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Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

Hanggai

Introducing Hanggai (World Music Network)

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Hanggai's leader got his start in a punk rock band as the Chinese Communist system loosened up. Later he turned to the traditional instruments of his Inner Mongolian homeland, including the horsehair fiddle and the two-stringed lute, and began singing his ancestral songs in overtones close to the famed Tuvan throat singers. Most of the arrangements are reminiscent of traditional folk singers around the grassland campfires, but the electric guitar on "Five Heroes" adds a touch of '60s rock jangle to an ancient hypnotic beat, suggesting at moments a Mongolian Velvet Underground.