Peter Cat Recording Co.

Portrait of a Time

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PUT THIS IN YOUR DEN to hear what it would sound like if Frank Sinatra fronted an international mashup of a band, or for simply one of the best mashups of international music you'll ever find. While grounded in India, the music styles span the globe. Taking traditional sounds and mixing in contemporary touches, the band is just so damn good. And, you'll find yourself spinning this record regularly for guests - whether they are the underground digger bud or an old school family member claiming all new music sucks. It doesn't.

Available on black wax. Repress of this beautiful Jazz/Psychedelic/Folk/Indian Electronic LP by New Delhi's Peter Cat Recording Co.

A cat may have nine lives, but Peter Cat Recording Co. has a multitude of dimensions. Formed in New Delhi around 2010 by the crooner Suryakant Sawhney, it’s a group that’s mutated over time, shedding members and accruing more, always evolving musically with each album: from gypsy jazz to psychedelic cabaret; ballroom waltzes to epic space disco; bossa supernova to uneasy listening. What’s more they play jajj, which you’ve almost certainly never heard of.

Portrait of a Time 2010 - 2016 is the first taste many will have of this highly original, musically capricious and deeply inscrutable New Delhi four-piece. The compilation helps you get to know a band who are essentially unknowable, not that that will stop you from trying. Furthermore, in a capital city known for its mystery, madness and mayhem, Peter Cat Recording Co. is something of an anomaly there too.

While Suryakant’s crooning is spookily reminiscent of a hipster 50’s Sinatra, it was more his intention to ape legendary Bollywood playback singers like Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi and especially Hemant Kumar. There are diverse American influences in the mix too, including Sam Cooke, Etta James and even Tom Waits. Thrown together it becomes something unique that equates less to a listening experience and more to an out-of-body experience.