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Okko Bekker - Sitar & Electronics CD (album) cover


Okko Bekker


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

3.27 | 12 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The use of Indian instruments in rock music had been done plenty of times by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and such by the time Okko Bekker released this album in 1971, but one could definitely argue that this is one of the best examples of sitar effectively used as a rock instrument. Aside from a few psychedelic textures throughout the course of the album, the sitar is often used for furious soloing over upbeat and heavy riffs - even The Beatles can't claim to have used the sitar the way Okko Bekker does here. Sitar & Electronics is the only album that this lineup ever released, and even though it's a very rare find nowadays, I'd easily recommend it to fans of sixties'-oriented hippie music. While not essential by any means, this is a fun and quirky little album that I've definitely enjoyed listening to.

As implied by the title, Sitar and Electronics is a pretty interesting marriage between the traditional Indian sitar and the moog synthesizer, put together in an upbeat and psychedelic semi-hard rock style. The Beatles are probably the biggest influence here, and Okko actually covers two Beatles tracks ("A Day in the Life" and "If I Needed Someone") on this record. All of the songs are pretty short and straightforward, and even though the music is often used as a vehicle for soloing, it still remains accessible and instantly catchy. All of the musicians here deliver the goods, but I must especially give a nod to Okko Bekker - though I, admittedly, don't know the first thing about playing sitar, it's clear to me that he's got the goods on this album. I'm also a really big fan of the moog textures and solos that Simon Alcott lays down; his ways of effectively using the synthesizer were undoubtedly pretty unique back in 1971.

Sitar & Electronics isn't an album that will blow you away with its stunning originality or terrific compositions, but it's a fun little record that I've enjoyed spinning over the last week or so. Okko Bekker and crew created an enjoyable, if a bit unchallenging, debut with Sitar & Electronics, and I'd easily recommend this to fans of Indian-influenced psychedelic rock. 3.5 stars are well-deserved for this great little obscure gem.

J-Man | 3/5 |


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