Music Reviews

Yarlung Records ‘Karnatik Roots (Pure DSD)’ by Aditya Prakash

Written by Rushton Paul for Positive Feedback.
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Karnatik Roots (Pure DSD) – Aditya Prakash (voice), with Kamalakiran Vinjamuri (violin), Rajna Swaminathan (mridangam) and Vini Sundaram (tambura). Yarlung Records, 2023 (Pure DSD256)

When Bob Attiyeh of Yarlung Records announces a new release, I come running. And I am never disappointed. The artists, the music and the performances are always a treat that I find myself wanting to hear again and again. I don’t know how Bob does this with such consistency over the many years I’ve listened to his recordings. He and his network of music appreciating supporters are just a marvel of artist discovery.

And, as good as the performers and music always are in these Yarlung releases, it is the exceptional sound quality of the recordings that brings me back. The sound quality is always at the top of the world. Bob’s commitment to making fully natural acoustic recordings, using the best equipment and a minimal number of microphones, in venues with beautiful acoustics, like the wonderful Samueli Theater at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa where this music was recorded, is a special factor I treasure and for which I will sing his praises to the sky.

Mic check before Segerstrom Center concert the day before the recording session for Aditya Prakash: Karnatik Roots
L to R: Rajna Swaminathan on mridangam, Aditya, Radhika Bhuckory playing tambura, Kamalakiran Vinjamuri on violin,
(Vini Sundaram played tambura on the album)

In this album, the excellent Aditya Prakash performs some of his favorite ragas in the classical Karnatik musical tradition of South India with a purely acoustic recording. As adventurous and “crossover” as Prakash’s successes may be, they have always been firmly anchored in this traditional music. You may be familiar with his jazz-infused Karnatik blend of crossover performances with his Aditya Prakash Ensemble, as heard on releases such as Diaspora Kid or his concerts on National Public Radio. It is a pleasure hearing him step into these more classically traditional, purely acoustic, performances in this album for Yarlung.

If you are familiar with Karnatik raga, this album is a no-brainer to add to your music library. If you are not, this is a great place to dip your toe into music from a great tradition that may be new to you. Performances don’t get much better than you will find here. If you are a sound junkie, like me, the excellence of the sound quality will be eminently rewarding entirely on its own.

Written by Rushton Paul for Positive Feedback.
Given as a pre-publication exclusive for NativeDSD.

Written by

Rush Paul

For over 50 years, Rushton Paul and his wife share a profound passion for music, cherishing transparency and accuracy of instrumental timbre. Their preference lies in acoustic and classical music, seeking recordings that immerse them in the authentic acoustical space of the musicians. Timbre is critical to them, desiring to hear genuine harmonic overtones of real instruments. Their transition to headphones shifted their focus to transparency, inner detail, timbre, and micro-dynamics, factors that profoundly influence their music enjoyment and assessment.


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