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Re-Covers

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Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Central Asian throat singing is to Western song what, say, Black Sabbath is to the Kingston Trio. A tradition common to Mongolia and the Republic of Tuva, from which Yat-Kha mainman Albert Kuvezin hails, throat singing employees two distinct tones: a low, growling bass and a high-pitched whine. Experts like Kuvezin he's won more than a few international competitions practically have their own distortion box. Kuvezin used to be a part of the folkloric ensemble Huun-Huur-Tu, but he's obviously too much of a bohemian wildcard for the trad/arr set. His band Yat-Kha has brought electric guitars to old work songs from Tuva's Soviet days, scored soundtracks to socialist ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
Central Asian throat singing is to Western song what, say, Black Sabbath is to the Kingston Trio. A tradition common to Mongolia and the Republic of Tuva, from which Yat-Kha mainman Albert Kuvezin hails, throat singing employees two distinct tones: a low, growling bass and a high-pitched whine. Experts like Kuvezin he's won more than a few international competitions practically have their own distortion box. Kuvezin used to be a part of the folkloric ensemble Huun-Huur-Tu, but he's obviously too much of a bohemian wildcard for the trad/arr set. His band Yat-Kha has brought electric guitars to old work songs from Tuva's Soviet days, scored soundtracks to socialist epics, dabbled in electronica, and, with Re-Covers finally answered the prayers of those waiting for a throat-singing version of "In a Gadda da Vida." In contrast to the ultra-low decibel vocalizing, the Tuvan instrumental ensemble typically employs horsehair fiddles and rattles, giving the music a Chinese cast it's actually an ancient descendant of native North American styles. Covers albums are nearly always an exercise in cheek, but Kuvezin invests his versions with a meticulous, musicianly earnestness. Most would surprise even without the exotic vocalizing. Fast songs are delivered in haunting, slow versions, electronic numbers like the perfect "Love Will Tear Us Apart" as acoustic ballads, and galloping Wild Eastern rhythms takes rock's blues basis on a million-mile detour. This is what rock 'n' roll would have sounded like if the Native Americans -- or is that the Soviets? -- had won.
All Music Guide - Jeff Tamarkin
As if Tuvan throat singing -- that ancient polytonal, guttural vocal style that originated in Central Asia and has found an increasing curiosity among Westerners -- wasn't otherworldly enough already, here is one of the leading practitioners of the subgenre doing "In A Gadda Da Vida." But not only does Yat-Kha -- Albert Kuvezin, Evgeniy Tkachev and Scipio comprise the stripped-down lineup this time -- take on heavy metal prototype Iron Butterfly's classic hit, they also apply their particular alchemy to Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart", Bob Marley "Exodus", Kraftwerk "Man Machine", Hank Williams "Ramblin' Man" and other icons of pop music. On paper the concept bleeds novelty: Kuvezin's voice is so coarse, deep and strangled as to make Tom Waits' sound pretty well, not quite, but almost, and throat singing, by its very nature, is a difficult listen, an acquired taste even among those who readily take to the less accessible strands of world music. But it works, and it works well, because Kuvezin is not your run-of-the-mill Tuvan throat singer and Yat-Kha has never been bound by the form's traditions. Unlike the leading Tuvan group Huun-Huur-Tu, which plays fairly close to the rules, and of which Kuvezin was a founding member, Yat-Kha has, since its inception in 1991, shown a tendency toward experimentation. Kuvezin augments the traditional instrumentation with electric and acoustic guitars and synthesizers, and has always been as interested in mingling his ideas with Western ones as he is in drawing attention to the Tuvan style. When Yat-Kha covers Santana's "Black Magic Woman" or the Rolling Stones' "Play with Fire" here, Kuvezin and producers Ben Mandelson and Justin Adams ensure that the songs' structures remain familiar enough for those who've heard them on the radio a thousand times. But nothing -- repeat, nothing -- can prepare for the primal interpretations of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks," Captain Beefheart's "Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles" Beefheart may, in fact, be the closest approximation of Kuvezin in American music or Motörhead's really "Orgasmatron," recast as a twirling, swirling trance dance. And the frighteningly stark a cappella reading of Francis McPeake's folk song "Wild Mountain Thyme" sure doesn't sound like it did when the Byrds or Joan Baez did it. If you want to make a bet with a friend that you can play music unlike anything else in the world, Re-Covers would be the place to begin.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/8/2006
  • Label: World Village Usa
  • UPC: 713746806125
  • Catalog Number: 468061
  • Sales rank: 128,780

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yat-Kha Primary Artist
Albert Kuvezin Group Member
Technical Credits
Memphis Minnie Composer
Bob Marley Composer
Jimmy Page Composer
Robert Plant Composer
Karl Bartos Composer
John Bonham Composer
Peter Hook Composer
Ralf Hütter Composer
Ben Mandelson Producer
Bernard Sumner Composer
Albert Kuvezin Liner Notes
Francis McPeake Composer
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