Thursday, January 6, 2011

From Pakistan to Prairie Sun

We are excited to announce that the legendary Pakistani tabla player Dildar Hussain was just in the studio with his son, Abrar, mixing their newest album. A student of tabla legend Ustad Alla Rakha (Ravi Shankar), Dildar is regarded as one of the top tabla players in the world. He has been a member of Nusrat Ali Khan’s Qawwali party since its formation nearly 30 years ago, and played side by side with Nusrat until his death in 1997. Qawwali, the devotional music of Sufis, had little international exposure before they recorded several albums on the Real World label, including the soundtrack of Hollywood blockbuster “Dead Man Walking”. Today you might see him accompanying renowned Qawwali singer Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

Dildar does not play the traditional tabla, which is most commonly associated with Hindustani classical music. His non-traditional tabla configuration has the jori as the treble and the dhamma as the bass. Although rare, they are used primarily in North and West Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Kashmir. This combination creates a sound that is far deeper and warmer than the traditional bayan.

This project was coordinated and produced by Aja Salvatore, who is primarily known for his work with the top musicians of Mali on his label, Kanaga System Krush. Dedicated to showcasing the finest musical talent from all over the world, Aja operates KSK Records under fair trade principals. This means that, as opposed to traditional labels, a large portion (40%) of sales go directly to the artist. To learn more about KSK Records, visit their website here:

World-class talent needs a world-class engineer. Oz Fritz (Primus, Buckethead, Tom Waits just to name a few) fit the bill for this project. With such a star-studded roster, expect great things to come.

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