Formed at the beginning of the 90s at the Ulan Bator conservatory in Mongolia by four young instrumentalists, Egschiglen (Beautiful melody) with their new album Zazal once again propose a wide repertory that embraces both the tradition and modernity of their country, for which they have become renowned musical ambassadors. Over the years the group has learned how to harness their cultural heritage (especially shamanic, lamaic and epic chants) and fuse it with more modern instrumental trends creating musical structures that are aesthetically up to date without having to rely on hybridization with foreign elements. The music on Zazal (a propitiatory rite practised when a member of the family leaves on a long journey) is extremely luminous and free, achieving a perfect balance between tradition and modernity, stasis and movement. The traditional instruments used are the main force behind the shaping of the groups sound...however, what will probably be the biggest surprise to the listener is the originality of the khmi chant. This is a highly peculiar technique that requires complete mastery of the voice which is subjected to various acrobatics to hold together both a drone and different harmonics with the result that miraculous sounds both deep and vertiginously acute are simultaneously emitted from the singers throat.

"From Mongolia comes a new fantastic cd by the group Egschiglen. Although they are not as known as Huun Huur tu and Yat-kha, this group is at least as good as both of these bands. Their last cd was released five years ago and for me that cd was my first meeting with the Mongolian traditional music. Their new cd Zazal is a masterpiece and a big leap forward comparing with their last cd. Fresh arrangements and a strong mixture between tradition and modern acoustic music. Besides their famous singing techniques they use traditional instruments such as the Morin khuur, a horse-headed violin which is played like a cello, the Yoochin which relates to the dulcimer and the Thobshuur which is a two-string lute. Their music is sometimes hypnotising like in the song Yamaanii boodog which consists of the Khoomi chant sounding like they swallowed a few flutes, and intriguing rhythms. Egschiglen also has a female singer which is rather unique, at least I hardly ever heard a female singer in traditional Mongolian music before. The album is very friendly for the ear and can also be enjoyed by people who would like to be introduced to the intriguing music of Mongolia. I had to wait five years for their new album but it's more than worth waiting for. Egschiglen delivered the best album of 2002 so far."

Eelco Schilder

01. Hartai Sarlag
02. Uils Dundaa Sain
03. Yamaanii Boodog
04. Han Huhiin Uuland
05. Talin Salhi
06. Manduhai
07. Herlengiin Barya
08. Haramgui
09. Setgeliin Egshig
10. Moriin Khuur Konzert
11. Elstiin Ganga
12. Yan Tai Wan Göögöö
13. Builgan Shar

Tumenbayar Migdorj (moriin khuur, vocals)
Tumursaihan Yanlav (morrin khuur, aman khuur, vocals)
Uuganbaatar Tsend-Ochir (ih khuur)
Batbold Wandansenge (percussion, denshig, vocals)
Amartuwshin Baasandorj (khoomii vocals)
Sarangerel Tserevsamba (yoochin, vocals)



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