Saturday, November 25, 2023

Gladag-Badung vol 3 -- a cassette of gamelan music recorded and released in Bali

Here we have a cassette I purchased in the mid-1980s. I had very little luck finding out any information about it on the internet. It is nonetheless delightful.

Balinese gamelan is an intricate musical tradition which holds a central place in the island’s rich cultural tapestry. Rooted in the island's Hindu and Buddhist traditions, Balinese gamelan is a complex ensemble of percussion instruments, producing a harmonious and rhythmic symphony that captivates both the ears and the soul.

The origins of gamelan can be traced back over a thousand years, with influences from Java and the Majapahit Empire. The music is deeply intertwined with religious ceremonies, traditional rituals, and artistic performances.

Central to gamelan is its distinctive ensemble of percussive instruments. These include metallophones, gongs, drums, and other metallic instruments, collectively creating a shimmering and resonant sound. The instruments are organized into sets, or "gamel," each with a specific role and pitch range.

Transfer: Nakamichi Dragon cassette deck, extensively refurbished and rebuilt.
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6ii at 24bit/48kHz resolution
Software: Audacity and xAct.
Monitoring: Digital line out from a MacBook, Focal Spirit One headphones with Schitt Audio Asgard headphone preamp with 4490 DAC


very high resolution lossless FLAC files

these lossless files can be burned to CDR, if you are into that

highest quality lossy mp3 files possible 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Alla Rakha and Buddy Rich: Rakha a la Rich (STWP 21453) an album issued in the United States in 1968

Here we have an early example of "West-East Fusion" which in this case is especially interesting because it is devoted to percussion. This transfer of a reel-to-reel tape released by World Pacific records in 1968 was downloaded from the internet and cleaned up minimally for this upload.

Buddy Rich, born in 1917, was an iconic figure in the world of jazz, leaving an indelible mark as one of the greatest drummers of all time. Renowned for his unparalleled technical prowess, Rich elevated drumming to new heights with his astonishing speed, precision, and dynamic flair.

Rich's career spanned several decades, during which he collaborated with jazz luminaries such as Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey. His breakthrough came as the drummer for the Dorsey band, where his explosive solos became legendary. The Buddy Rich Big Band, formed in the 1960s, showcased not only his drumming virtuosity but also his skill as a bandleader.

Beyond his extraordinary talent behind the drum kit, Rich was known for his larger-than-life personality, marked by a no-nonsense attitude and a reputation for perfectionism. His commitment to excellence in performance was matched only by his dedication to pushing the boundaries of jazz drumming.

Alla Rakha, born in 1919, stands as a luminary in the realm of Indian classical music, particularly renowned for his mastery of the tabla. A distinguished percussionist, he collaborated extensively with sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, contributing significantly to the popularization of Indian classical music on the global stage.

Rakha's rhythmic brilliance and expressive playing style on the tabla earned him acclaim for his solo performances and collaborations. His ability to infuse emotion into the intricate beats of the tabla set him apart as a virtuoso. The dynamic synergy between Rakha and Ravi Shankar produced seminal works, showcasing the seamless fusion of the tabla with other classical instruments.

Beyond his contributions to performance, Alla Rakha was a dedicated teacher, passing on his knowledge and artistry to future generations. His impact extended to Western audiences, fostering an appreciation for the depth and complexity of Indian classical music.

Alla Rakha's legacy endures not only in his extensive discography and collaborations but also in the ongoing influence he has had on subsequent generations of tabla players. His artistry remains a testament to the universal language of rhythm and the ability of music to bridge cultural divides.

Track listing

01 Khanda Kafi (Ravi Shankar) 5:18

02 Duet in Dadra (Alla Rakha, Buddy Rich) 4:19

03 Rangeelā (Ravi Shankar) 7:40

04 Nagma E Raksh (Alla Rakha) 4:44

05 Tal Sawari (Alla Rakha, Buddy Rich) 14:30

Buddy Rich: drums, dholak, dholki

Alla Rakha: tabla

Ravi Shankar: conductor

Paul Horn: flute

Nodu C. Mullick: tamboura, manjeera

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Sunday, November 19, 2023

Oum Kalthoum: Rabiaa El Adawia (Sono Cairo SC 22-117) an LP issued in France in 1968

We begin again here at the World Music Village blog. The goal as always is to make some sort of effort to help preserve our precious human musical culture against the forces of neglect. In my opinion this process is most successful when the highest audio and graphic standards are maintained and files are allowed to be downloaded rather than just streamed.

Here is a really lovely LP released in 1968 in France featuring the great Oum Kalthoum

Files were downloaded from the Internet Archive. Painstaking manual reduction of surface noise and clicks/pops as well as balancing of the channels (left was 2dB quieter than right) was undertaken in Audacity. Graphic files were optimized in the free Mac software known as "Photos." 
I thank you for listening to this album. 

Very high resolution lossless files

Standard resolution lossless files 

The highest quality lossy mp3 possible