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Indo-Prog/Raga Rock definition

The private, metaphysical relations to oneself, to the other, the symbolism of existence are connected, transfigured by the particular expression of raga, classical India music. The emotion provided by this music is not only "affective". It's a real message, an aesthetic of the nature, of the divine, a virtue able to guide the listener to a state of emotional trance. In the mid-60's with the launch of international success of raga masters as Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan.European and American artists will become more and more captivated by the dynamical relation between mystical emotion, spirituality and music. The emergence of Raga schools from everywhere (still perpetuating the ancestral musical traditions), the initiatic travels of Western minimalist-modern jazz composers (Terry Riley, Don Cherry...) to India will participate to a growing interest for this musical universe. The emphasis on repetitive circular rhythms, ornamentation (gamaka), the use of acoustic stringed patterns, the sense of beatific endurance and lenghty improvisation are the central characteristics of this music in term of practice and sound aesthetism. Emotionally, the function on the listener is hypnotic, voluntary trying to reach him into a higher state of consciousness, modulating his perception of time and space. The basic conception of "drone" (continuous sound form) will be taken back in popular music and turned into "kosmische" electronica (70's Berlin underground). After Seventh sons' first original but rather discreet effort simply called "raga" (1964) and Malachi's holy music (1966), famous bands as the Beatles in "Revolver" (1966) and Traffic in their album "Mr Fantasy" (1967) will be seduced by the sonorities of Indian raga music. They occasionally incorporate sitar elements to their music. Among the most notorious artists who participate to the original dialogue between proggy rock and Indian music we can notice many jazzy formed musicians influenced by "world" elements (the guitarists Volker Krieger, Steve Tibbetts, the clarinet player Tony Scott). They are often recognised to practice a fusion between jazz rock harmonies and raga's instrumentations (tabla, sitar.). Among them Collin Walcott and Alberto Marsicano were Ravi Shankar's pupils. The world of "raga" rock can also include psych folk / drone-y bands (Quintessance, Fit & Limo, Flute & Voice, GHQ, Pelt...) and which are largely impregnated by mysticism, sonic meditation and sitar.

Philippe Blache

The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of
- Sheavy
- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock Top Albums

Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Indo-Prog/Raga Rock | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.35 | 64 ratings
Clivage, Andre Fertier's
4.15 | 112 ratings
Shakti With John McLaughlin
4.12 | 38 ratings
4.43 | 11 ratings
Zendik, Wulf
4.22 | 16 ratings
Flute & Voice
4.23 | 10 ratings
Zendik, Wulf
3.93 | 29 ratings
4.33 | 6 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.90 | 25 ratings
Oriental Sunshine
3.84 | 35 ratings
Clark Hutchinson
4.03 | 10 ratings
Shankar, Ananda
4.14 | 7 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.86 | 18 ratings
3.96 | 11 ratings
Robertson, Don
4.20 | 5 ratings
α Ω α
4.00 | 8 ratings
3.88 | 11 ratings
Alford, Clem
3.80 | 16 ratings
3.97 | 7 ratings
3.76 | 22 ratings
Clivage, Andre Fertier's

Indo-Prog/Raga Rock overlooked and obscure gems albums new

Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Indo-Prog/Raga Rock experts team

Clivage, Andre Fertier's
Entourage Music and Theater Ensemble, The
Magic Carpet
Lamp Of The Universe

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Latest Indo-Prog/Raga Rock Music Reviews

 The Codona Trilogy by CODONA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2009
4.03 | 3 ratings

The Codona Trilogy
Codona Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Lewa

4 stars This set consists of the three Codona albums in full.

I'm not sure if these releases should be called indo/raga rock. There is folk music from all over the world on these albums and a lot of diverse folk instrumentation to be found. India is not the only focus here. There is also not a whole lot of rock. Most of it is improvised and these are exellent world jazz records.

To my ears, the boxset does sound different than the 90s Cds. The 90s Cds I do have as a physical product and the boxset as a download. The boxset does sound better to me and I always assumed it was one of the good remasters.

(It is also possible that the Cd sound is just bad. In my experience some earlier Cds can sound poor, even though they were supposedly made from the original master tapes.) While I cannot conclusively say whether this is a remaster, I never regretted getting the trilogy in addition to the Cds.

 Dedicated To The Bird We Love by ORIENTAL SUNSHINE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.90 | 25 ratings

Dedicated To The Bird We Love
Oriental Sunshine Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Lewa

2 stars This album consists entirely of mellow, mid-tempo folk songs with added Indian instruments. All instruments are played competently and the singing is competent and pleasant. There isn't anything spectacular happening on those fronts, though.

This is a fairly good psychedelic folk album. However, in my opinion, it's not a good prog album (or rather, not really a prog album at all).

The songs on this album are compositionally weak, in my opinion. Practically all of them sound like they just fade-out at a random time, like maybe the recording engineer wanted to go home. Songs fade-in and fade-out, almost like those audio samples some music sites offer. Several times I checked if I really just listened to the whole song, or if some weird error happened.

The whole album is also very uniform, with no variation in tempo or volume. Not one melody is very memorable. Overall, the record is pleasant but also very, very harmless. (That may have been the intention, though.)

We are expected to rate this album on a prog scale (, as it not listed as prog related or proto prog). On that scale, two stars is the rating I believe is appropriate.

Some sitar/tablas, 30 seconds of Indian rhythms and some Indian vocals are not enough to make any psychedelic /world music record into a good (which means three star) prog album.

In conclusion:

This can be recommended to listeners who like mellow psychedelic folk and/or Indian instruments and a relaxed, hippy atmosphere.

Just don't expect too much in terms of composition, complexity, uniqueness or innovation.

 Dreaming by KANGURU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.18 | 10 ratings

Kanguru Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

3 stars Spacey dreamy tribal music ... this obscure Australian combo KANGURU have launched completely different soundscape from progressive rock for us, that can be felt as, for example, an Indo-tasted folksy ambience.

Electric sitar or tabla assertions everywhere in the first track "Ras Lila" might make us comfortable, as if we drank very fruitful, very strong alcoholic beverage or ate a magic mushroom. Able easily to imagine what appearance they had played with. Mysterious, mystic incantation created with their tribalism would hang over our brain. "Kanara Prakar" is another theatrical floating particles story-told via multiple ethnic instruments by a strongly unified music commune ... uncomplicated but dramatically alternative sound kaleidoscope, that should be calculated strictly, will take the audience to a trip for another dimensional inner space, not Australia, their nation.

"Waves Of Aquarius" is a stuff where heartwarming percussion and flexible viola plays are pretty impressive. This atmospheric "sur la mer" phenomenon reminds me of the same vein like one of Japanese New Age pioneers Kitaro (ex-Far East Family Band). The colourful mixture of all instruments sounds wonderfully of quiet but magnificent water flow. Expansive acoustic guitar gives evident inspiration of rough, violent water turbulence to such a river whisper ... excellent is this sound contrast. In the last "Invitation To Dance", superbly solemn, magical flute initiation is too attractive for us to avoid dancing. Enthusiastic percussion in the middle part drives us crazy, but please don't overdance to death, yes we can get treated, relieved via the last warm, massive-minded, hearty flute ground.

Honest to say, I cannot understand the reason this ultraobscure tribal folk combo be called as an Indo Prog / Raga-Rock one (YET!) indeed, but on the contrary, can realize they have thrown an important gemstone titled "Dreaming" into the scene. Not bad they are here.

 Muzak by SATURNIA album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.45 | 13 ratings

Saturnia Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

3 stars "Muzak" is the fourth album of a Portuguese outfit SATURNIA, released in 2007. Realized mysterious addiction to magical, tribal sound dimension around this album, not only the sleeve (needless to say). Their soundscape can be defined as heavy, floating goblet drum stamps vouched by convoluted, hypno-driven rhythm showers. It's their mystic point and agonistic musical behaviour for us to get immersed in it definitely.

From the beginning of the first track "Mindrama", we can get risky, dangerous riffs and upbeat ballooning pumps. This repetitive melodic effect reminds me of some lectures by a religious organization, which attract persons mentally in trouble. The atmosphere turns over a spacey channel upon the following "Organza", featuring bongo's brilliant rhythm prints and mystic rites. Not only upon this stuff but also upon the fourth chord "infinite Chord", it's such an antagonist for pure "rock" fans enough to get kicked away, and should absorb some Indo / Raga fiends obviously. "Hedge Maze" sounds similar to the title itself ... tribe fire flying might be seen just in front of us. Via "Kite" or "Analapsis" soft, smooth spiritual experience is heard, but not difficult to realize ... some say "this just isn't my cup of psychedelic curry" though (sorry Alan :P) ... they've seasoned this spirit with catchy phrases, and this phenomenon should be heard through "Aqua" or their expectation "Nipple". One of their masterpieces in this album, launches simple dull hollow sounds flooded with internal psychic power, such a hallucinogenic agent, and pop essence. The last "Syrian", that might have anticipation of the current nation or the worldwide environment I imagine, possesses complex motivation of rhythm and melody mixes (maybe inspired by Daevid, a speaker in this track), and this should be appropriate as the last presentation revealed by them.

Recommended for psychedelic progressive rock freaks who hope to escape from the bustle of the current world, let me say.

 Rebirth - Live at Glastonbury 2010 by QUINTESSENCE album cover Live, 2011
3.00 | 1 ratings

Rebirth - Live at Glastonbury 2010
Quintessence Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Einwahn

— First review of this album —
3 stars My property in the Welsh hills is the long-lapsed inheritance of a local clergyman's son, who went to India in the 1970's and was never heard from since. This poignant glimpse into history shows how, for certain Western hippies, the spiritual draw of Indian culture was real and powerful. And the album under review is a rather charming closure for a pre-eminent rock band of this enigmatic tendency.

So, Quintessence... if you run the Prog Archives ranking for the Indo-Prog/Raga-Rock sub-genre (which I doubt many do), using joint studio & live filters, you may find the #1 album is called 'Infinite Love', a 1971 London concert by this band. If you run the live filter only, that album is almost certain to be top, but then there are only two in the list. Anyway, you get the picture: a few of us think this band were great in their day (I still remember the ethnic drums and scent of joss sticks as I sat cross-legged on the floor at one such concert...).

Quintessence, indeed, were so prominent in the underground rock scene of 1970 that they earned the historic distinction of being the opening band at the first ever Glastonbury Festival, where they performed in front of 1,500 members of the counterculture, sharing the bill with T. Rex, Al Stewart and Stackridge. They returned in 1971 along with David Bowie, Hawkwind, Fairport Convention, Traffic, etc for an audience of 12,000. So when it was suggested that Quintessence re-form for the 40th anniversary Festival, whose attendance would be 177,500, with acts including Muse, Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue, guests from Radiohead and U2 etc, there was of course no problem from the organisers. The only problem was Quintessence, who split very acrimoniously in 1972 and dispersed across the globe.

To cut a long story short, the performers recorded on 'Rebirth - Live at Glastonbury 2010' include two key original band members: Maha Dev, the English rhythm guitarist, and Shiva, the Australian vocalist and principal song-writer. They notably did not include Raja Ram, the Australian flautist and subsequent founder of the Psytrance band Shpongle. For those familiar with Quintessence, the 'Rebirth' concert is revealing about the true core of the original music - what Maha Dev and Shiva recreate is not that far off. In particular, I should say that Shiva confirms his exceptional talent - always a highlight of vintage Quintessence, his vocal performance on 'Rebirth' is incredible for his age. Shiva also surprises with his new prowess as a didgeridoo player. Maha Dev falls over a model of Stonehenge on stage, and makes the corny hippy joke that 'I really enjoyed my trip!' - this is a concert with real, if zany, personality.

So what songs do we get? The classic Quintessence mix from far-out spirituality ('Mount Kailash', 'Dance for the One') to unintentionally comic pop ('Cosmic Surfer', and we don't escape 'We're getting it straight in Notting Hill Gate / We all sit around and mediate'), with 'Only Love' and 'Ganga Mai' in between. This selection appears to be not much more than a quarter of the weekend's recordings, due to technical issues. It is a pity because the tracks on offer are of very worthwhile musical quality - had everything survived, I can imagine giving this concert four stars.

Due to the unplanned shortage of concert material, the album ended up divided into 'Part One: Glastonbury 2010 Performance' and 'Part Two: Sattvic Meditation Suite'. There is a proportion of 'filler' masterminded by their distinguished producer, John Barham, who was responsible for their early studio albums. Barham was an intimate musical associate and producer of George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, so his contributions to 'Rebirth' are interesting in their own right. They comprise three short creations involving flute, birdsong and eastern drones. In addition there are three spiritual pieces recorded by Shiva in the USA: 'Shiva's Chant', a type of track familiar to Quintessence fans and it's nice; 'Sunrise', a sung poem in tribute to the band's late manager Stanley Barr; and 'When Thy Song Flows Through Me', written by the guru Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952), founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship in California.

If you want to investigate the real Quintessence, obviously go for 'Infinite Love', or their earlier studio albums. To appreciate 'Rebirth' you really need to understand all the background. But for existing fans (or spiritual devotees), 'Rebirth' is better than you might expect.

Verdict: I really enjoyed my trip...

 Satwa by SATWA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.78 | 12 ratings

Satwa Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by GKR

4 stars From the very crazy mind of Lula Cortes (that would give us in a few years ahead the marvelous Paebiru and way ahead would have a strange pop-psych-folk mixture in his solo career), came a great voyage thorugh indian, northeartern brazilian folk and a lot of psychdelia.

I have mention the Psychdelic Folk scene of Brazil in other posts ad reviews (with Lula Cortes, Alceu Valença and Ave Sangria being the expoents), and maybe one of the best albums that show this is Satwa. A whole trip into every style that influences this two musicians - and others close to them as well - are merged here with the sitar. We can even hear something closely related to a acid-blues, in acoustic passages, what made me think in a crazy relationship with Sandy Bull' E Pluribus Unum (check it out!).

As the album is too steady (without any edgy parts, sadly) I cant go on to give this a full five stars. However, as a great sum up of what this whole musical scene is (or at least a representative of one of their sound possibilities), let's give'em 4 sars.

 Echo In Light by LAMP OF THE UNIVERSE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.80 | 7 ratings

Echo In Light
Lamp Of The Universe Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars This is one of those impulse buys about a band i knew nothing about and only took the plunge because i was hypnotized by the artwork on the album cover. I have found many a great album this way and i am happy to report that this one delivered exactly what the artwork suggests!

LAMP OF THE UNIVERSE is the solo project of Craig Williamson which was founded in 1999. He is also bassist and vocalist in the psychedelic rock band Datura. The music on this second album ECHO IN LIGHT from this solo project is a combo of freak folk, a cosmic raga rock hippy feeling like a long lost artifact from the 60s only with much cleaner production and a Floydian space rock but manages to sound different enough as to never bring the Pinksters to mind too often.

At first i thought this was a band which included a female vocalist but i was surprised to find out that this is truly a solo album where every instrument, vocal performance and production technique was by Williamson alone. Not bad! This is basically long drawn out mid-tempo acoustic guitar with tribal drumming, occasional droning of sitar sounds and spacey 60s vocals. Tracks like "Love" bring fellow Oceanic trippers Dead Can Dance to mind. The album flows well from track to track and i really only find the final track "Dream Sequence" to be longer than necessary.

For being recorded on a simple 8 track this sounds pretty damn good. This album was put out by Cranium Music which went belly up shortly after but would find a new home with Clostridium Records. This scratches the right psychedelic itch. It is highly melodic and has lots of variation to it. This is a perfect mix of spacey and triply otherworldliness mixed with nice and accessible melodic developments. Sign me up for another album. LAMP OF THE UNIVERSE did not disappoint.

 Music From Macbeth by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.18 | 25 ratings

Music From Macbeth
Third Ear Band Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm always left wondering why I bought albums by this mob. I guess I'm a real sucker for impressive artwork. Being the soundtrack to Roman Polanski's 'Macbeth' film, you'd think it would be a bit more dramatic.

They're known for their swirling, acoustic trance music. It's certainly swirling - Iistening to this makes me feel like I've been on a Merry-go-round for two hours after drinking a bottle of gin and wanting to get off pronto before the unthinkable happens.

There's an awful lot of droning atonal oboe and violin at play here and despite their professionalism it's terribly untuneful and wayward. In fact it reminds me of the superb band 'Biota' but far more minimalistic, gloomy and grey - and being from the early 70's, played with a lot less effect units. Supposedly there's a VCS3 synth used, but for the life of me I'm never aware of it.

A few notes are repeated incessantly, ovelapping and at odds with one another. It's all strangely discordant and vague. I do like the field recordings of the seagulls and later on - blackbirds. I could be cruel and say that they have more musical sense than 'The Third Ear Band'.

I've never seen the film, so perhaps I'm being a bit harsh here. Perhaps it fits perfectly with the visuals it accompanied? It does remind me of Pasolini's 'Canterbury Tales' movie. Both are similar in sound.

'Macbeth' improves the longer it plays. Your ears and senses become accustomed to the out of time beats, the groaning strings and screeching recorders. It's a 'difficult' album but with perseverance can implausibly be quite rewarding in a sadistic kind of way.

I'll give it this - 'Macbeth' must be the worst hangover album ever made. If you play this on a Sunday morning after a heavy Saturday night, you'll regret it - big time...

 Holy Music by MALACHI album cover Studio Album, 1967
3.97 | 7 ratings

Holy Music
Malachi Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars John Morgan Newbern adopted the name MALACHI for the single album he recorded way back on August 17th, 1966 in Flower Child, San Francisco. His adopted name was taken from the Jewish prophet in the Hebrew Bible, and thus his sole album HOLY MUSIC is one of the very first truly psychedelic albums that was designed to evoke the spiritual, that is to melt the boundaries between the mundane and profound. What's notable about this release is that it is an example of early world music fusion that eschewed the pop world all together and created something that would satisfy the most blissed out sunshine child of the 60s looking for something beyond Jefferson Airplane.

This album is trippy in many ways. The music is not exactly rhythmic but yet is in a very distorted way. It is essentially John Newbern on acoustic guitars, which is what he plays most but also occasionally throws in some percussion and the rare vocals on the final track all the while weaving these sounds with Red Krayo on a jew's harp. This is music that is clearly inspired by their inner makings for it has taken me a while to warm up to this. There is something going on here that reels me in but musically it sounds as pointillistic as Karlheinz Stockhausen with mere impressions burrowing their way into our devolved dimension. The music has a depth to it that i cannot pinpoint and i have no idea why it seems to work on a certain level.

HOLY MUSIC has a simplistic approach that reminds me of other spiritual minimalistic types such as Tibetan Buddhist chants and although this gets cited as one of the very first psychedelic albums it is not really so for it doesn't convey any sense of the time and instead oozes a sense of timelessness like an eternal meditation designed to proffer the sublime to the unenlightened. Certainly an anomaly in the musical world and catches the spirit of some of the Krautrock and progressive electronic that was to come, but the album lacks any true bite for all the tracks sound musically similar and since every one of them is titled "Wednesday" with a different number attached it is not too surprising. This is a good album for zoning out or meditating to but don't expect any real grit to stimulate the active listening experience. I agree with Dr. Schluss' Garage Of Psychedelic Obscurities when he gives this album 3 out of 5 for quality and 4 out of 5 on the Trip-O-Meter, so i give it 3.5 but rounded down for PA

 Dedicated To The Bird We Love by ORIENTAL SUNSHINE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.90 | 25 ratings

Dedicated To The Bird We Love
Oriental Sunshine Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars When i first heard this sole release by the Norwegian band ORIENTAL SUNSHINE i was struck that they sound so much like a San Francisco band who slept in Golden Gate Park during the Summer Of Love and took a trip to India and fell in love with the sitar and decided to record an album together. DEDICATED TO THE BIRD WE LOVE is basically a psychedelic pop album dressed up with all kinds of Indian instruments. In fact of all possible influences that come to mind, it's Peter, Paul & Mary with their pop folky approaches. I keep expecting this album to drift into "Puff, The Magic Dragon" territory with sitars, tablas and Mama's & Papa's references.

This band was basically a duo with Nina Johansen on vocals and guitar and Rune Walle on sitar, guitar and vocals as well but they had a little help from their friends with keyboards, sarod, flute and bass. They were discovered on a TV show called "Talent 69" (the year not the sexual position!!!) What we have here for the most part are psychedelic pop songs that are very mellow. They are slow to mid-tempo and revolve around all the stereotypes of 60s hippies philosophy. While many bands at this point were evolving into the 70s, ORIENTAL SUNSHINE was clearly reflecting the promises of yesterdecade in lieu of the shattered illusions of the present.

While i don't want to diss this album too much for its naiveté or anything of the sort, what really makes this a mediocre listen for me is the okayish lyrics, the nondescript melodies and the inability of anything really standing up and above the other similar styles of the day. I mean, just listen to The Beatles' "Within You Without You" which sounds so much superior to anything that presents itself here. To me, this sounds like campfire songs in a decade when ideals reigned but strategies failed. A soundtrack for a philosophy that got its wings clipped before take off. A nice pleasantry of sort but one that just lacks enough bite to get my saliva flowing. It wouldn't be until the mid-70s that any sort of raga rock with some serious bite would truly take form, but this is a nice little find nonetheless, it just doesn't knock my socks off is all.

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Indo-Prog/Raga Rock bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
500MG United States
CLEM ALFORD United Kingdom
ALUMBRADOS United States
ERIK AMLEE United States
BROTHER AH United States
CODONA Multi-National
COSMIC EYE Multi-National
FIT & LIMO Germany
GHQ United States
THE HABIBIYYA United Kingdom
KALA United Kingdom
KANGURU Australia
MAGIC CARPET United Kingdom
MALACHI United States
PELT United States
SADDAR BAZAAR United Kingdom
SATWA Brazil
SEVENTH SONS United States
SHANTI Multi-National
JIM SULLIVAN United Kingdom
THIRD EAR BAND United Kingdom
VASANT RAI Multi-National
WULF ZENDIK United States

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