Review | Songlines


Top of the World

Rating: ★★★★

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Album and Artist Details




Buda Musique


From the first duo of highly impressive throat singing and the opening riff of the morin huur (horse head fiddle) you know you are in for a thrill. Each of the 11 tightly structumost suite-like tracks, showcase the exceptional kill of the six musicians in Khusugtun. This includes incorporating throat singing with Western style harmony as developed by their leader Ariunbold Dashdorj. The title-track is inspired by the lengthy epic of the same name, however its structure is totally unlike the bards’ recitation of old. A narrated introduction is followed by a short extract of the epic sung in a compressed voiced shakhaa then the kharkhiraa undertone style. An abrupt time signature change to 3/4 announces the group chanting ‘Geser Khan’, the hero of another epic. On the elongated chant of ‘Khan’ you hear the rich multi-timbral blend of throat singing textures with some clear high overtones of isgeree khöömii piercing through. Part four features the recently revived numan huur (mouth bow), quickly followed by exceptional morin huur playing and finally ending with an anthem-like refrain. It is almost prog-folk without the smooth segues. This is a great CD by Khusugtun.

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