Exposé Online banner

Hanggai — He Who Travels Far
(World Connection WC 039, 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

He Who Travels Far Cover art

Since their 2008 debut CD, this band from Inner Mongolia (currently resident in Beijing) has become a world music festival favorite, playing WOMAD, among others. That release blended the earthy sounds of throat singing and morin khuur (horsehead cello) with a bit of electric guitar, varied percussion, and some electronics (which of course offended many purists). Their second effort continues in the same vein, with even more electric guitar. I find that the impact of the music is greatly enhanced by this departure from traditional sound — "Uruumdush" builds to rock intensity, with thunderous drums and power chords, though no one would mistake it for Linkin Park or AC/DC. Other songs tip the modern/traditional balance the other way, sticking to banjo-like string sounds and the morin khurr. While throat-singing may be most arresting when done in a rather sparse setting (I can attest to the spine-tingling brought on when two of these guys get going full bore on the mics), the eerie tones blend remarkably well with Hanggai's instrumental backing. I was lucky enough to encounter the band busking at a shopping center in Beijing in October 2010 (quite a change from playing for thousands at a festival!) and was able to pick up their second album nearly a month before its proper release; I was happy to pay the inflated price to support these great creative musicians, and luckily the CD is well worth the money spent.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Hanggai, Marc Ribot / Ceramic Dog

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gargantua & Cashmere - Kotegarda & Cash Romantic Music Machine – These two surprising releases come to us by way of Poland, both prominently featuring violinist, vocalist and songwriter Tylda Ciołkosz, who is also a member of the more keyboard oriented group Van....  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues