Thursday, March 12, 2009

Huun-Huur-Tu - The Orphan's Lament (Shanachie, 1994)

Huun-Huur-Tu - Eki Attar

OK, I'm not trying to seem weird/worldly/cooler than you by posting a Tuvan throat singing record. I'm also not going to pretend like I know anything about Huun-Huur-Tu or the subtleties and history of the genre or region. The only knowledge I have of Tuva and throat singing came entirely from the (fantastic) film Genghis Blues.

What I do know is that Tuvan throat singing is fucking amazing and it totally fucks with your brain. The put things crudely, throat singing barely sounds human and sometimes makes the vocalist sound like they have two voices. It is completely unlike anything I have ever heard before and I absolutely love it.

There are many Tuvan throat singing records (well, maybe just more than you'd expect) but The Orphan's Lament is the only one I've ever heard. I don't really have anything to compare it to, no context to put it in. All I can say is that it's probably the least American sounding record I have (in a good way). Sometimes you need to change things up and get a different perspective. But if you (like me) generally aren't a fan of "world" music, then I highly recommend giving Tuvan throat singing a try. At worst, you'll be impressed by the technical aspects of it. At best, maybe you'll have found a new super niche genre to obsess over and start on a lifelong quest to find as many Tuvan throat singing records as possible.


Fox said...

are you sure it's not just two people singing?

Justin Snow said...

The band is made up of 4 people so at times there is more than one person singing. But they can make two different sounds come out of their mouth at once, similar to beatboxing.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I reckon that this is about as good as music blogs get in regards to satisfying a niche that only appears once filled.

Justin Snow said...

That is the absolute nicest thing anyone has ever said about my blog. Thank you very much. I sincerely appreciate it.