music industry. If one makes oneself conscious the fact that North Indian Ragas are to 90% improvisation music hence, it is not surprising that two improvisation artists such as Bernet and Moitram work for Nataraj XT with modal structures enriched with electronic sounds as we know it from Jazz. In their art of improvisation Nataraj XT incorporates also style elements from Eastern music as we find it on the CDs Ocean Birds (2003) and Opposition (2005).
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Essay No. 5: IEM on the European Continent (part 1/2)

Portugal – Brazil (Sao Paulo) With Nataraj XT from Marseille we leave France now. Gladly we would continue the journey through European landscape, but amazingly: far and broad nothing to hear of Indian electronic music. Excluded like at the beginning announced that Indian Emusic will pay extra attention to the German language countries (Austria – Switzerland – Germany) with another show. So don’t abandon hope completely… The protagonists from the Netherlands and France as introduced (Ash (Trio), Digital Bled (DJ Pedro), Black Bombay, Nataraj XT) may surprise us certainly in the closer future with outstanding compositions and arrangements. Music is as well known transfrontier and as an universal language. However I would like to present a language relative of the Portuguese Pedro Veloso (Digital Bled) from Paris. Under the label Atman an artist from Brazil could establish himself in the scene of the Indian electronic music. Atman is resident in Sao Paulo. Atman, literally the meaning of breath is defined in Indian philosophy, the Vedanta as the soul, which is connected universally and equally exists as individual soul, the truely self. Atman showed first interest in Indian classical music in the year 1996. Yoga exercises and the study of philosophy explain his concerns. Already in 1997 his CD Eternal Dance was published by the label MCD World Music. The CD Eternal Dance II from following year (1998) is a tonal document as well about the beginnings of the so called Asian Underground, which was set up Indian Electronic music in 1997 with the CD release of Talvin Singh “Anokha – Soundz of the Asian Underground“. part 2/2 see following page pls.
(Source: 2010-2013 | Indian E-music -


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Essay No. 5: IEM on the European Continent (part 2/2)

Indian Electronics on the European Continent (part 2/2)
Author: ElJay Arem (

The first

part of






continent (part 2)“ introduced the Netherlands, France and Portuguese area. In part 2 we present artists from the German-speaking countries, i.e. from Germany and Switzerland. We begin our excursion in Cologne. Here the
ElJay Arem live “onair”

musician Bruno Reuter (aliasKarunesh) was born. His New Age music is strongly affected by Indian influences

(e.g. Sitar sounds) after his longer stay in India in 1979. Karunesh published in 1984 his first album „sound of the heart “. Since the beginning of the 90′s lives Karunesh on Hawaii. What makes Cologne so special – the starting point of our musical discovery journey – is that it has a world-wide meaning for electronic music as a whole. 1951 was decided by the director Hanns Hartmann of the North-West German broadcasting (nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk) to furnish a studio for electronic music (see pictures). It’s the world-wide first of its kind. The idea goes back to the 20′s of the last century when the composer Herbert Eimert, who was born in Bad-Kreuznach wrote an atonal music doctrine and organized concerts for sound instruments. Eimert became the first director/conductor of the studio for electronic music. For the sound production the Monochord and Melochord, an earlier model of the Synthesizers were used, together generators with and sound filter

systems. The new sounds were made visible by an oscilloscope. One of the most famous users of the studio for electronic music
€ (Source: Synthesizer Database – June, 25th 2008)




composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.

The Berlin school… We leave Cologne as the homeland of the world-wide first studio for electronic music and adjourn to the capital of this music category. In the former West Berlin that time (before the fall of the wall in 1989) a type of electronic music was restamped from which also styles such as Trance and Goa Trance benefited; doubtless also the “Asian Underground”.
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Essay No. 5: IEM on the European Continent (part 2/2)



as Klaus





for Tangerine

Dreambehind the drum set belonged to the so called Berlin school even though this music group assigned itself to the Ambience genre. Tangerine Dream went in the year 1968 first time on stage, only with Lanse Hapshash on the drums, Kurt Herkenberg playing the bass and Edgar Froese on the guitar. The name Krautrock (herb rock) designates the early development phase of Tangerine Dream. Until today exist artists who feel obligated to the Berlin school. Same as in Cologne there existed in Berlin an institution, which was led by Swiss composer Thomas Kessler: the Electronic Beat Studio Berlin. Here Tangerine Dream rehearsed in their beginnings. In today’s Berlin also the trio Jahcoozi has its domicile. The singer Sasha Parera, who was born in London is half Tamil and half Singalese. She studied in Cologne and London German language & literature and political sciences. After her studies she moved to Berlin. To Jahcoozi belong the electronics engineer and producer Robot Koch from Kassel (Germany) and Oren Gerlitz on the bass who was born in Israel. Oren studied Jazz and sound engineering and is responsible for Jahcoozi’s productions. Coming out of the Berlin unterground scene Jahcoozi attracted an international public by salient Live performances since it’s debut album „Fish“ in the year 2003. The stylistic elements range from Dub, RAP, Reggae, Dancehall to Jazz. Jahcoozi played also with the well-known British formation Asian Dub Foundation we presented in IE-m’s premiere on 5thJanuary 2010. With the new CD „Barefoot Wanderer“ back pack Jahcoozi currently is on tour through Germany. Hanseatic City… In almost direct neighbourhood to Berlin lies Hamburg, the location of our own broadcasting and production place. In Hamburg has developed a considerable club scene also for electronic music in the 90′s. It can quite compete with Berlin. In 2002 here was founded Sir Shree by the guitarist and sitar playerSteve Pepper. Beside him the producer Nesto, founder of The Reel Banditos and the percussionist Stephan Krause, member of the quintetElbtonalPercussion are part of Sir Shree. After publishing two CDs since 2004 it became a little bit quiet around Sir Shree. Frankfurt Hub… With our excursion through the German-language landscape of Indian-electronic music we leave now North Germany and go southwards. Osnabrueck celebrated on 11th June 2005 it’s first Bombay club party, for which the DJMykel Angel scratched the turn tables. This Hip Hop oriented artist was born in India and grew up in Germany. At the beginning of his art work Mykel Angel attended a party row for pilots, their crews with friends. In this time of ACC –Air Crew Clubbing two compilations were produced. Since 2006 we do not hear anything new from Mykel Angel. For balmy summer nights Mykel’s CD „Bombay to Ibiza – world of chillout lounge“ is still recommendable.

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Essay No. 5: IEM on the European Continent (part 2/2)

Alpine luck… We leave now Germany and visit our southern neighbour: Switzerland. Richard Meyer, known as artist Swayd in the public lives in Lausanne and produced for Britney Spears and Celine Dion. On a long journey through India Swayd had cooperated with musicians like the Tabla player and Santoor maestro Manish Vyas, with play back singer Jayachandran for the Indian film or with the sitar player Pandit Janardhan Mitta, who resides in Chennai, South India. We can hear the Indian influences on two albums from the year 2009: Top40 Ulitmate Asian Classic bar of Grooves plus Continuous Party Mix. In Switzerland also the versatile Mirko Lalit Egger agitates. Under the artist name Mirko-Kosmos - Studio MK and/or as Mahisha surprises Mirko with unusual sound work and as video artist. The clips put his musical works impressively in perspective. Mirko was born in the 20 million metropolis Mumbai (former Bombay), however grown up in Eich close to Luzern (Switzerland). Here he visited the Jazz school and later studied in Zuerich audio engineering. One can understand Mirko-Kosmos as multidiscipline „synthesis of the arts“ he initiated 1999 himself. Mahisha was produced from this project in 2005. In the Hindu mythology Mahisha is a buffalo headed demon, an Asura. Only the ten-armed goddess Durga riding on a lion or a tiger it succeeded to defeat Mahisha. In 2009 Mirko-Kosmos published the EP Mahisha Empire.
(Source: 2010-2013 | Indian E-music -


© 2005-2013 / promotion initiative IMC – India meets Classic ( )

Indian E-music… the right mix of Indian Vibes –

© 2005-2013 / promotion initiative IMC – India meets Classic ( )

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