175

Yat-Kha: Yenisei-Punk

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Yat-Kha: Yenisei-Punk Just when you thought vocal music couldn't sink any lower, Yat-Kha drops one more rung. Quite honestly, Albert Kuvezin's singing on Yenisei-Punk is subterranean. His childhood performances in a youth choir in southern Siberia resulted in early forced—but temporary—retirement. It seemed nobody had much patience for Kuvezin's idiosyncrasies.

And that's precisely the point. Dig this. Kuvezin's approach to song draws from a nearly-extinct style called kanzat. It's deep, dark, and beautiful. Known as "throat singing" outside his home in the Republic of Tuva, the pitch dips deeper into the bass than anything you've ever heard. Powerful rumblings, still melodic in our usual sense, often reveal individual waves of sound as they echo from Kuvezin's throat. Now I've got a bass voice myself, but this guy has unbelievable control and versatility. A lifetime's practice, apparently—at least the part past puberty!

The Siberian quartet known as Yat-Kha was formed in part to showcase the vocalist's skill within the context of traditional Siberian music. His guitar playing draws heavily from folk and blues idioms, rooting itself firmly in simple harmonies and quite often dwelling in the realm of the drone. (Blues lovers take note: this one may be right up your alley.)

And while these tunes may represent traditional staples of Tuva culture, they undergo a radical reworking in the process. It's doubtful that "Kamgalanyr Kuzhu-Daa Bar" has ever received much in the way of dripping blues lines and concluding trumpet fanfares. The opener offers a unique perspective on the Communist state: "What a beautiful Soviet country/ because socialism won there." Odd? Most certainly, to our foreign ears.

In the end Yenisei-Punk is exactly what its title implies. It's a definitive personal statement, made without reservation or pretense. Punk. What a welcome surprise to see this 1995 record reissued—remastered with extra tracks—for Western audiences to fully appreciate.


Track Listing: Solun Chaagai Sovet Churtum; Karangailyg Kara Hovaa; Kaa-Khem; Kuu-La Khashtyn Baaryndan; Kamgalanyr Kuzhu-Daa Bar; Irik Chuduk; Chashpy-Khem; Kadarchy; Chok-La Kizhi Yry; Een Kurug Kagban-Na Men; Toorugtug Taiga; Kargyram.

Personnel: Albert Kuvezin: vocals, yat-kha, guitars, homus; Alexei Saaia: morinhoor, vocals, tngr, percussion; Akym: tngr; Anai-Haak: trumpet.

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Global Music Centre | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)" CD/LP/Track Review Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Penumbra" CD/LP/Track Review Penumbra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "Earprint" CD/LP/Track Review Earprint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 14, 2016
Read "Pomona" CD/LP/Track Review Pomona
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 16, 2016
Read "Work Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Work Songs
by Mark F. Turner
Published: March 1, 2016
Read "Triple Exposure" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Exposure
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!