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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

The responsibility for the psych/space, indo/raga, krautrock and prog electronic subgenres is taken by the PSIKE team,
currently consisting of

- Meltdowner
- siLLy puPPy
- Rivertree
- Tapfret
- HarryAngel746

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

4.29 | 82 ratings
Fertier's Clivage, Andre
4.10 | 133 ratings
Shakti With John McLaughlin
4.08 | 48 ratings
4.11 | 13 ratings
Zendik, Wulf
4.40 | 5 ratings
3.94 | 39 ratings
4.08 | 12 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.91 | 32 ratings
Oriental Sunshine
3.97 | 14 ratings
Robertson, Don
3.85 | 48 ratings
Clark Hutchinson
3.94 | 15 ratings
Shankar, Ananda
4.20 | 5 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.91 | 16 ratings
Cosmic Eye
4.25 | 4 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.89 | 16 ratings
4.00 | 8 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.88 | 18 ratings
Alford, Clem
3.94 | 10 ratings
Callender, Bobby
3.93 | 10 ratings
3.91 | 11 ratings
Ossian / Osjan

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

Brother Ah
Fertier's Clivage, Andre
Ossian / Osjan
Magic Carpet

Latest Indo-Prog/Raga Rock Music Reviews

 Alchemy by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.10 | 47 ratings

Third Ear Band Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Beautiful Scarlet

3 stars Ethnic ambient music lead by well played lead instruments.

Every song on here sounds the same so there isn't any point reviewing song by song. From the first song you know what to expect good beat and various soloes. Nothing offensive yet nothing amazing. As background music it IS pretty good, although it isn't something I'd listen to alone, ergo three out of five

This bands calling card is definitely as soundtrack music, I am quite glad they actually did contribute to films as their music is perfect for that, especially historical set films as the band captures an mythical past age.

 Third Ear Band by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 54 ratings

Third Ear Band
Third Ear Band Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Lieutenant_Lan

1 stars Third Ear Band, or the elements album as you might call it is The Third Ear Bands second studio album which released in 1970. The songs on this album are the names of the elements (air,earth,water,fire) which gave it the nickname elements. I was hoping this album would represent the elements with good music, but no, it doesn't, the instrumentation is bad most of time, the production is bad, and Its just not fun to listen too. I will give this album a 1/5, unless your a collector of music like this, do not buy it or even listen to it.
 Mixtus Orbis by FERTIER'S CLIVAGE, ANDRE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.29 | 82 ratings

Mixtus Orbis
Andre Fertier's Clivage Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is an Indo-Raga recording by France's own Andre Fertier. Andre plays Grand piano, acoustic guitar, synths and adds vocals. I count 12 individual musicians/vocalists plus an orchestra and a choir. Lots of ethnic sounds with the tablas, santoor, kemonche and other percussions. Man this is such a stew of sounds and the blending of styles. We get sax, flute, bass, cello, violin, drums and oboe besides the ones I've already mentioned. This is almost impossible for me to describe because of the ethnic instruments and not knowing what I'm hearing with so much going on.

The title track is almost 15 minutes long and divided into six parts as they all blend into each other. It gets pretty crazy by the fourth part where it sounds like the sax and orchestration are trading off and even more insane on the next section and ends hard on part six. This needs to be heard to be believed.

"Eudjal" is pretty cool with the flute over all those beats then some orchestration and vocals too. Nice bass as well. Sounds like "Shaft" before 2 minutes. Next we get a three part piece with violin and acoustic guitar starting us off then flute before an ethnic instrument making bass like sounds arrives. The tempo picks up on the next section as violin plays over top. Flute replaces violin as the lead on the last part. It ends in a very ethnic way with "Youssoufia" as deep male vocals join in and atmosphere. Flute and percussions too. Very cool sounding. Is that oboe before 2 minutes? Check out all the sounds here.

Just a great album to listen too, as in a feast for the ears. So impressed.

 ...Truth... by ZENDIK, WULF album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.00 | 1 ratings

Wulf Zendik Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by ComaEcliptic

— First review of this album —
2 stars I have experienced weird music before, I love Univers Zero but this is just weird. I have to make my point clear, the album is avaliable on YouTube in poor audio quality but unfortunately this is just not for me. Sounds like if Zeppelin went totally, well, hippy music? I don't know. How can I describe this album other than weird? Its a fascinating album but just not something I appreciate, but I do respect it. Wulf Zendik was a very interesting person to read up on, a poet, novelist, and artist. Started a community, and when he died, his property was sold. He was many things, but personally I don't really like what is going on here. I don't think its worth going through track by track, just here by not my favourite genre to explore. Maybe Raga Rock just isn't it for me? I'll look elsewhere. I mean no insult to this music, I just don't particularly find this very compelling.

Collectors/fans only.

 Zendik - The Album by ZENDIK, WULF album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 19 ratings

Zendik - The Album
Wulf Zendik Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by bartymj

1 stars I don't get it. Sorry. Might be a poet and a visionary but clearly its beyond my tiny brain. It's an Indo-prog theme that doesn't get out of a doom-sounding first gear, and it sounds like someone has taught a goat to talk over the top of it. Nothing stood out for me unfortunately, and I listened to the whole thing in the vain hope that something would happen. Might need to be on an acid trip to get it. Was going to listen to another Zendik album but I'm dreading that now. Perhaps I'm committing some sort of prog blasphemy, because I often struggle with some of the less 'accessible' offerings out there, particularly in the Avant realm, but this I'm not sure.
 Songs From The Hydrogen Jukebox by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
3.00 | 1 ratings

Songs From The Hydrogen Jukebox
Third Ear Band Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars A bizarre compilation whose history is perhaps more engrossing than its content, "Songs from the Hydrogen Jukebox" is NOT the THIRD EAR BAND (TEB) precursor from the late 1960s with the same name, but more of an offshoot led by percussionist Glen Sweeney which recorded an 8 track album in 1972. In typical TEB fashion, it was shelved until emerging in 1991 as "Prophecies". That release seems rare enough, but 6 of the tracks were merged with 3 numbers from early 1990s TEB albums "Brain Waves" and "Magic Music". That of course leaves 2 orphans from the original album but I'm going to guess they weren't that different from the chosen 6, since they all sound pretty much the same. While bearing a resemblance to the TEB "Magus" album from the same period, which didn't see release until well into the 21st century, they unfortunately co-opt the dirge of that lost classic without the pre punk urgency that offset it so well.. It sounds more like the vocalist (credits not readily available) is reciting a form of existential poetry merely to give the bubbling jazzy rhythms under which to bubble. According to some, it bears resemblance to GONG's work should you find that a drawing card.

Luckily the remaining 3 tracks are more captivating. "Behind the Pyramids" belies influences of 1980s rock, boasts colorful wind instruments over an unwavering infectious guitar riff and sounds better with each of its passing 7 minutes. It definitely entices me to seek out the "Magic Music" recording as I'm curious how this instrumental managed to slip onto a vocal oriented collection by essentially a different band. "Dances with Dolphins" is similar but attenuated. "Water into Wine" finally closes the loop with a similar musical arsenal, a bit heavier on the percussion and with vocals that are entirely complementary this time, thanks to Lyn Dobson. It recalls earlier JADE WARRIOR or DAVID SYLVIAN, that is to say I'm quite delighted with it. So add "Brain Waves" to the list of TEB entries to sample. I guess this compilation has served its purpose!

In somewhat of a role reversal for lovers of early prog, the 1972 tracks are simply outclassed by the 3 from the 1990s. How often can one say that around here?

 The Magus by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.44 | 13 ratings

The Magus
Third Ear Band Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

5 stars For every hundred-ish long unreleased archival recordings deemed lost classics, perhaps one can claim that honour. Recorded in 1972 yet lovingly sequestered for 32 years by THIRD EAR BAND piano/percussion and sound man Ron Kort until it was finally liberated, "The Magus" is that authentic artifact. Some sources imply that it was initially instantiated as "Prophecies" in 1991, but their only similarities lie in their vocal orientation, which makes them anomalies in the "Third Ear Band" discography.

Gone are the raga inspired lattices of earlier works, and, while Mike Marchant's DONOVAN meets ROBIN WILLIAMSON voice does assume lead, the oboe and recorder of Paul Minns, the violin of Simon House, and the drums of Glen Sweeny swirl about Marchant's fiercely lyrical narratives, vying for attention without a hint of clutter or selfishness. Synthesizer is introduced as organically as its acoustic cousins. The meters of the songs are most hypnotic, materializing as incantations, offering a glancing nod back to the band's origins.

Apart from the unfettered urgency of the delivery and the virtuosity of the players, "The Magus" is even more striking for the list of bands it could have influenced, and I say could have because herein lies the blueprints for punk, industrial, dark wave and neo folk music to name a few genres that didn't really exist at the time of recording. Yet all were well underway and, in some cases, interred, before "The Magus" appeared. In particular, I want to cite DEAD CAN DANCE and CURRENT 93 as would be benefactors. It's true that THIRD EAR BAND too claim influences, among them the Krautrock and the "Lizard/Islands" period of KING CRIMSON particularly in how they capitalize on flourishes of the wind instruments. But this is very much a sui generis of prog folk. It might be a challenge for fans of their early work to adapt to what is laid down here, which is deceptively accessible yet stratified with the same perfectionism that marked those earlier projects.

Where uniformity of mood and multifariousness paradoxically mingle, all 8 tracks are luminous, but I want to especially underscore the Native American sounding "Hierophant", the apocalyptic title cut, and the poetry and music of "The Phoenix". But "The Magus" is an opus, and any over emphasis on one part is mere distraction. Therein lies its wisdom.

 Music From Macbeth by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.25 | 31 ratings

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

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

3 stars If THIRD EAR BAND tends to be aggregated along with the progressive rock movement, the association has far more to do with their period of activity and tendency to experiment, though to a degree that most prog bands of their day could not or would not engage. I would add another quality that they share with the more prototypical artists of this period: elitism, and in fact their first few albums are projections of an exclusivity that relegated them to the commercial margins , though their debut did shockingly brush the lower rungs of the UK charts. More sound than music in the general sense, they, and perhaps most listeners, pleaded for a modicum of the mundane, perhaps a note held for less than 30 seconds followed by another note that belonged with the first. But alas, such was not to be...until they briefly transformed themselves into a stringy Anglo analog to GOBLIN.

It began with the soundtrack for a German made for TV movie, "Abelard and Heloise", and followed just 2 years later with their scoring of a score for Roman Polanski's "Macbeth", and then they inexplicably disappeared for almost 2 decades. The comparison to GOBLIN isn't just for the movie connection but for the morbidity of the motifs, depicted on string and oboe rather than organ, which imparts a demented and twisted atmosphere. This clutches the listener fiercely even without knowledge of how Macbeth yields to his innate and hitherto suppressed evil spurred by the naive and skin deep musings of his Lady.

The shorter track lengths offer a shred of accessibility as well, but this is still far from an easy listen, though the opening "Overture" does scratch that Gothic itch, and "Lady Macbeth" breathily heralds the relative vivaciousness of "Inverness". But it's on the trio of "Court Dance", "Fleance" and "Groom's Dance" that they actually sound like a medieval string and wind ensemble, or at least what I imagine one would sound like. Paul Minns' oboe is especially versatile, though it's his recorder that ushers in "Fleance" and swirls about the guest boy soprano Keith Chegwin throughout. This is a staggeringly lovely number embodying a spirit distant in time and place. Interestingly, others seem to agree based on the frequency with which it is conjured on streaming sites.

Unfortunately, the remaining tracks, apart from the "Going to bed" suite and the foreboding closer "Wicca Way" , offer a more soporific mix of the band's own tendencies while neurotically trying to avoid overpowering the scenes in which they are instantiated. This is a common issue with soundtracks, but, since so much of this one was sliced and diced by Polanski, I'm not sure there is a setting for, say, "Prophecies", that hasn't disintegrated in a landfill.

The remastered version has original takes of the three aforementioned centerpieces, none of which are especially different, but they do reinforce the significance of this path rarely trod by THIRD EAR BAND, and given up before it could flourish. But I suppose THIRD EAR BAND wasn't about compromises, and all told their rendering of Macbeth is no tragedy.

 Third Ear Band by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.45 | 54 ratings

Third Ear Band
Third Ear Band Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Third Ear Band's second album is music on the border between the West and the East, between light and cultured classical music. It is instrumental music, from start to finish, played by a chamber musical ensemble, which has little to do with rock, except for the fact that some instruments such as violin or percussion are part of the Western rock repertoire.

The album, dedicated to the 4 elements, opens with Air, an impromptu suite with many due to improvisations mainly of oboe (Minns) and viola (Coff), while the tablas (Sweeney) produce a basic rhythm in Indian style very fast but that acts as a background carpet. Wind noise opens this first movement that looks like a jazz improvisation but the sound is completely different because it is conducted by the viola (and violin?), then at about three minutes takes over the oboe that dialogues with the strings in a continuous reference of dissonances that describe a landscape disjointed, very abstract, held together only by percussion, which give a constant basis to which the other instruments return after their overlapping solo scrolls. It is a magnificent piece and unfortunately the other movements (especially those on B- side) of the disc will no longer reach these heights. The piece will fade and again with the noise of the wind. Rating 9.

The second piece, Earth, is more synchronous between the rhythm of the tablas, which changes in speed, and the sound of the instruments. There is an increasingly sustained progression, a pause and a return of fast pace. More narrative piece, less abstract. It's like a folk dance but you can't say what kind of folk: Irish? Arabic? Chinese? Etruscan? Renaissance? We don't know. Another great piece. Rating 8.5/9

End of a wonderful A-side.

The B-side opens with Fire, which produces an orgiastic sound where all the instruments are engaged in high volume dissonances, we are close to the cacophony, you can only identify the odd rhythm of the tablas. The high notes of the strings and oboe are dubbed on both speakers producing extreme almost random dissonances that after a long time make it ardous to listen. Surely it is the most divisive piece, it seems a satanic ritual where you can just avoid paying attention to the ear (the third) and throw yourself into the dance by moving with your bowels. The ears may be annoying, the sounds are unpleasant, this piece should be taken as a tribal dance without listening to the single instrument but only the overall result. Frankly I can not love it, the more time passes the more I hope in a variation that does not arrive and then the song begins to annoy me for the endless racket. I recognize, however, that again the band has found an unprecedented musical fusion. Rating 7,5.

Water. Rain noise in the distance that bathes the fronds of the trees, soft sounds then come from the percussion of Sweeny, then it is the oboe (Minns) that leads the melody while the viola (Coff) occasionally doubles it and the cello (Smith) produces dissonances in the background. Quiet movement, without particular peaks or falls, is more than anything a variation on a dominant melodic theme with percussion to beat a rhythm in three times. Over time it becomes less and less melodic. Rating 8.

This is an essentially folk-fusion album, completely original and without possible comparison. It has an exceptional first side for both arrangement and music, which could make this album an absolute masterpiece of folk-rock (or chamber music?) but a much less successful second side where the arrangements are still sensational but the music is not of the highest level and then the record is takes "only" a 9+.

Five stars.

 Shakti with John McLaughlin by SHAKTI WITH JOHN MCLAUGHLIN album cover Live, 1976
3.47 | 60 ratings

Shakti with John McLaughlin
Shakti With John McLaughlin Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars John McLaughlin has made another leap to a different direction teaming up with Indian musicians and masters in their field. Fiery violin could at times even remotely remind of Mahavishnu Orchestra.

The tracks, especially the last one, may sound overwhelming and going for too long even if soloing is impressive for all musicians. McLaughlin may not be well versed in Indian music with his playing but his dexterity and speed make up for it. Percussionists have ample moments in the third compositions which sound most authentic. This record will not appeal to a majority of McLaughlin fans but may appeal to new circle of listeners and won't disappoint Indo/Raga world music friends. However, it takes a few listens to be more appreciated.

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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
ANDY BOLE United Kingdom
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
VASANT RAI Multi-National
SADDAR BAZAAR United Kingdom
SAGRAM United Kingdom
SATWA Brazil
SEVENTH SONS United States
SHANTI Multi-National
JIM SULLIVAN United Kingdom
THIRD EAR BAND United Kingdom
WULF ZENDIK United States

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