Disco Jazz


When singer Rupa Biswas Sen flew from her native India to Calgary to visit her brother in 1981, a chance performance led to her recording a one-off album with a group of local musicians and the renowned Indian classical artist and composer Aashish Khan. Disco Jazz, which culled its sound from Bollywood, flecks of disco, ’70s rock riffs, and Balearic beats sung by Rupa in both Bengali and Hindi, only sold a handful of copies upon its release a year later. It became a sleeper hit in the late 2010s when crate-digging gumshoes tracked down songs from it, notably the divine “Aaj Shanibar.”

Paula Mejía

The “rediscovery” of Rupa’s one and only album Disco Jazz almost 40 years after it was made reads like a detective novel, one that starts with a dusty trunk hidden away in a dark attic and unfolds across Reddit forums and Discogs listings. Since reappearing on Youtube and eventually being reissued by  Numero Group, the record has become something of a cult classic thanks to its expansive tracks and shifting instrumentals that seamlessly move between synth and sarod, disco and jazz, balearic and understated bollywood.

Megan Iacobini de Fazio