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Sounds of Mongolia

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Album Review

Mongolian (or Tuvanese) music is a paradox. On the one hand, it boasts of the world's strangest singing: throat singing, in which the singer manipulates his jaw and sinuses in order to produce several tones at once with a growling, whistling, Popeye the Sailor Man kind of sound. On the other hand, the melodies and general vernacular of Mongolian music are completely accessible — it sort of sounds like cowboy music. This last quality should not prove too surprising, because Mongolian culture is an outdoor culture, a horse culture. Egschiglen, although they make beautiful music, is not an outdoor group. They are affiliated with a conservatory. The music is more delicate, sophisticated, and refined than that of someone like Igor Koshkendey. Another tip off to the "classical" nature of the group is their use of the joochin or hammer dulcimer, an instrument one would hardly expect to find out on the wind-swept plateaus. This is symptomatic of a strong Chinese classical influence. Great tracks abound: "Tavan Hasag (Five Kazakhs)" chills you with its lurching rhythm and eerie throat singing. "Uglee Shaazgai (Colorful Magpie)" is a bouncy tune with repeated syllables and sound effects; it's surely a children's song. If you know you like Mongolian music or if you just want to try something fun and different, run out and buy this disc.

Customer Reviews

huh namyil

great almost like its not a human:)


Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Founded in 1991 by students at the Conservatory of Ulan Bator, Mongolia, this six-piece group blends contemporary music of the region with traditional forms and instrumentation. These traditions have remained strikingly unspoiled in Mongolia, a large proportion of the population of which remains nomadic. The group’s name translates as ‘harmony’, or, more colloquially, ‘beautiful melody’. Through the 90s and on into the mid-00s, Egschiglen played festivals in Korea, Russia and throughout Europe, including...
Full Bio
Sounds of Mongolia, Egschiglen
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Customer Ratings