April 8, 2015

Kartick and Niladri Kumar - Where Tradition Meets Innovation [Magnasound Cassette C4HI0066] (1989)

Kartick Kumar is one of Ravi Shankar's most senior disciples and a very talented (if under-recorded) sitarist. His son Niladri appears on this cassette as an eager 18 year old with plenty of promise. He seems to mostly be doing fusion and such these days.

The first side of the cassette suffers from excessive brightness and a quite noticeable volume disparity between the left and right channels. These issues had to be (very reluctantly) addressed with EQ and normalization of both channels independently in Audacity. Otherwise the listenability of the side would be minimal. Side 2 is much better, with a fuller and more balanced (in right to left terms) sound.

Many Magnasound releases seem to be available on Amazon.com as mp3 downloads; I encourage anyone interested in these to pursue those. There is a website for Magnasound which seems to promise more activity in the future -- I hope there can be some CD reissues in the future.

Also posted here is the oddly charming advertisement included with the cassette -- see below.

Equipment used in transfer: 
Cassette Deck: TEAC W-890
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.

Recorder: Edirol R-09HR at 24/44 resolution
Software: Audacity to normalize both channels separately and EQ the first side (reduce high frequencies) as well as convert to 16/44.1. xAct was used to convert to FLAC and mp3


  1. Looking at the ad for their catalog, I have to wonder what heavy metal and rap music they were releasing at the time.

  2. Dear Richard, this cassette existed also as a CD manufactured by Magnasound's Canadian branch OMI (if I remember right a brother of the owner of Magnasound). I worked in the early nineties quite closely with their distributor (and friend) in England.
    The CD was published under the title "Together", also in 1989. That was at a time when there was not yet a market for CDs in India and CDs were only produced for Indians in the west whereas in India they continued to produce cassettes. I think Music Today was in 1992 the first company which produced CDs in India.
    The CD suffered from the same bad sound. Thank you very much for making the music more enjoyable.

  3. By the way: I have this catalogue. Mostly Hindustani and Carnatic classical music plus some Light Classsical and Devotional.

  4. Is there anyway to re-upload this perhaps? Would love to hear this rare release. Thanks Richard.


    Please see the body of the post, at the end, for the links for download.

    Thanks to all my readers!

  6. Thanks for making this music available. I can guess it takes a lot of time and work. Please note it is greatly appreciated!

  7. Thanks for so much beautiful music, It's wonderful!
    Btw I think the links on this item are corrupt, don't you think so?


  8. Replies
    1. I see that it isn't at the moment. When I sign into my adrive account everything looks good but there is some problem where it is not downloading. I noticed slower speeds in the last few days when downloading from adrive -- I will recheck this in a week to see if it is temporary problem or something more concerning. Thanks for reading my blog.

      Try again in a few days and let me know again if you are having difficulty