I marvel at the rawness of today’s track! It feels like you are there as its being played live, in a warm, dark room, crammed into a tiny space with the band and a handful of watchers! Nothing fancy, just the basics! No frills, no overproduction, just simple creative magic!!
The Hipnotic Eye were a garage rock outfit from India – and in case you were wondering, I haven’t misspelt “Hipnotic”! They were one of many band’s that took part in the Simla Beat contest in 1971. As far as I can tell, for the competition, they issued just two songs: Aimless Lady (today’s song) and Killing Floor – which I’ve pasted below! Both of which are smashing, nitty-gritty, garage rock wonders!!
The All-India Simla Beat Contest was organised in the late-1960s by the India Tobacco Company and groups from all around India would compete for first prize (see my post here for another contestant’s offering!). In an attempt to reach the youth market, the India Tobacco company billed itself as “the oldest cigarette company with a young heart” and tried to attach its brand name to rock music. The contest was first held in Bombay in 1968 and became an annual event thereafter. As the contest grew, a subsidiary of EMI released the LP Simla Beat 70, which collected the winning tracks from the 1970 contest, and followed the next year with Simla Beat 71.
It may come as no surprise that these records were pressed in relatively low numbers and are, therefore, fetching crazy money for original copies! Simla Beat 71 currently has an asking price of nearly £2500 on one website I checked!! However, there is good news in that both the 70/71 LP’s have since been reissued with a far more respectable asking price…
Further to my opening paragraph, I’ve also just read, from a couple of sources, how the Simla album’s were laid-down and I wasn’t far off!! They weren’t recorded live on stage, but in a primitive makeshift studio using very little overdubbing or sound reinforcement. Though recorded in the early 1970s, the music bears an uncanny resemblance to the kind of Western garage and psychedelic sounds more typical of 1966 and 1967. The theory behind this, I’ve also discovered, is due to the India’s’ relative isolation and lack of technological progress in that era….Either way, the result of both albums are very satisfying!!