Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yat-Kha - "Yenisei Punk" (1995)

Out-of-print second album by the only Tuvans to grace the pages of Mojo magazine. Combining traditional Tuvan throat singing and instrumentation with electric guitar and a distinctly modern sense of songwriting, to my ears this is where these guys really got things right, before they opted for that glossy production sound that world music fans seem to go in for and started doing Joy division covers. Here, the only covers you're going to get are disgruntled takes on Soviet-era propaganda hymns (as in the video below). Maybe it's just me, but that seems way more badass. The arrangements are incredible, the songwriting strong, managing to strike that delicate balance between tradition and innovation.

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