The underground Indian psychedelic music scene was keeping pace with the international music scene from the get-go. Not only was it creating its own unique style but also adding color and flavor to the international scene by fusing the sound of the east with that of the west.
One of the very first echoes of Indian influence on western pop music could be heard in the early 60s. The introduction of the Indian sitar to ‘The Beatles’ classic ‘Norwegian Wood’. This trend was soon to be followed by bands like ‘The Yardbirds’, ‘The Rolling Stones’, ‘The Byrds’. Mixing Indian sounds and instruments like the tabla, veena, mridangam etc were the very beginning of the Indian influence on the international psychedelic revolution. The fusion of Indian melodies and rhythm systems with western rock & pop created an eclectic mix. This is when the foundation of the Indian psychedelic revolution was truly laid down firmly.
Indian sounds being exported to the west wasn’t the only vector, this was a two-way street. The western music flying into India had long started an underground culture of DIY-Garage-Rock bands. The latest trend in the 60s was for these Indians bands to inadvertently sway towards psychedelia in terms of music and the associated lifestyle
The entity spearheading this movement was an event called “Simla Beats”, it was solely responsible for supporting and encouraging the psychedelic movement in India. Young and upcoming musicians were given a chance to play on the stage and showcase their talent. Coming from almost a decade of jazz and rock consumption, the audience was looking for a change and leaped with joy at the auditory newness of the psychedelic music. The underground sounds of Indian psychedelic began taking roots in its most natural form. Young Indian bands like Confusions,Great Bear, The Fentones, Frustrations Amalgamated and other solo artist started being noticed for their new and unique psychedelic sounds. One of the first official-professional recordings on the Indian psychedelic bands happened at Calcutta. The resultant took the form of a compilation vinyl released in 1970 and 71.
From 1968 to 1972, Simla gave India's hallucinogenic shake a stage to remain on and separated from giving youthful groups a road of articulation, this development had bigger melodic ramifications. It propelled film arranger siblings Kalyanji Anandji, and Indian maestro R. D. Burman, to investigate the beats of hallucinogenic shake whose phantom notes can be heard still in accounts of Bollywood's 70s music.
While psychedelia sweethearts wherever can thank the Battle of the Beats challenge for giving India's musical crews a phase, another round of gratefulness ought to be stretched out to Junior Statesman (JS) - the nation's first youth magazine that’s gotten the message out about this music transformation. As the main distribution to record Led Zeppelin's unforeseen gig in 1972, this now outdated JS magazine speaks to a fundamental piece in this verifiable jigsaw of India's hallucinogenic shake upheaval.
Even though most of those 60s bands are defunct, their legacy and the movement they gave momentum to go on, stronger than ever. Some of the contemporary Indian psychedelic artists that are playing and making waves are Raja Ram (Goa Gill), Aghori Tantrik, Farebi Jalebi.