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It may seem pretentious to describe Huun-Huur-Tu's music as the sound of nature harmonizing with itself, but it wouldn't necessarily be inaccurate. The most widely celebrated exponent of modern-day Tuvan Throat Singing (an art form based around a series of nature-emulating vocal techniques), this quartet evokes images of growling bears, roaring wind, clodding hoofs, and trickling water in their songs and soundscapes -- all in a sophisticated manner that's about as far from rainbow-and-unicorn new ageism as it gets. Skillfully augmenting their topographical voice emanations with instruments such as violin, jaw harp, guitar, percussion, and sometimes even whole other groups -- Kronos Quartet and the Bulgarian Women's Choir, among others -- Huun-Huur-Tu have managed to update this once solo medium without sacrificing its integrity. Their recordings are wonderfully varied, ranging from scraping groans and drones to loping tunes that suggest a surreal Asian/C&W hybrid. Not only that -- they've also written some of the best songs about rotting logs and horseback riding you're likely to find anywhere.
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