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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

Mike (siLLy puPPy)
Andrew (Gordy)
Dan (earlyprog)
Brendan (Necrotica)

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 | 142 ratings
Shakti With John McLaughlin
4.09 | 52 ratings
4.10 | 14 ratings
Zendik, Wulf
4.08 | 13 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.93 | 43 ratings
3.88 | 36 ratings
Oriental Sunshine
3.97 | 14 ratings
Robertson, Don
3.94 | 16 ratings
Shankar, Ananda
3.84 | 52 ratings
Clark Hutchinson
4.20 | 5 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
4.20 | 5 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.89 | 17 ratings
Cosmic Eye
3.88 | 18 ratings
Alford, Clem
4.00 | 8 ratings
Hortobágyi, László
3.87 | 18 ratings
3.92 | 11 ratings
Callender, Bobby
3.90 | 12 ratings
3.82 | 26 ratings
4.00 | 7 ratings
Rai, Vasant

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

Osjan / ex Ossian
Third Ear Band
Lamp Of The Universe
Osjan / ex Ossian

Latest Indo-Prog/Raga Rock Music Reviews

 This Moment by SHAKTI WITH JOHN MCLAUGHLIN album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.00 | 3 ratings

This Moment
Shakti With John McLaughlin Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Of all the artists releasing albums in the year 2023 including the many masters from the past making a long awaited comeback, the Indo Jazz outfit SHAKTI (formerly with the attached With John McLaughlin) was probably the last artist i would've expected to ever hear from again but lo and behold the band is back some 46 years later after it's last album, the 1977 fiery fusion-fest "Natural Elements." In a way in retrospect it's not terribly shocking as McLaughlin did revive the band under the new moniker Remember Shakti in 1997 and then released three albums culminating with the 2001 grand finale "Saturday Night In Bombay" but to find these power houses of jazz / Indo-rock fusion back in 2023 was quite the surprise.

Now simply known as SHAKTI, the new version of the band features English guitarist, bandleader and composer John McLaughlin along with original member Zakir Hussain on tabla and konnakol. The rest of the gang is new to the original SHAKTI experience however vocalist and konnakol player Shankar Mahadevan from the Remember Shakti is back and ready for action. The band is rounded out by Ganesh Rajgopalan (violin, konnakol) and Selvaganesh Vinayakram (kanjira, mridangam, ghatam, konnakol, composer, producer, arranger) and together they forge their Indo-fusion into the 2020s with a completely new album titled THIS MOMENT. Most notable as a veritable live band with seemingly indefatigable quantities of energetic fortitude, SHAKTI has also embarked on its first tour in quite some time.

THIS MOMENT is about an hour's worth of musical magic with its eight majestic tracks clocking just over the 57-minute mark. Expectedly rooted in its past, THIS MOMENT eschews the traps of trying to live up to its former glories and instead anchors itself firmly into the here and now of the modern era with an impeccable production job and a less frenetic pace which allows the musical performances to exude a wider variety of moods, tones and textures. Noticeably absent is the great Mahavishnu John McLaughlin's virtuosic acoustic guitar bombast which dominated the band's three 70s releases. THIS MOMENT is more contemplative, more reflective and focuses on soft sensual motifs that then erupt into traditional North meets South Indian traditionalism.

In fact the album is shockingly devoid of guitar parts altogether with only the occasional electric guitar prominence of McLaughlin and rather steeped in tabla and vocal trade-offs with the violin providing the pyrotechnic wizardry that McLaughlin once showcased. While the earlier SHAKTI albums focused on the virtuosic possibilities of mixing American jazz with both Southern and Northern Indian traditionalism, THIS MOMENT is more about expanding the musical paradigm and adapts the Indian playing styles to other forms of world ethnic music, the most unexpected coming from the Celtic jig sounding "Las Palmas." The tracks unfold with haunting ambient and atmospheric intros before time signature-rich outbursts of tablas and vocal trade-offs ensue. Given the downplay of the guitar aspects, THIS MOMENT sounds much more like a traditional Indian album than anything in the world of rock music.

If you approach THIS MOMENT from the perspective of it being the album that follows "Natural Elements" with its amazingly wild and untamed frenetic approach, you may be disappointed but after several attentive listens i've found that the magic in THIS MOMENT lies very much in the ancient Buddhist principle of simply being in the "now" of things and approach this album for what it was meant to be within the era it was released. Despite the rather mellowed out approach (as expected due to the aging actors on board), there are still amazing feats of time signature workouts showcasing that all of the musicians on board are more than capable of remaining at the top of their game but the emphasis is more on the expressive changes that offer a greater range than previous works employed. Yeah there are moments where i'm thinking just get on with it already and the album is far from perfect but overall i have found myself loving this album much more than i possible thought i would. Overall a really satisfying SHAKTI album for this late in the game so many decades later.

 Crawling To Lhasa by KALACAKRA album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.79 | 33 ratings

Crawling To Lhasa
Kalacakra Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's not often you get two collaborators on here giving an album a 1 star review but this record is polarizing. The duo of Heinz and Claus out of Germany self released this one in 1972, both multi-instrumentalists they went with the Buddha theme from the band's name to the album and song titles. Ethnic instruments of course and I've seen this called Kraut-Folk but I'm glad they're in Raga here which is more fitting. I had to laugh that Heinz some 10 years later would be in a New Wave/ Electro Pop band looking a lot different. He would also resurrect this project but without Claus in 2002 and release "Peace", 30 years after "Crawling To Lhasa" with guests helping out.

My biggest complaint with the music here is that once they lock into that groove early in the song they stick with it. And I'm not big on this style of music as it is but I certainly agree with the critics that this can be boring. We do get vocals which are quite strange sounding but I must admit that the closer "Tante Olga" is where the vocals actually take the song to another level. And I'd call it that Krautrock level with one guy singing out of the one speaker while the other talks and laughs(clearly stoned) throughout the song. Again they get an idea and they won't vary from it but this is the song I appreciate out of the six.

A lot of acoustic instruments here but some bluesy guitar at times. Singing and speaking are in German. Worth the 3 stars but yes this one is lacking in my opinion.

 Music From Macbeth by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.31 | 38 ratings

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

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was the soundtrack to a Roman Polanski of Macbeth, from back when you could collaborate with Polanski without having to consciously overlook his sex crime conviction. Whereas Third Ear Band's self-titled album found them expanding the sound of Alchemy into long, dreamy suites, the requirements of soundtrack work meant they had to condense their music down into shorter, tighter compositions.

The end result sounds an awful lot like a prototype for Univers Zero. That isn't something you might expect given the musical influences that feed into their work - medieval folk, traditional Indian music, a touch of psychedelia here, a larger dab of free jazz and avant-garde classical there - but between the dark atmosphere, the "chamber rock" instrumentation, and the unconventional approach, it very much feels like a prototype for the sort of territory that Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, and Present would eventually explore.

 Third Ear Band by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.59 | 60 ratings

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

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Third Ear Band's bizarre variety of raga-influenced ambient medieval folk is taken a few steps further on their self-titled album, consisting of four long suites themed around the classical elements. If their debut, Alchemy, was a rough draft of this musical vision, this is their magnum opus - with better production, richer compositions, more layered instruments, less sparseness. The use of repetitive percussion is reminiscent of some flavours of Krautrock, whilst the foreboding mood evoked manages to bridge the world of the darker sorts of drone ambient and the more sinister flavours of folk.

Careful listeners may also detect elements of avant-garde classical music and free jazz deep in the DNA of this bizarre musical chimera, but really there is little precedent for Third Ear Band besides the group's own debut album; Univers Zero or Art Zoyd would later revisit some of these territories (listen to the start of Water, for instance, and tell me you can't imagine those ROI stalwarts doing something similar). Like its predecessor, astonishingly ahead of its time.

 Alchemy by THIRD EAR BAND album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.16 | 54 ratings

Third Ear Band Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Compared to other attempts to blend experimental/progressive rock and folk from the same era, Third Ear Band's debut album sounds astonishingly ahead of its time. Comus might steer for similarly dark and bleak territory, Tangerine Dream on Zeit might use cello to a similarly doomy effect, but all that came later; I'm not aware of anyone in 1969 doing anything remotely similar to this.

There is a certain raga influence - right down to Glen Sweeney using tabla for much of the album - but it's far more artfully handled than the usual "add a bunch of sitar to some psychedlic pop" approach that the Beatles-imitators of the era would run to. Instead, the band use the repetitious and hypnotic aspects of Indian music as merely one tool in their portfolio, with aspects of free jazz, avant-garde classical, and folk music all blending together.

The downfall of a lot of experimental music lies in becoming so obtuse as to be inaccessible, or so technical as to lose sight of feeling. Not so here; Third Ear Band clearly have a very specific mood they wish to evoke here, and they communicate it adeptly. At the same time, the material is intricate enough to reward mutiple listens. The overall impression is of a free jazz band transported to the medieval era, and that's an intriguing enough proposition to keep the album interesting for its running time.

 Indweller by QUINTESSENCE album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.57 | 17 ratings

Quintessence Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Mortte

4 stars I have started to listen Quintessence quite recently. I have heard bands name earlier, but this summer there came a document from Glastonbury Festival 1971 where they played and that woke my interest. Because there was only one review with one star of this album I decided to make another. In 1972 bands career started to go down. They weren´t satisfied to Island records and refused to go on tour in US, so Chris Blackwell dropped them. They made two albums to RCA, but before "Indweller" recordings band leader Raja Ram fired singer Shiva Shankae Jones and guitar player Maha Dev. It´s not clear who was singing in this their last album.

Starter "Jesus Is My Life" is very funny piece! Maybe they made it seriously, but now it works only a humor song. But direction changes into next one: although "Butterfly Music" is very short, it has really deep atmosphere played by flute, guitar, bass and very gentle drums! It sounds to be from the larger piece, it´s sad they put only so short part of it in this album. "It´s All the Same" is long acoustic song with very warm feeling in it! To me it sounds title piece has taken also from the longer improvisation piece as "Butterfly Music", because it sounds as awesome! "Portable Realm" ends the a-side in acoustic way and has great "late evening"-feeling. "Sai Baba" is mantra song. "Holy Roller" is little bit mediocre song, but has good groove whole through. "On the Other Side Of the Wall" is again very serene and melodic piece with great flute playing. "Dedication" is calm, short acoustic very Indian sounding piece including some mantra. "Bliss Trip" starts with organ, thunder sounds and gong. Soon comes very meditative flute. In the middle there comes beautiful sounding vipraphone. Very holy atmosphere continues whole over six minutes. "Mother Of the Universe" ends album as cheerful way as it starts, it seems to include again some mantra.

I have listened now only once their all albums, but really going to listen them again. I have given four stars to everyone. To me this albums sounds as great as those others. Quintessence was from the begin very spiritual taken influences specially from eastern religions, so if that´s too much for you, you´re not liking this or their any other albums. I haven´t got anything against those philosophies, but it´s the music that I love in this band! Still I don ´t think they made any masterpieces, in every album there are empty moments here and there. Anyway you hear very rare this kind of music these days.

 Muzak by SATURNIA album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.17 | 21 ratings

Saturnia Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars "Muzak" was love at first listen and SATURNIA are easily my favourite band from Portugal. Funny I went into town for supplies listening to "The Sound Of Muzak" at one point. Yeah different album. This is the project of multi- instrumentalist Luis Simoes who specializes in the electric sitar but man it's a long list of instruments that he plays on here. He also sings and has five guests filling out the sound including Nik Turner adding flute on track #2 and Daevid Allen adding spoken words on "Syrian" the closer. The depth of sound, the layers, the exotic vibes with the sitar and tambura, that early 70's psychedelic vibe is strong here as in "A Saucerful Of Secrets" and mellotron. Come on! There is some variety but this is fairly uniform which I like. They have released 8 studio albums since 1999 and I have some catching up to do, this is the third release.

"Mindrama" is a great opener bringing FLOYD to mind with that urgent sound with mono-toned, low key vocals. Very much a sign of 1971. He repeats "Mindrama" over and over on the chorus. But man this is experimental to start and finish. This is such an amazing headphone album, the sounds are all over the place. "Organza" continues that vibe and we get Turner adding flute and there's also some guest electric piano that I love. "Kyte" reminds me of that song off that MORTE MACABRE album with a female going "La la la la la...." same here. Catchy stuff. "Infinite Chord" has some delay and sitar and then it explodes into an uptempo groove. Crazy synths and mellotron too along with some wordless vocals.

"Analepsis" opens with what sounds like people playing tennis as guest acoustic guitar joins in then it becomes spacey with vocals. Such a cool and drifting track, I like this one a lot. "Aqua" is powerful to start, experimental too before becoming this flute-led piece late, quite beautiful after 5 1/2 minutes. "Nipple" opens with samples before heavy beats take over and organ. Vocals are laid back as they sing over top, flute too. So much going on instrumentally once again as this plays out. "Utterly Luminescent" has a nice slow heavy beat with sitar and sounds that echo and more. It's dark as soft vocals join in. I really like "Hedge Maze" a trippy tune with echoes and beats, sitar too and vibes. Yes I'm hearing mellotron too. Love this stuff. And what a great way to end the album with "Syrian" the longest track at almost 11 minutes. So much atmosphere and Daevid speaks!

 Hemĺt by HARVESTER album cover Studio Album, 1969
2.86 | 20 ratings

Harvester Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars One of the most confusing bands to come out of Sweden's psychedelic 60s went by many names but featured the same lineup of Torbjörn Abelli (bass), Arne Ericsson (cello), Thomas Mera Gartz (drums), Bo Anders Persson (guitar), Thomas Tidholm (vocals, saxophone) and Urban Yman (violin). This group of musicians first got together in 1967 as Pärson Sound and recorded some of the earliest true psychedelic sounds that removed the catchy pop elements in order to focus on a truly lysergic and mystical mix of psychedelic rock, raga rock, noise, post-minimalism and droning. Although under this band name a double album's worth of material was recorded, it was a bit too far ahead of its time and would have to sit in the vaults for a few decades before finally finding an archival release in 2001.

Next stop for this lineup found the band changing its name to International Harvester which did release one album in 1968 titled "Sov gott Rose-Marie." This project continued the psychedelic folk and rock but drifted more into the world of progressive rock and what would be later named Krautrock. This version of the band proved to be highly influential for all those true trippers who would make the Nurse With Wound List however this band just couldn't decide on a style to settle upon and then once again dropped the "International" part of the moniker and simply carried on as HARVESTER. Under this name the band once again released a single album in 1969 only this time crafted its droning and jam based psychedelic rock around Swedish folk music.

This band would only last for one album before carrying on as Träd, Gräs och Stenar in 1970 after adding some new members. That band would release two albums in the early 1970s before going on hiatus for several decades and reforming at the turn of the millennium. As HARVESTER the band released HEMĹT which jettisoned the more structured compositional style of "Sov gott Rose-Marie" and reclaimed the hypnotic jamming style of Pärson Sound. While some lump this into the world of raga rock for its transcendental freeform flow, the only ethnic influences are homegrown with moments of traditional Swedish folk music. The music for the most part sits comfortable with the Pärson Sound noise jams that offered some of the earliest true psychedelic tips. The Germans would pick up on this and create a fertile music scene of it.

Despite the seemingly detached escapism that the album exudes, HARVESTER was very much a band that promoted Swedish nationalism that tackled the sticky wickets of politics and environmentalism. The album itself was recorded in the Kafe Marx which was owned by the Swedish Communist Party. Consistintg of seven tracks, HEMĹT captured the sounds of the 60s heavy psych world with fuzz guitars, heavy bass and pronounced percussive beats. The addition of the horns, fiddles and cello offer the local folk flavors and the incessant repetitive grooves off minimalist composiitons that for the most part are instrumental but off a few muddled vocal performances such as on "Everybody (Needs Somebody To Love)."

This is decent but less compelling than the psychedelic otherworldliness of Pärson Sound or the much better compositional charm of International Harvester. This is this team's least known album as it has been eclipsed by what came before as Pärson Sound and International Harvester as well as the Träd, Gräs och Stenar that followed and there is good reason for that as this one sounds like an impromptu jam with minimal production and mixing having taken place. While it perfectly exemplifies the wild and experimental psych scenes that were quickly taking over much of European rock, it is hardly essential but a decent lysergic detachment that is well worth the experience once you have checked out the other versions of the band's frequent name changes.

 Dreaming by KANGURU album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.47 | 17 ratings

Kanguru Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Welcome to roo paradise! Yeah, the Australian KANGURU may have adopted its name from the famous German band Guru Guru's Krautrock epic album but this quintet that featured Ashia White (vocals), Guy Madigan [aka Koalananda] (pakhawaj, tanpura), Paul Gibson [aka Sri Wombat] (sarod, vocals, [14-string] guitar, didgeridoo), Cleis Pearce [aka Clear Light] ([electric] viola) and Keith Manning [aka Professor] (tabla, flute, percussion) was Australia's answer to the raga rock craze that swept the world throughout the latter half of the 1960s and the 1970s.

This band that emerged from Nimbin just south of Brisbane didn't stick around for long and only managed to release its sole album DREAMING before the musical tastes for such occidental meets oriental musical fusion had waned a bit but what a beautiful album these fine musicians left behind! By the latter half of the 1970s John McLaughlin with Shakti had pretty much stolen the show for anything remotely jazz / raga fusion but this band from Australia did an excellent job at crafting beautiful pastoral soundscapes that live up to the album title.

While Shakti delivers an incessant bombast of jazz-raga fusion, KANGURU focused on a more intricate fusion of Indian sounds that included the the sarod, pakhavaj and tabla with other non-indian ethnic instruments such as the the indigenous Australian didgeridoo. Add to that some gypsy folk sounds of the electric viola as well as some lush flute sounds and acoustic guitar occasionally accompanied by vocals and what you get is an interesting interpretation of the raga rock scene from a part of the planet not usually associated with these fertile hybrids.

Cited as a hippie band that is certainly evident in the few lyrics on board with themes of being a rainbow and a moonbeam however this is a mostly instrumental affair and really does evoke a dream state with doesn't really rely too heavily on any particular style of ethnic music. There are definitely some Mahavishnu Orchestra vibes that would evolve in the Shakti universe but the album seems to incorporate various ethnic influences ranging from Indonesian folk music to homegrown aboriginal sounds into a unique tapestry of raga influenced majesty. The sounds experienced on DREAMING are perfectly in line with the om symbol featured on the cover art. The music is non-linear and features some interesting transitions and stylistic differentiations that incorporate jazz and Western classical as well as the Indian and other ethnic sounds.

As far as i'm concerned albums of raga rock nature need to take the listener on a spiritual journey and in the case of KANGURU on DREAMING, that is exactly what transpires through a unique procession of musical motifs that never remain static for too long. While the meditative and transcendental aspects of the album are clearly in tact, so too are those moments of imploring action and promoting periods of growth that eschew stagnation. What makes this sound most like Shakti is the electric viola performed by Cleis Pierce of the progressive jazz-rock outfit MacKenzie Theory that released one album in 1973 however this album really stands on its own two feet and a gem of the Australian underground. As far as i'm concerned this one is extremely successful in crafting a seamless fusion of various ethnic sounds and one of the highlights in all of the so-called raga rock scene of the era.

 Crawling To Lhasa by KALACAKRA album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.79 | 33 ratings

Crawling To Lhasa
Kalacakra Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars Essentially the duo of Claus Rauschenbach (guitar, congas, percussion, vocals, harmonica, slentem) and Heinz Martin (guitar, flute, piano, vibraphone, shawm, cello, violin, synthesizer) from Duisburg, Germany, KALACAKRA was yet one more obscure act to emerge during Krautrock's fertile first wave, released a sole album and then disappeared into the haze. CRAWLING TO LHASA came out in 1972 during the peak years of progressive rock and while many paths were taken once on the Krautrock highway, KALACAKRA unleashed a bizarre blend of psychedelic folk mixed with the more Amon Duul II side of the Krautrock scene ("Yeti" era) but also added the mystique of raga rock despite the lack of oriental instrumentation.

Living up to its legendary status as one of the most bizarre German acts to drop an album during the early Kraut years, CRAWLING TO LHASA is a tripped out meditative journey that mixes mystical soundscapes with creepy repetitive grooves, whispered German lyrics and surreal allusions to Tibetan Bhuddism. The name KALACAKRA comes from the Tibetan polysemic term in Vajrayana Bhuddism which means both "wheel of time / time cycles" and "patron tantric deity." This music is almost like drifting dirges of smoke fueled sounds that lament the physical state and glorify the states of consciousness beyond the limitations of bodily incarnation.

Despite the rather monotonous procession of grooves, the musical motifs are adorned with a plethora of instrumentation which includes hypnotic guitar grooves, sensual flutes and tortured strings sounds from a cello and violin. Starting off rather slowly, the pace quickens in the middle with "Raga No 11" with fast receptive loops of sound accompanied by crashing cymbals and accented percussive bombast. Ethnic sounds are derived from the Indonesia slentem, a metallophone which looks like a xylophone as well as the medieval shawm which is a double-reed woodwind instrument that was more common in the Renaissance. What seems to be missing is a bass guitar and rock drumming other than cymbals. Percussion if present at all usually is derived from congas and other tribal drumming. Guitars are acoustic.

Sounding closer to medieval folk than raga rock KALACAKRA still carried a vibe heavily steeped in Eastern influences and has been referred to as mantric acid folk. The album is also primarily instrumental with only a few moments when vocals appear. The album is disjointed as the first half of the album is much more interesting than the second which devolves into simple acoustic guitar strumming and flute sounds as well as an unnecessary blues guitar and harmonica number on "Arapaho's Circle Dance." The final "Tante Olga" takes things even further into blues rock territory and by this time these guys seem to have given up CRAWLING TO LHASA and sound more like Captain Beefheart on a drunken binge.

CRAWLING TO LHASA on original vinyl has been quite a collectible since it emerged in the early 70s but has been reissued on CD and vinyl numerous times. This is one of those albums that shows promise but fails to deliver on expectations. The album starts out promising with the opening "Naerby Shiras" and continues for several tracks on a true mystical journey but the album doesn't stay on the oriental express and instead turns into some cheap sounding Krautrock by the album's end. Overall this is certainly one of those obscurities that is well worth checking out. There are some brilliant ideas on here and nothing is inherently bad and unlike many i don't even find it boring. What i do take issue with is the inconsistency of quality as music like this is very easy to derail an intended vibe. Not one i'm going to pay a fortune for but a sporadic listen every few years is totally warranted for the weirdness factor alone.

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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
SADJA Germany
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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