Search This Blog

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Brian Presents Some Far Out World Music

(Scott)-as often, Brian's submission is so different from the norm that I have little knowledge of
it.....I'm sure it's fab, as was last week's uke post......LOTSA people checked that one out, and if you are a fan of the different stuff that Brian sends us at times, this should be for you....I've only heard a bit of it, but what I've heard is certainly of interest.

Now things get a bit strange. I wanna start doing world music posts on and off, and the first stop will be exploring one of my favorite genres: Mongolian throat singing. I really want to sell you guys on this stuff, cuz you've never heard anything like this!

Mongolian - or more specifically Tuvan - throat singing is a form of vocals where the singer can create resonant additional tones by manipulating their air pathways while singing the fundamental note. It's almost like multitracking or harmonizing your voice. There are basically three forms of vocalizing: 1.) Khoomei, the standard mid-range form 2.) Sygyt, which enables the more nasal flute-like pitches, and 3.) Kargyraa, which is those deep, growling bass notes.

Huun-Huur-Tu has long been the flagship group of the style. They've toured the West, and the one guy from the group was in the documentary Genghis Blues, which I definitely recommend checking out (find the soundtrack HERE). HHT emerged right at the time communism ended in Mongolia. With very strong ties to the old ways, they make great, picturesque folk music.

While their studio albums are great, it's live that they're really amazing. This file contains two albums: Best Live and More Live. They are alternately called Live 1 and Live 2, depending on which release you see. They were recorded in Moscow in front of rapturous audiences. The opening track of Live 2 (More Live), "Kagyraa", is one of the deepest, most amazing vocal performances ever. It's the ultimate WTF? track; guaranteed to make anyone crane their neck and look at the stereo bewilderingly. Great for testing bass response, too! All kidding aside, these are amazingly recorded and performed albums... definitely check them out if you call yourself a world music fan.

Albert Kuvezin was once a member of Huun Huur Tu. He went on to form the group Yat-Kha in the 90's. While the group initially featured a Russian guy on electronics, later Kuvezin molded the group into more of a melding of Western rock/blues with the Mongolian singing and melodies. It really must be heard. The file contains two albums...

The first, Tuva Rock, is - I think - one of the best foreign rock albums ever made. There is singing in both Tuvan and English. With rock dynamics bolted onto these galloping rhythms, it makes some amazingly driving music! See "Langchyy Boom" or opening track "Come Along" for an example. And the amazing dirge of "Coming Buddha" sounds like a great song off of Earth's Hex album. In fact, I wonder why the guys at the Southern Lord label haven't approached this dude? Besides the rock songs though, there is a beautiful traditional ballad in "Amdy Baryp".

This last, Re-Covers, is their highest-profile album. If you've browsed strange online comps like the Cover the Earth series on the Music For Maniacs blog, you may have heard a few of these songs. One of them I put on that Stones comp. And besides that cover song, this disc reveals many diverse influences. There's covers of Joy Division, Zep,
the Allman Brothers, Kraftwerk, Captain Beefheart, Bob Marley...this is a strange ride! You gotta have it if you're a fan of weird music.


  1. Huun Huur Tu Two Albums

    Shu De - Voices From The Distant Steppe

    Yat Kha Two Albums

    PASS - comedy

  2. Long had a weakness for Yat Kha - it's an unbelievable version of Love will tear us apart, for example. But I can't handle to much at one time.