by Mamer

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There are lots of awful musical genre designations out there, but surely "Chinagrass" is one of the worst. It's probably an inevitable one, though, since it refers to a strange blend of traditional Chinese and Kazakh folk music with strains of American old-time and country music; and its poster boy is Xinjiang native Mamer. He's a very fine player of the dombra (a two-string lute that is hugely popular in the region) and also an excellent guitarist, and although it's possible to pick out individual threads in his musical fabric that might bring to mind American folk sonorities, Mamer's music really doesn't sound like anything but Mamer. He wears his eclectic heritage lightly and naturally: there's the occasional passage of throat singing (notably by guest vocalist Ilchi on "Proverbs"), there's a banjo-and-guitar duet featuring Béla Fleck; there are a number of traditional Kazakh folk songs. Not everything is equally entrancing: "Where Are You Going?" is frankly kind of tedious, and the late Hector Zazou's remix of "Mountain Wind" doesn't add an awful lot to the original version. But pretty much everything else is both fascinating and involving, and Mamer's deep, plainspoken voice is a joy.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/23/2009
Label: Imports
UPC: 5037005000396
catalogNumber: 908776

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mamer   Primary Artist,Bouzouki,Dobro,Electric Guitar,Jew's Harp,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String)
Béla Fleck   Banjo
Mayrambek   koboz
Kasaimu   Drums
Ishek Sisters   Background Vocals
Adil   Violin
Ilchi   Percussion,Throat Singing
Robin Haller   Percussion
Matteo Scumaci   Percussion

Technical Credits

Mamer   Arranger,Composer
Robin Haller   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Audio Production
Matteo Scumaci   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Audio Production

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