January 16, 2009

Throat Singing: Huun-Huur-Tu and Yat-Kha

Much of what is known from Tuva, with worldwide recognition, comes from their traditional throat singing technique. Deeply studied by musicians and musicologists, this technique, existent in several cultures in the world, involves the production of multiple harmonics simultaneously by a single person (see the differences between throat singing styles here).

One of the tuvan throat singing most notable ensembles are Huun-Huur-Tu. 1994's The Orphan's Lament is a true master work of tuvan folkloric songs.

(1994) Huun-Huur-Tu - The Orphan's Lament / 320k

(1997) Huun-Huur-Tu - If I'd Been Born An Eagle / 320k

Albert Kuvezin, from Huun-Huur-Tu, founded Yat-Kha in the mid-nineties intending to introduce new influences to his homeland traditional style. Albeit firstly focused on the insertion of electronic elements (by avant-garde musician, and also founding member, Ivan Sokolovsky - who left the band shortly after), Yenisei-Punk is a great example of rock music moderately conciliated with tuvan folk, and of the path which would the group follow afterwards.

(1995) Yat-Kha - Yenisei-Punk / V0

(1999) Yat-Kha - Dalai Beldiri / V1

(2000) Yat-Kha - Aldyn Dashka / V0

(2006) Yat-Kha - Re-Covers / V2

Zoviet France

After several people asking me for reuploading, I managed to reobtain some rather difficult to find Zoviet France albums.

Browse to their page in the menu, or click HERE.

January 12, 2009

B Fachada

Bernardo Fachada, teamed up with producer Tiago Pereira, recently released a documentary over oral tradition in Portugal, and its sense in the 21st century. "Tradição Oral Contemporânea" (Contemporary Oral Tradition) shows him absorbing ageless folkloric tunes and analysing their change over time. The 'lisboeta' Fachada has visited villages in Portugal and orally exchanged songs with the people, trying to prove the natural aspects of traditional music and giving life to it outside rural boundaries. In both Viola Braguesa and in the documentary,the sense of transmission and change can be understood as aspects of tradition itself - opposed to the idea of crystalization of popular (mostly rural) culture. Similar results can be seen in the work of the mythical António Variações in the early eighties, but with massive repercussion and lacking Fachada's conceptual and intellectual approach.

Musically, the album's broody atmosphere and slow paced tempos, its lovely lo-fi aesthetics composed of organ and viola braguesa (portuguese sort of guitar) and great vocals sung in portuguese, make this album not only conceptually, but sentimentally, a great achievement.

(2008) Viola Braguesa / V0


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