French band The Sudden Death Of Stars have enjoyed something of an awakening having added sitarist Joachim Ono to their number. A fan of Indian music since his teenage years, he taught himself to play before opting to walk to India so he he could learn from the masters. Evidence of his efforts ("He can actually play in tune," note his bandmates) can be heard on the group's recently released album All Unrevealed Parts Of The Unknown (out now on Ample Play) and in the band's live show which comes to Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia later this year. In the meantime Ono has made Q this Playlist, "The Sudden Death Of Sitars" to show case his favourite use of the instrument.
Traffic - Paper Sun "Steve Winwood’s second band's first ever single, Paper Sun is a jewel of psychedelic pop, with great bass and a Dave Mason on sitar, summer 1967. Don't be sad, good times are had, beneath the paper sun! Paper Suuuuuun!"
The Whatt Four - Dandelion Wine "More 1967 stuff, from the four Californians before they had to go into the army. It's got trippy psych vibes and droning sitar."
July - The Way "Sitaring from Ealing, west London. Also late 60s."
Merrell Fankhauser - A Visit With Ashiya "One of the innovators of surf music and psychedelic folk rock, he definitely went on a trip."
Sudden Death Of Stars - This Vision Of You "We have several songwriters in the band and whoever writes a track also does the vocals. This is from our first EP."
Traffic - Utterly Simple "The only track with sitars on their debut album Mr Fantasy."
The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Super-Sonic "You fucking broke my sitar, motherfucker!"
Sudden Death Of Stars - Halcyon Days "Some say with this track you can hear our celtic roots... But I’m from Normandy."
We The People - In The Past "The song is written by Wayne Proctor, the band’s guitarist using not a sitar but a home made octachord, a kind of mandolin with eight chords. Note there is a version of this song by The Chocolate Watch Band, and also by the Belgian yéyé singer Delphine, called La Fermeture Éclair!"
The Association - Wantin' Ain't Gettin' "California is the sitar’s second home. The Association were regulars at the Troubadour Club."
The Black Angels - Manipulation "Flowing organs, roaring bass, inverted guitars, strong vocals and hypnotic coral sitar. What can I say? Ah thank you The Black Angels for namechecking us in interviews."
The Pretty Things - Bracelet of Fingers "A strange waltz of a track with servings of sitars and orgasmic choirs. This album is one of the best things that has landed on my lap."
Black Market Karma - Sitari Way "Contemporary sitaring from London."
Vilayat Khan - Morning Raga (The Music Room) "From the soundtrack of film Jalsaghar (The Music Room) by Satyajit Ray, composed by Vilayat Khan."
Sudden Death Of Stars - Supernovae "The opening track on our debut album Getting Up, Going Down, has been described by Hercule Poirot himself as Nova Super."
Ustad Vilayat Khan & Ustad Bismillah Khan - Bhairavi Thumri "Bhairavi is probably one of the most popular ragas within Hindustani music. Here two great musicians in a Jugalbandi (duet), Ustad Bismillah Khan playing the shehnai (indian oboe like instrument) and Ustad Vilayat Khan playing the sitar."
Electric Eye - Tangerine "Motorik sitar & space!"
Ustad Vilayat Khan - Raag Darbari Kanada "The sitar emperor! A treasure of Indian music, with the genial Pandit Shankar Gosh on the tabla. They take us on a trip to the Himalayas."
Sudden Death Of Stars - Bright Sunday "Finishing off with melancholy on a Bright Sunday, from our new Long-Player."
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