Yat-Kha, Tuvan rock

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A band that we discovered today and we couldn’t help talking about. Yat-Kha represent the perfect fusion between rock and traditional Mongolian music, a mix that we lacked but we hoped to find.


As usual, a little context is needed for the less anthropology and Siberia enthusiasts, at least to understand the kind of experience you will encounter. The Tuvans are a population of Turkish origin living in Tuva, one of the republics of the Russian Federation. The history of this people is strongly associated with its neighbors, so much so as to become an integral part of both the Mongolian and Turkish epics, especially of the Uyghurs. It is no coincidence that one of the greatest generals of Genghis Khan’s army, Subotai, was of Tuvanian origin, which also gave this people a certain prestige.


The deeds of this leader soon became legendary, going to feed many of the myths concerning the Mongols. Among his triumphs, in particular, the destruction of the Polish and Hungarian armies, each about 1 km from each other, stands out. After the great expansion this people settled in their territories of origin undergoing continuous struggles within Mongolia. In 1931 the country passed under the USSR and later under the Russian Federation. Interestingly, when the country became a communist, 82.2% of the tuvans were nomads. Tuva is still famous in the world for something very particular: Xöömej, diphonic singing, one of the most particular techniques in the world.


It is with this song that the legend of the Yat-Kha is born, a Russian group of Tuvana origin led by Albert Kuvezin, one of the greatest masters of this ancient art. The singer began his career in Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva, where he trained for the first time on the music of his people. Once he moved to Ekaterinburg in 1989 he will record for the first time in a studio, immediately obtaining the first awards from fans. In 1990 he will participate in Voice of Asia, where he will meet Artemy Troitsky, a Russian critic of international fame, who will be literally ecstatic, so much that he even compares him to Pavarotti for uniqueness.

Yat Kha
Albert Kuvezin

A year later he will join Ivan Sokolovsky, forming one of the most particular bands on the entire world scene. Their music in fact combines typically Mongolian sounds (which we will also find on Thursday with Huun Huur Tu) at an absolutely contemporary rhythm and, in some places, with an absolutely rock flavor. Perhaps it is one of the first times that, once the context has been laid out, we can do nothing but let you listen, too particular to be explained in words.

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