Yat-Kha

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 Yat-Kha
© Wahidur Rahman Khandkar Czhoton

Article

Divine throat punk rockers

Music cult in world class. Yat Kha revitalises the heritage of Djengis Khan.

Yat-Kha are without doubt one of the more remarkable musical groups to emerge, not just from Asia but from the whole world. Their ability to merge and develop their traditions within modernity in a way that never finds itself swamped by western clichés is a marvel to behold. Add to that a wicked sense of humor, stunning musicianship and a quiet passion for life and you have a world music group in the most true sense. Yat-Kha hail from one of the most remote parts of the planet - the Republic of Tuva - high up in plains and snowy mountains of southern Siberia, a place famous for extraordinary multiple "khoomei" throat-singing vocal techniques, beautiful songs and wild eagles.
The cutting edge band from the vast frozen and barren lands of Tuva in Siberia have become cult with their electronics combined with their traditional instruments and own vocal acrobatics.

They perform live to the amazing and uncensured version of "Storm over Asia - the heir to Genghis Khan" - a Russian film from 1928 made by pioneering film director, v.i. Pudovkin.

The Tuvan acrobatic throat singers have electrified the guitar and won BBC Radio 3 World Music Award in 2001.

"A Yat-Kha set is a meeting of extremes. Age-old, semi-sacred traditions from some of the remotest, harshest places on earth; songs composed to while away days-long treks, are yoked together with the raw, chaotic energies of the Tuvan/Siberian rock underground. "Here´s another song about shepherds," says Kuzevin, only this shepherd, by the sound of it, has moved to the city, grown a Mohican and got attitude", (Sue Wilson
in the Independent, 02 June 2003).

"Yat-Kha combine the other-worldly sound of Tuvan overtone singing with contemporary instrumentation and attitude. Tuva, in southern Siberia near Mongolia, is one of the few places in the world where overtone singing developed. In this tradition, the vocalist creates two or three simultaneous tones using the throat and mouth cavity for a truly unique sound - "a pulsing quality sustained for lung-aching duration... capturing the essence of the ever-blowing wind." (Washington Post)

"Equal parts rock and shamanistic spiritual, Yat-Kha´s music speaks of "fathomless skies and endless valleys... life and fight, love and death."
Author: Karin Bergquist

Bio

In 1990 Yat-Kha was recognized at the "Voices of Asia" festival competition in Alma-Aty (Kazakhstan) in 1990 by one of the international judges (Brian Eno).

Led by ultra-bass singer and guitarist Albert Kuvezin, the band has worked steadily touring the world and recording CDs such as Antropofagia and Yenisei-Punk, which won the French RFI "Decouvertes Est" prize (and also pushed the boundaries between the traditional and modern).

Yat-Kha toured constantly for the next 3 years across both Europe and the USA, releasing the acclaimed follow-up CD Aldyn Dashka on their own label.

More tours followed - playing major venues across the USA as guests of The Chieftains and again in Europe - playing prestigious music festivals, arts centres, reindeer herder conventions, sweaty punk clubs and open-air arenas from Estonia to Palermo.

Yat-Kha has developed a radical new live film soundtrack project entitled "Storm Over Asia", which reintroduced the great Soviet director Pudovkin´s 1928 silent classic "Potomok Chingis Khana".

Their first record, Yenisei Punk garnered critical acclaim, reaching nr.2 on the European World Music Chart and winning the Grand Jury Prize in the Radio France Internationale Rock and Pop in the East competition. Founder Albert Kuzevin on guitar and vocals is accompanied by Aldyn-ool Sevek on kargiraa, khoomei and vocals, Zhenya Tkachov on traditional drums, and Alexei Saala on bass shanzi.

Works

Storm Over Asia

Film / TV,
2003
Yat-Kha has developed a radical new live film soundtrack project entitled "Storm Over Asia", which reintroduced the great Soviet director Pudovkin´s 1928 silent classic "Potomok Chingis Khana".

tuva.rock

Published Audio,
2003

Yenisei Punk

Published Audio,
2000
Their first record, Yanisei Punk garnered critical acclaim, reaching nr.2 on the European World Music Chart and winning the Grand Jury Prize in the Radio France Internationale Rock and Pop in the East competition. Founder Albert Kuzevin on guitar and vocals is accompanied by Aldyn-ool Sevek on kargiraa, khoomei and vocals, Zhenya Tkachov on traditional drums, and Alexei Saala on bass shanzi.

Merits

Yat-Kha were signed by Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains to his "Wicklow" label in 1998 and the next CD Dalai Beldiri won the German Critics Prize in 1999.

In addition to the soundtrack work, the film "Storm over Asia" was restored to its original length. Restoration uncovered fascinating new scenes of authentic life in Tuva and Buryatia in the 1920s during and after the bloody civil war. This unique marriage of film and music was performed with great success at London´s NFT (National Film Theatre) and a US tour that included performances at the Chicago World Music Festival, The Kennedy Center and Harvard University´s Sanders Theater.

Following the tour, the WOMEX 2001 conference delegates nominated Yat-Kha for the Asia/Pacific category of the BBC Radio3 "Awards For World Music" which they went on to win. With radio, TV and webcast coverage from the January 28th performance in London´s new Ocean venue, the award was presented - once again - by Brian Eno.

Projects

This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)

Www

Official Yat-Kha web site