Some time ago I was introduced to a large collection of Buddha Bar music, typified by Eastern and Western influences in a marvelous mixture. And I am hooked ever since this introduction. What is the story behind this music ? As follows. In 1996 the first Buddha Bar restaurant was opened in Paris.
Buddha Bar is a life style that is reflected in the restaurant and which gives you a very relaxed feeling. Further, DJs are used to develop a unique sound, known as Buddha Bar music and this is published on CDs. Sofar, there are 12 boxes, each containing 2 CDs and many split off's by Claude Challe, his brother, Ravin, Visan and others.
The best known DJ being founder Claude Challe with DJ Ravin; and the series of Buddha Bar has continued with different DJs, including Sam Popat, and David Visan.
After 1996, Buddha Bar restaurants were opened around the world. Today, there are between 10 and 20 such restaurants.
The one in my country, in Amsterdam, the Little Buddha has been recently introduced.
The Buddha Bar music was extended with many others CD albums like Siddharta, Buddhattitude and Living Theater. It is all wonderful background music in the style of Chill and Lounge music.
In addition, its DJs have started to publish CD albums under their own name. Recently, Buddha Bar added a perfume line to its living style.
Buddha Bar is labelled at George V Entertainment
~ DJ Ravin
For Ravin, life is music. His worldwide search, to seek out melodies, unknown sensations and ignored talents are part of his everyday life. This musical quest is, above all, full of curiosity and passion.
Chanted mantras aimed to raise the soul to a level superior to the one it was in before. To find calm and serenity in oneself, to rise up towards an unknown ecstasy, is to share with Ravin melodies which allow us to experience heartfelt joy which no word can express.
Ravin was born on 11th of July, 1966, in the Indian Ocean, on Mauritius Island, with a traditional Hidu upbringing. He moved to France as a teenager where he developed his childhood passion: music. He began working in a music shop in Paris, which cultivated his interest in dance music and club culture.
Ravin soon began to play at private parties and at the famous French club "The Rex" where he became the resident Dj on the weekends. With the help of Laurent Meuer from "Le Bay", Ravin was given the opportunity to play at the infamous Wiz Bombino parties. There, he met Claude Challe, the owner of "Les Bains Douches", one of hottest Parisian nightspots in the eighties, who introduced him to Electronic Fusion and World Music.
After having made his debut with Claude Challe on records such as "The Flying Carpet", "Loverdose" and "Nirvana Lounge", Ravin arrived at the "Buddha Bar" in Paris in 1997 where he immediately felt at home. There, in collaboration with Claude Challe again, the first two "Buddha Bar" compilations were conceived. Ravin went on the produce Buddha Bar III.
Ravin has remained an important figure in he shadows of the Buddha Bar. For Ravin, the spacious acoustics and mystical atmosphere deserved a sound fit for a temple. Now a pioneer DJ also appearing in the most happening clubs around the globe, Ravin returns to share his unique style with his audience. His new Buddha Bar VI is a sort of mystical offering to the towering statue of Buddha. This record has been put together as a homage to the Soul that made the Buddha Bar what it is.
His favorite quote is that of poet and philosopher Chuang Tzu "Once I, Chuang Tzu, dreamed I was a butterfly and was happy as a butterfly. I was conscious that I was quite pleased with myself, but I did not know that I was Tzu. Suddenly I awoke, and there was I, visibly Tzu. I do not know whether it was Tzu dreaming that he was a butterfly or the butterfly dreaming that he was Tzu. Between Tzu and the butterfly there must be some distinction. [But one may be the other.] This is called the transformation of things."
~ Claude Challe
Born as Claude Shalom in 1945 in Tunisia, is a French DJ and club owner, the creator of the Buddha Bar restaurant/clubs and music compilations.
Challe moved to France at age three. He attended Rabbinical school as a young man. At the age of 19, he opened a hair salon in Paris, and became known as "the man with the golden scissors".
He then abandoned the salon and lived as an expatriate on the island of Sardinia, in a hippie commune. He subsequently traveled to India, Nepal and Indonesia. He is using Buddha statues for his bar and restaurant interior design. In religion view, it is directly insulting to Buddhism.
Challe returned to France and was introduced to New Age music by the likes of Andreas Vollenweider and Ennio Morricone. He became involved in Parisian nightlife. He managed a series of French clubs, including Le Prive (1974), Le Centre Ville in Les Halles (1979), Les Bains-Douches (1984), El Divino in Ibiza (1992), and Buddha Bar (1996). The restaurant/club became a popular destination and led to Challe's Buddha Bar mix compilations.
Challe produced the "Reveillon de Mondes", attended by 50,000 people, and held at Vincennes, in conjunction with Radio Nova.
He produces his music and others' on his Chall'o Music label.
He has said, "I consider the art of DJ-ing to be the passion of [my] life. When I'm DJ-ing, I give myself to the people. When I play, I'm in the music."