Saturday, 3 February 2007
Listen to the other albums... If you ever get accused of having only mundane music tastes, Yat-Kha is the antidote!
Text below is from Yat-Kha's website,
Moscow, August 2004.
Albert Kuvezin has just checked into a hotel having spent 24 hours on a train from Budapest as the result of having been forcibly deported from Hungary along with the rest of his band. Their passports had been stolen from the dressing room of the gig the previous day. Their plea for help from the Russian Embassy resulted in them being frog-marched to the railway station and sent home. Before he can relax he receives a phone call from his co-singer Radik Tiuliush telling him that he has had enough of the rigours of travelling backwards and forwards from Tuva (a 3-day journey just to get to Moscow before an international flight takes them to start a tour). There are only 2 days to find new passports and a new singer before they are due to begin a US tour. This proves impossible and Albert retreats to Kazyl where he is immediately hassled by mobsters and corrupt government officials. He then crashes his car and ends up in hospital.
Whilst convalescing Albert ponders his band’s future and listens to his record collection. Having spent many years being persecuted under the Soviets for listening to and playing rock’n roll he contemplates the long journey that his love of both Tuvan Folk Music and Western Rock has resulted in. He had toured the world many times playing at some of the great festivals such as Glastonbury, Roskilde, Bloomington, Monterey, Transmusicale, and Sziget. He had played hundreds of club shows and listened to and met some great bands along the way. Bands like his thrash heroes Slayer and folk heroes such as the Chieftains and contemporary artists such as Billy Bragg and many more.
And now Yat-Kha was due to travel to London in October 2004 to record a new album that Albert had been busy writing earlier in the year. As he lay there with music from all around the world blaring out from his newly- acquired PA system Albert decided that he would commit his musical and spiritual journey to tape instead of his new songs. His new album would reflect how music took him from one of the world’s more remote regions to international recognition. Remote, yes, yet central enough to pick up the currents of international music, even if the international music scene was not yet hip to the growling waves coming from Tuva. He would revitalise himself by re- engaging with his loves of country, blues, rock and just all things music. Although he was due to self-produce his new album Albert made a last minute phone call to the legendary world music producer Ben Mandelson who immediately made time to take over production duties. Justin Adams, producer of Tinariwen, joins him on a couple of tracks.
The band began by jamming many of Albert’s favourite tunes and from this came the new album Re-Covers.
This is what Albert has to say about the album.
"The influence of rock on my music and life is obvious
but anyway I’ll try to explain a bit more why I have chosen these
songs for the covers album. Actually they are relatively to what
I try to do for long time since I began to mix Tuvan music and
my singing with Western rock."
- When The Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin).
"It is just on of my favourite band of the all time and
I wanted to record more of them though who can compare with
them even today?".
- Man Machine (Kraftwerk).
"Remember that time? They were very fresh and unusual
between the dominance of rock and punk. Plus very progressive.
It is about our relationship with machine world.
- Ramblin’ Man (Hank Williams).
"I don¹t like when there is too much text in songs
but this one is just about my self and my brothers - musicians.
It is very close to our souls and spirit of freedom.
Actually we are all the travellers on this planet."
- In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (Iron Butterfly).
"Great song because it is simple I respect talented simplicity.
Good voice and a guitar riff which always make me interested as a
guitarist my self."
- Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division).
"This band wasn¹t well known in Russia but some band made big
name and good career during USSR time copying and imitating the likes of JD.
I like the mood and guess our manager Jim likes them very much."
- Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles (Captain Beefheart).
"Of course, 20 years ago I didn¹t know about this man but when
got listen it for the first time I thought that it could be me if I
was born in USA at that time. But luckily I live in Siberia and like to
say: "Hello!" back to those funny days."
- A Song About A Giraffe (Vladimir Vysotskiy).
"The cult figure of Soviet Culture. The actor, poet, and singer he died
in 1989 but is still very popular in Russia. His songs are full of sarcasm
and humour. They are about the defects of human society and full of love
and pain when about native land. This song is just one of hundreds he wrote."
- Orgasmatron (Motorhead).
"I always liked music full of energy.
Years ago I liked such kind of lyrics and wrote such my self.
Also this is good possibility to remind to politicians who they are."
- WillYou Go, Lassie, Go? ( Mc Peake Family )
"When I played with the great Chieftains I began to like Irish
music and found some similarity with some Siberian people¹s music."
- Toccata (Paul Mauriat).
"When I was little boy this melody by the French composer and
conductor was played by his orchestra on Soviet T.V. and radio every
Sunday and that gave us a very clear and nice holiday emotion for the whole day.
This is a kind of connection to that happy time."
- Black Magic Woman (Carlos Santana version).
"One more my favourite artist. This song is somehow connected to
Siberian black shaman women whom I like very much."
- Exodus (Bob Marley).
"Again, I love freedom and independence which are also possible
through the movement and travels.
I love to read about historical peoples movements.
Plus I like Bob and reggae."
- PlayWith Fire (Rolling Stones).
"I never liked very much RS and even less The Beatles.
In this song I got good motion that gave me feeling to play
such riff in the style what I like."
- The Song of Mergen (Alexei Tchyrgal-ool).
"The composer Alexei Baktaevitch Tchyrgal is a great of Tuvan
Symphonic music but he also wrote a number of nice songs for different
ensembles and bands I am lucky enough to have been working with him and
living in his neighbourhood. This song was written for the first movie
about Tuva "People of Blue Rivers"."
Led Zeppelin IV 1971
Queen of Light took her bow
And then she turned to go,
The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom
And walked the night alone.
Oh, dance in the dark of night,
Sing to the morn-ing light.
The dark Lord rides in force tonight
And time will tell us all.
Oh, throw down your plow and hoe,
Rest not to lock your homes.
Side by side we wait the might
Of the darkest of them all.
I hear the horses' thunder
Down in the valley below,
I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon,
Waiting for the eastern glow.
The apples of the valley hold
The seeds of happiness,
The ground is rich from tender care,
Repay, do not forget, no, no.
Oh, dance in the dark of night,
Sing to the morning light.
The apples turn to brown and black,
The tyrant's face is red.
Oh the war is common cry,
Pick up your swords and fly.
The sky is filled with good and bad
That mortals never know.
Oh, well, the night is long
The beads of time pass slow,
Tired eyes on the sunrise,
Waiting for the eastern glow.
The pain of war cannot exceed
The woe of aftermath,
The drums will shake the castle wall,
The ringwraiths ride in black,
Sing as you raise your bow,
Shoot straighter than before.
No comfort has the fire at night
That lights the face so cold.
Oh dance in the dark of night,
Sing to the mornin' light.
The magic runes are writ in gold
To bring the balance back.
Bring it back.
The clouds of blue roll by,
With flames from the dragon of darkness
The sunlight blinds his eyes.