August 12, 2017

Shamim Ahmed Khan: A Delectable Treat in Ragas [Magnasound C4HI0068] a cassette recorded and released in India in 1989

Shamim Ahmed Khan (1938-2012) was a disciple of Ravi Shankar. He seemed to be on excellent terms with his teacher and followed him to California when Raviji opened a school there. Khan released relatively few records during his lifetime. This cassette was recorded with Nayan Ghosh on tabla.

side 1:
Raga Puriya Dhanashri (Alap, Jod, Jhala; with fast and slow compositions in teentaal)

side2:
Raga Hamsadwani (alap and slow composition in jhaptaal)
Dhun in dadrataal





Equipment used in this transfer:
Cassette Deck: Teac W890R (azimuth was carefully adjusted for each side)
Preamp: Parasound PHP 850
Recorder: Roland R-05
Software: Audacity and xAct

(after decoding to WAV, suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)





August 5, 2017

Alathur Brothers: Carnatic Vocal (All India Radio recording) [HTC 03B 8184] A Cassette recorded in India in 1963 and released in India in 1991

The Alathur Brothers, just like the Ramones, were not actually brothers. They consisted of vocalists Sivasubramaniya Iyer (1916-65) and Srinivasa Iyer (1911-80) who trained under Sivasubramaniya's father Alathur Venkatesa Iyer.

This is a recording of a concert broadcast on All India Radio and recorded on April 8, 1963.






Side one:
1 Vidulaku Mrokkeda (raga: Mayamalavagaula; tala: Adi)
2 Rama Neepi raga: Kedaram; tala: Adi)

Side two:
1 Kanta Tava (raga: Athana; tala: Adi)
2 Cherarvademira (raga: Ritigaula; tala: Desadi)
3 Tillana (raga: Behag; tala: Adi)
4 Visveswar Darsan (raga: Sindubhairavi; tala: Rupakam)

TS Tatachar: violin
MS Ramaiah: mridangam
S Seshagiri Das: kanjira

Equipment used in this transfer:
Cassette Deck: Teac W890R (azimuth was carefully adjusted for each side)
Preamp: Parasound PHP 850
Recorder: Edirol R-09HR
Software: Audacity and xAct



(the highest resolution I am capable of producing; 
suitable for a player capable of playing high resolution files)

(after decoding to WAV, suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)



August 3, 2017

Shivkimar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia: Yugal Bandi [ECSD 2747] an LP recorded in Sweden in 1973 and released in India in 1975

Here is an interesting example of a recording made in Sweden while these two artists were on tour there. It was subsequently released in India on EMI. Sweden had the wonderful Amigo label which released fewer than a dozen recordings of Indian classical music (but almost all of them were gems) and also apparently the Sonet label, which released primarily jazz and blues music from 1956-91.

The recording is obviously very high quality, and I would love to be able to obtain the original analog tapes and remaster these for a proper reissue. However, until that happens, we can enjoy this vinyl transfer.







Side one:
Raga Jhinjhoti

Side two:
Raga Misra Pilu

Santoor: Shivkumar Sharma
Bansuri: Hariprasad Chaurasia
Tabla: Kashinath Mishra
Tampura: Anuradha Chaurasia


Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Edirol R-09HR at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: AudacityClickRepairand xAct



(the highest resolution I am capable of producing; 
suitable for playing on a computer or other player 
capable of playing high resolution files)

(after decoding to WAV, suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)



July 31, 2017

MS Subbulakshmi: Surdas Bhajans [PSLP 1391] an LP recorded and released in India in 1986 - fresh remaster

Surdas was a 15th century poet, reportedly blind, who is renowned for his many poems about the life of Lord Krishna. The Murty Classical Library of India has published a lovely collection of some of the earliest known manuscripts of Surdas' poetry and the book is well worth searching out.

MS Subbulakshmi was one of the most prolific and popular singers of bhajans, or Hindi devotional songs. This delightful LP, rescued from my local record shop which just recently placed on their shelves a small but choice selection of Indian vinyl, was recorded in 1986 by EMI and features vocal support from Radha Viswanathan. (Thank you Ken for your wonderful record store!)

The poems were set to music by P.S. Srinivasa Rao.

At times the close harmonies are reminiscent of heavily applied reverb, but I think the heartfelt singing of MSS shines through.

This is a remaster of an old post from the halcyon days of early 2015.
I boosted some midrange frequencies and was able to remove most of the remaining groove noise without affecting the music in any way.


The songs are as follows:

Side 1:
Prabhuji Tum Bin Kaun Sahai
Nis Din Barsat Nain Hamare
Raakho Laaj Hari Tum Meri
Kunjani Kunjani Bajati Murli

Side 2:
Akhiyan Hari Darsan Ki Piyasi
Madhuban Tum Kyon Rahat Hare
Hey Deen Dayal Gopal Hari
Suneri MAin Ne Nirbal Ke Balram

Click here to watch a YouTube clip of a live performance of a bhajan by MSS.

And here is another video of a performance of a bhajan by MSS.


Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: 20 minutes in an ultrasonic cleaner with clean pure water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: vintage restored Pioneer SX-780
Recorder: Edirol R-09HR
Software: Audacity to normalize and carefully remove one or two clicks per side. Only very minimal change in EQ was made - a few dB increase in the 2000-3000 range (using parametric EQ). Conversion to 16/44.1 took place in Audacity. xAct was used to convert to FLAC and mp3. 



(after conversion to WAV, suitable for burning to CD

(the highest quality mp3 file, using data compression to decrease file size, and able to played on computer or portable device including smart phones)