World Arbiter

PATHAK, PANDIT ASHOK - Ancient Court Raga Traditions

"2017 repress. Subtitled: The Pathak Gharana, Dhrupad Ragas On Surbahar. Performed by Pandit Ashok Pathak (surbahar). Ancient Court Raga Traditions is comprised of two long tracks: "Raga Malkauns"and "Raga Bagesri,"recorded in 2000. Only part of India's noblest classical instrumental traditions have been adequately documented on recordings, beginning with sitarist Imdad Khan in 1905. With the compact disc, raga performances could expand from pioneering 4-minute excerpts on 78 rpm discs to span well beyond an hour on CD, allowing full development and style to unfold. One vital court style remains in a fragmentary way: the ancient art of dhrupad, characterized by slowly singing and playing, which favored the arrhythmic alap section, based on the ancient Vedic chant. Too few of these family-based traditions survived the ending of royal patronage. Amongst them are the Pathaks, representing a musical lineage through 5 generations of dhrupad singers, veena players and sitarists, with the current generation including a composer and tabla player. Balaram Pathak introduced the use of harmonics on sitar with meend, heard on his one CD. This unique practice has been further explored by (his son) Ashok, who uses it extensively, along with thematic playing on the sympathetic strings. Before beginning a raga, he dwells on these strings, at times playing two simultaneously, creating harmonies which he adopted after having heard it in pre-Renaissance Western music (in polyphonic works by Perotin, Josquin des Prez, etc.). The recording took place over two afternoons. Each raga was played through once and without any changes or edits, and the decision was made to play "Raga Malkauns"on the second afternoon. As Balaram Pathak recorded one short work on surbahar, these performances further reveal the rare court tradition Pandit Ashok represents, its continuation despite the odds of a diminishing public which prefers khyal, and the musical contributions made by the performer himself to further their lineage."- World Arbiter.

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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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