By John-Paul Shiver

Executed in 37 minutes among four tracks and operating on a unique, enhanced frequency, Rupa Biswas’ highly sought after 1982 LP Disco Jazz, fuses Bollywood ambitions with prog and psychedelic tendencies that snap to a disco beat. This unlikely collision of sounds, which on paper have no business BEING in business with each other, reps the importance of lo-fi recorded music and all the good sorcery it possesses.

Aaj Shanibar, the Balearic transcendental disco-stomper, is the reason for all the YouTube fascination to this one-off, beautiful odd-duck of a record. No, seriously. Top notch tabla playing, head-trip guitar chops,  majestic, prog laden, Sarod (a stringed instrument used prominently in Hindu music) led runs darting right down the spine of the track, locked in on 4/4 time. Its a stoneriffic; blunt friendly, way out there combination that begs an immediate repeat play so your mind can get another taste of that “WTF?!?” peach. It’s a brain freeze gut-punch that low-key seizes the attention of any ear-hustler. Basically, flamenco disco fans, beat heads, prog enthusiasts, psych rock folk, and everyone who still likes to get they fingers dirty digging for that dollar bin gold.  

Disco Jazz was recorded at Calgary’s Living Room Studios by Indian and Canadian musicians who compositionally traveled in the synth-led Bollywood boogie trend prevalent in those soundtracks of the ’80s. Ustad Aashish Khan, who lords over the sarod duties here, gets support from jazz guitarist Don Pope. Their tag team aesthetic dominates the opening track Moja Bhari Moja, a turnpike disco tune gone kinda country for some wondrously bizarre reason. Stacked with ill-fitting rock guitar solo’s, Biswas vocals shuttering between shrieks and delayed cosmic mutterings, the sarod multiverse expands with ginormous dexterity and extra bounce, while a proggy keyboard flange rides past Saturn’s rings.

Disco Jazz is a one of a kind moment deserving to be played and shared, not hoarded in a collection of unopened commodities. From the moment it was reissued by Numero Group last month, Discogs flunkies were flipping copies at fifty bucks a pop. That’s Capitalism Son.

Listen to Rupa’s Disco Jazz via spotify

Listen to Moja Bhari Moja