Author: ElJay Arem
ElJay Arem während der IE-m Show on 7th Sept 2010
(IE-m/HH-08092010) – It was in Tunesia, 1948 when Claude Shalom had seen the light of day. Nobody had suspected that a musical triumphal procession of special kind of music will begin around the globe 54 years later.
Claude Shalom had codetermined considerably the night live in Paris end of the 70′s and 80′s as DJ under his artist name Claude Challe and as club owner.
- Cover of Buddha-Bar
Against this background of his life style in a Hippie community on Sardinia and musical interests with journeys to Nepal, Indonesia and India it was not a big surprise that Indian musicians emerge in Claude’s compilations, whose name we regain in Indian Classical Music and Indian Electronics.
Claude published in 1999 his remixes on a double CD “Buddha Bar” (Vol. 1) – “Dinner” (CD1) and “Party” (CD2). A multiplicity of “Buddha Bar” releases followed lead-managed by the label George V. Records in Paris.
The “culinary concept” of the Buddha Bars is marketed world-wide by George V Eatertainment. Supplemented around boutiques, galleries, the “Little Buddha Cafe” and “Siddharta Cafe” we find these culinary locations with Live DJs for a relaxed of music hearing absent the hustle and bustle of metropolises like London, Monte Carlo, Prague and Kiev. Further spots are current in Shanghai, Washington, Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, Jakarta and Sao Paolo.
Buddha Bar – Vol. I and II (1999/2000)… mixed by DJ Claude Challe
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is a musician from Pakistan. He was the most prominent representative in the Qawwali singing, a category of Sufi music. Nusrat Fateh became well known in the West particularly by co-operation with Peter Gabriel. He died too early before his time at the age of only 49 (1948-1997). His music and singing was deeply felt of many listeners and colleagues as “divine”. Also Claude Challe got his inspirations from this exceptional musician (Buddha Bar – VoL. 1 (1999): Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Track 10: Piya RH Piaya RH on CD2 “Party”).
The sound artist Karunesh appears with his track Alibaba on Buddha Bar – Vol. II, which was published in the year 2000. From Cologne coming and living on Hawaii Karunesh is well-known for us from the June show “Indian Electronic Music on the European continent” (part 2).
Buddha Bar – Vol. III/VII (2001/2005)… mixed by DJ Ravin
After the premiere of Claude Challe’s Buddha Bar compilations in the year 1999 and 2000 the musical journey was continued by a colleague of Claude. At first sight the eccentrically-seeming Raymond Visan alias DJ Ravin produced nine Buddha Bar albums. The releases volume 3 to 12 excluded volume 8 (mixed by Sam Popat) are shaped by Ravin’s handwriting.
In his personal self understanding Ravin defines the concept of Buddha Bar as a “sound area, which reminds of the mystic atomic sphere of a temple”.
Ravin was born 1966 in the Indian ocean, on Mauritius. He grew up in the strict Hindu tradition. As teenager Ravin came to Paris. There he made Claude Challe’s acquaintance on one of the famous Wiz Bombino parties. Claude introduced him into the world of electronic music.
In the year 2001 Buddha Bar – Vol. III appeared on the market as double CD with “Dream” (CD1) and “Joy” (CD2). Like Claude Challe’s first album in 1999 we meet again the Bansuri player Deepak Ram. He is flautist on the Indian Bamboo flute and of his musical origin a genuine representative of North Indian Classics (Hindustani music). Starting from 1975 Deepak was trained on the flute and Tabla in South Africa. 1977 he moved to Mumbai. There Deepak continued his music studies under flute maker Sri Suryaknt Limaye. Further teachers such as Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao and Hari Prasad Chourasia followed. With the prominent master on the flute Deepak takes classes till today. The track “A Night in Lenasia” on Buddha Bar – Vol. III reflects the origin of Deepak Ram. Lenasia is an Indian municipality in South Africa, south of Soweto.
Same on Buddha Bar – Vol. III the Tabla virtuose Talvin Singh gets to hearing the track “Veena”. Veena-s is a group of instruments, the Indian lutes among Sitar and Sarod belong to. Indian E-music had presented Talvin Singh in the premiere broadcasting as the founder of Indian Electronic music, so called “Asian Underground”.
The sound spectrum of the London duo Badmarsh & Shri is HipHop and Electronic music, Drum & Base, Indian Classical music and Jazz. Indian E-music presented B&S’s music in the January show 2010. The track on the 2nd CD “Joy” of Buddha Bar – Vol. III is called “Sitar ritual”.
In 2005 Buddha Bar – Vol. VII was published. On the 2nd CD “Sarangi” we find the track “Flute Fantasy”. Thus DJ Nasha landed internationally a hit, which found favour same in India as in Western world. We selected Nasha’s track (originally from his album Hero) in August 2010 as the Video of the Month.
DJ Nasha’s sound characteristics are heavy basses and rhythmics which cannot be assigned clearly to categories.
Cafe Buddha – The Cream of Lounge Cuisine
In 2005, same year as Buddha Bar – Vol. VII was released, the English label Park Lane Records brought “Cafe Buddha – The Cream of Lounge Cuisine” on the market, as “Deluxe 5 star double CD” (house advertising).
“Cafe Buddha” refers to restaurants of same name. They were opened since 2001 by DJ Ravin and George V Restauration Group in different cities: Amsterdam, Dakar, Geneva, Hurghada (Egypt), Sharm El Sheikh (southern Sinai), Las Vegas and Nicosia (Cyprus).
The concept of the Buddha Cafes is simple: Take some club atmosphere, excellent cuisine and bewitching music.
The duo Thievery Corporation resides in Washington DC (USA). Rob Garza and Eric Hilton are renowed for their political-critical attitude, which they express also in their music, e.g. with the martial sounding track “Marching The Hate Mashines (into the sun)”. Thievery Corporation featured the American Rock band “The Flaming Lips” (Oklahoma City), also the sitar player Anoushka Shankar. Indian E-music presented her in the show “Ladies Spinning” with the track Mandala (CD “Radio Retaliation”).
On Cafe Buddha – The Cream Of Lounge Cuisine Anoushka’s half sister Nora Jones, also to daughter of the legendary Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar performs the song “Angels”. Nora Jones is featured by the New Yorker TripHop band WaxPoetic around Illhan Ersahin who is of Turkish origin.
The “jack-of-all-trades” Nitin Sawhney delivers the piece Spark. Nitin is represented on various Buddha Bar albums and same as Talvin Singh an icon of Indian electronic music, but not only. The Indian-British musician is producer and composer. Already as a child Nitin’s unusual music talent was particularly noticeable with learning the piano, Classical and Flamenco guitar, Sitar and Tabla. Nitin began his solo career in 1999 with the 1st album Boyond Skin.
Siddharta: Spirit of Buddha Bar – Vol. 3 (2006)
“Buddha Bar” respective George V. Eatertainment established the Siddharta Café in the Buddha Bar hotel in Prague. So the restaurateur: in an atmosphere of pop art, with colourful decor, modern Buddha paintings and splendid chandelier an international and contemporary “Cuisin a la Chef” is servicing all tastes and generations. In the hotel-own fashion shop the guests can buy music, T-shirts and also souvenirs.
With Siddhartha the novella of Herman Hesse crosses one’s mind. Hesse wrote 1922 “Siddhartha”. In Sanskrit this name means: “That, who reached his goals.” Buddha was called prince Siddhartha Gautama before his abdication, who’s life is dated around 4th-5th century BC.
Whether such consumer temples like the Siddharta Cafe in Prague correspond to the spirit of Siddhartha and his buddhistic self understanding, this question may remain unanswered here.
Midival Punditz is an Indian fusion duo. Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj from Delhi mix styles like Bhangra and North Indian Classics (Hindustani) with electronic music. For the track Saathi, identically name with the Bengal cine film in 2002 the Sarangi Maestro Ustad Sultan Khan was featured by Midival Punditz. Sultan Khan played frequently purely Indian Classical music with Zakir Hussain, India largest Tabla virtuoso of our time. With Zakir Hussain played Midival Punditz together for the project Tabla Beat Science. Further Ustad Sultan Khan is present with Sayaji on “Siddharta: Spirit of Buddha Bar” (Vol. 3), a Joe Claussel Dance Transe version. Joe Claussel is a DJ, a music producer and label owner from New York.
A further title on Siddharta is “Peace is found behind wounds”. Cheb-I-Sabbha, a spiritual music adventurer promises herewith something philosophical: peace by pain. Who needs this kind of philosophy may enjoy it. Cheb-I-Sabbha visited 1970 for the first time India and became affected by Indian artists linked with the tradition of Indian Classics, e.g. the singer Subha Mudgal.
Still two artists with Indian reference are mentioned for the sake of completeness, whom we could not play in our radio show “The Buddha phenomenon” for lack of time. There is Natacha Atlas (Buddha Bar, Vol. 10) and Bombay Dub Orchestra (Buddha Bar, Vol. 10 (Remix) and Vol. 11). Natacha and BDO were presented in our earlier shows of March and August 2010.
The next broacasting of Indian E-music… is announced for Tuesday, 5th October – @ 09:00 p.m. on Tide 96.0 FM.
… and who is interested in Indian classical music: each 3rd Tuesday in the month, same time. Thus next broadcasting date for IMC – India meets Classic on 21st September @ 09:00 p.m. on Tide 96.0 FM.