Live Reviews — June 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm

LIVE REVIEW: Hanggai Music Festival


You wanna know what Mongolian Music or World Music is about? We had a taste of that during the Hanggai Music Festival. Founded in 2010, it is now one of the most important music festivals in China. A three day festival held during June 14-16 at Mako live house in Beijing, ten excellent mix of local and international bands with ethnic characters treated the audience with a cultural and musical experience.

The very first artist group came from Qinghai, showcasing China’s traditional music with the Qinghai Mongolian Long-tune. Playing a batokin (a traditional Mongolian instrument),  members Bayisikele and Gebi created a good harmony. Huun Huur Tur from the Republic of Tuva was received well by the audience after performing Khoomei, a technique otherwise known as throat-singing.

The next artist, Natascha Rogers, had a lot of Latin, African and Jazz influences in her performance. The Tribe, led by a Mongolian native named Beier, performed songs that resemble the Mongolian spirit. Soon taking over the stage is WHAI, a band formed in 2012 by 3 ethnic artists. Their music mixes trip hop, dance, chinesefolk, psychedelic, and avant-garde – quite a trippy mix, but good for the ears still!

When Hanggai finally stepped on the stage, everyone was amazed by the music from their hometown, Inner Mongolia, China. Mixing in the traditional elements (mouth harp, khoomei and batokin) with the conventional materials (guitar, bass and drum), the band truly delivered a great set. Hanggai will have a few tours in the Netherlands, Morocco, America and Canada. The finale of the second night however was from Yemen Blues. Ravid Kelahani, the lead singer, was influenced by Memphis Soul Music and Arabic Folk. Their music is very good to dance with.

For the last day of the festival, Da Wang Gang opened for the event, followed by IZ and Turtle Island. A Japanese band with 14 members, Turtle Island mix traditional Japanese instruments with the modern instruments to make up interesting pieces and they were then followed by the band Vanderbuyst.

All in all, Hanggai Music Festival showcased different cultures and has been truly educational and inspiring for everyone who was in the crowd.