THE COLLECTED RECORDINGS OF INDIA’S BEST-KNOWN PSYCHEDELIC ROCK ENSEMBLE, AND THE STORY BEHIND THEIR GENESIS. 1973-1977.
The Atomic Forest stand as the only Indian psychedelic/hard rock band that managed to record an album: Obsession ’77. The album’s mix of blistering, fuzzy rock and synth-lead funk inspired collectors the world over to fork over thousands of dollars for original copies of this – until recently – unknown platter. Part of the interest certainly stemmed from its liberal doses of searing fuzz guitar; part of it sprung from the oddity of it all: India, a country that had, quite literally, churned out tens of thousands of albums during psych- and hard-rock’s heyday, only produced this one, lonely psychedelic album; part of it sprung from the album’s rarity. Unknown for years, Obsession ’77 suddenly became a top want on every global-rock collector’s short-list.
Over the past four years, we at Now-Again Records have followed Atomic Forest’s sounds – and we’ve struck paydirt. Now, with the full participation of founding member/vocalist Madhukar Chandra Dhas and lead-guitarist Abraham Mammen, we present Obsession. This anthology collects songs from Obsession ’77, the band’s follow up Hit Film Themes and unreleased studio and live recordings from Atomic Forest band members. Dhas’ extensive archives of photos and ephemera add weight to this anthology – the first thorough investigation into India’s 70s psychedelic rock scene. A scene that, until now, has been shrouded in secrecy and rumor – clouded in a druggy haze.
Atomic Forest’s story stands in for the untold stories of many of India’s underground bands – bands remembered vividly by those who witnessed their performances; bands that often homemade, cassette recordings – that have been lost to time. We’re glad that we discovered Atomic Forest; though their extant recordings are few, those recordings they etched to vinyl captured a powerful energy. That energy sparked our interest and fuels the fires of our imagination.