Daiqing Tana is the lead singer of the band HAYA (哈雅樂團 in pinyin), a New Age band who meld Chinese and Mongolian music into an East Asian fusion rock. Extremely pleasant listening.
[Music] erica freas — the sunday experience
I won’t deny that we’re a little taken with this nugget, a debut full length from Bristol bssed singer / songwriter Erica Freas entitled ‘young’. Available as a self-funded limited vinyl pressing sometime March where it’ll be lovingly coloured in a choice of blue or beer, blue being our chosen option, ‘red is’ has for […]
[Music] E.E. Engström & The Twin Street Tree Trunk Love Ensemble – Small Town Curse
Darkjazz goes film noir. E.E. Engström & The Twin Street Tree Trunk Love Ensemble provide a gorgeous soundtrack to enjoy a dry martini with. Imagine the aforementioned Darkjazz mixed with something that would make Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (gone instrumental) proud, not to mention having a twang of creepy country. The vibe is dark, unsettling, and hopefully just a taste of what should be an amazing 2019 for the group.
Should you have a Spotify account, I suggest adding the group here.
[Music] ʻĀina – Lead Me To The Garden
Aloha Got Soul’s latest release is a reissue of a rare psychedelic Christian folk record by a Hawaiian project called ʻĀina, which, according to their Bandcamp album site, “means land or earth in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language.”
It’s definitely a product of the 1970s, full of hippy vibes, a naïve sense of idealism, and themes which would be recognizable to people who go to Pentecostal Churches. There was nothing bad about this release at all. It was a smooth, mellow and enjoyable listen.
[Music] Necromishka – The Space Between Us
This is another weird, nearly terrifying, yet wonderful work from the nexus of musicians floating around Tel-Aviv and involving Tamar Singer.
Necromishka continue the neofolk tradition, mixing it with some of the hallucinatory vibe which gave early Current 93 its power. The vocals in Beast of Prey, for instance, are slowed down to something so eerie that they should have belonged to a character in a David Lynch movie.
The other tracks give the feel of the soundtrack that should be made, if anyone is insane enough to try it, of Isadore Ducasse’s ur-Surrealist masterpiece, Les Chants de Maldoror.
[Music] Iynar – Balkarian Legacy of Omar Otarov
Ored Recordings have done such stunning work recording and producing music from out-of-the-way places that they should be given an endowment to continue their work. This particular gem comes from Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkar Republic, which rests in the heartland of the Russian Caucasus. To familiarize yourself with your intrepid artists, consider reading the write-up you’ll find on their Bandcamp site:
Iynar (Eeinar) as is
The artistic work of the Iynar Ensemble has been a great example of what falls into the professional Soviet folklore category. The medium-size male choir appeared at the beginning of 90s in a Balkarian village Tashli Tala. The ensemble singers are the amateur artists who love singing and have enough talent for it.
The main part of Iynar’s repertoire consists of songs sung by Omar Otarov. Following the same logic, Tahir Guziev, the bandleader, used ‘the brightest example of the national folk music’ as a guidance. The repertoire includes the classic genres: ritual songs, Nart saga, ancient epos, lyric songs created by both past and contemporary composers. The ensemble plays at celebrations, takes part in various music and folk festivals, and occasionally wins awards.
However, Iynar seems to be related not to traditional folk genres but to the Caucasian pop scene. Their music video filmed in accordance with the standards of local pop music industry can be a bright example of that. It is evident due to the fact that this video received airtime on TV channel ‘9th wave’ which is specialized in the Caucasian pop music.
On the one hand, the whole situation seems strange, on the other hand it is quite common for the region. The thing is that many local amateur artists turn to epic heritage of the past while also having close ties to the local pop scene. This, in turn, leads them to adopting the aesthetics held by local film producers who draw inspiration from pop music of the 1980s.
What is also indicative is the way we were connected with them. We were introduced to Tahir Guziev by Muzafar Etcheev, the radio host, producer, and one of the leading figures of Karachay Balkarian Pop Scene. In other words, we came to the village Tashli Tala by getting directions not from folklorists but from a showbiz person.
We may call the ensemble Iynar as something not folklorish and get it out of our project’s agenda. This is what we would have done a year ago. Indeed, despite the fact that the Balkarian ensemble’s repertoire is, in its most parts, folk in nature, it is obvious that the way it is performed is not folk at at all.
What if we shift our focus from only authentic music and start looking at a tradition as an evolving phenomenon affected by various factors? What if we presume that the Soviet system and the Omar Otarov’s artistic legacy created a new tradition in the Karachay – Balkarian folklore? In such a case, Iynar becomes an important figure for Ored Recordings. We perceive it as today’s expressions of traditional music in one of its forms. The Soviet folk music is a new genre for Ored Recordings. Our scope of interest may have expanded, but traditional folk music remains at its core.
What is important is that theе recording session was not ordinary both for us and the music ensemble. At the very beginning, we explained that contrary to other music professionals we always aim at documenting the situation as it is. The ensemble members found the recording session rather new and unfamiliar. So far they had been dealing only with sound producers, who were quite intrusive during recording and post-production. So, the recording session in Tashli Tala was a kind of challenge to Iynar (unfortunately, the session turned out to be a bit formal)
Did the ensemble manage the situation? Did we manage to document a piece of semi-folk culture? This music release may offer answers.
Sound: Timur Kodzoko
Sound editing: Timur Kodzoko
Photography: Elena Miloserdova
Cover art: Milana Khalilova
Notes: Bulat Khalilov, Yaroslav Suzdaltsev, Olesya Altynbaeva
Special thanks to Muzafar Etcheyev and Betal Bekanov
Recorded in Tashli-Tala village, Kabardino-Balkaria,
Russia. In June 2016.
[Music] Various Artists – Dezember
Umor Rex is one of Mexico’s most important record labels, and I’m frankly surprised they’re not getting more press worldwide. Like so many cool modern imprints, they’re not sticking to one genre only. You will find electronic music, drone, indie-folk and experimental music well-represented in Dezember. Take some time to sample their wares!
1. Le Skeletonne – The riot was always alone 03:32
2. Miró Belle – A 03:17
3. Rats On No Evil Star – Tree in the green 04:18
4. S ND Y P RL RS – Dracula 02:47
5. Ibi Ego – U and Me vs. the sea master 04:20
6. The Human Elephant – Insomnia 04:01
7. Ghost Birds – Drama (how I hate) 02:46
8. Cars And Trains – I Know Someone Who Cant Recognize 04:38
9. Hardman Bros – Change The Mode 01:11
10. Tidy Kid – Those Red Paintings 02:30
11. Ponk – Sleeves II 03:38
12. Anthna – Loving Raw Bands 06:28
13. Tidy Kid – Bus Stop 01:40
14. Nicholas Szczepanik – The Short / Lived 04:39
[Music] Gangbé Brass Band – Togbé
Thanks to a spate of reissues of classic material from the 1970s across various labels, Benin’s music scene has been receiving a lot of very well-deserved attention. Among the best of the modern bands is The Gangbé Brass Band, who blend horns and traditional instruments with incredible vocal harmonies.
[Music] Sieben – Crumbs (reviewed by Santa Sangre)
Much respect to Peter Marks of Santa Sangre Magazine for reviewing my favorite Apocalyptic Folk violinist (and very cool chap) Matt Howden.
[Reviewed by Peter Marks] Ah just look at him on the cover in his Sunday tea time best. Flip the panel and you’ll see how thin the veneer is as a Guy Fawkes mask and full fencing uniform greet you; there can be no doubt that we’re living in extraordinarily perilous times with one guy […]
[Music] Anna Makirere – Tiare Avatea
If you feel a bit down, take a listen to Anna Makirere, a singer from the Cook Islands whom Little Axe Records just reissued. Your doldrums will be destroyed.