Huun-Huur-Tu and Dakhabrakha

Simply put, music is my greatest inspiration.  Whether it be listening to Miles Davis pour his heart into every note of "All Blues", or relaxing to the latin rhythms of Buena Vista Social Club, or cruising down the street to Kendrick Lamar's "Complexion", or simply designing to Radiohead's "King of Limbs" album on repeat, the rhythms in music create a pace and set a mood in a way that no other art form can.


Enter Dakhabrakha (which translates to give/take) on a warm summer night in Los Angeles.  Hailing from "free" Ukraine, and damn proud of it, they began their set at UCLA's Royce Hall with thundering bass drumming and harmonizing female vocals sung in the native Ukrainian tongue.  It was sort of like getting punched repeatedly in the ear drums, and after a while realizing, "I like this."  The songs that followed carefully balanced chaotic sounds with gorgeous, sometimes delicate piano, cello, and vocals resulting in a composition like nothing I had ever heard.  While the traditional Ukrainian folk sounds were evident in nearly every song, moments of Jazz, Hip Hop, and R&B, to name a few, crept in seamlessly.  


Huun-Huur-Tu opened the evening in traditional Tuvan garb equipped with handmade instruments crafted from materials such as goat skin and local pine wood.  They are descendents of Siberian yak, horse, and goat herdsmen and their music hypnotically transported the crowd deep into the forests and mountains of Tuva. Their greatest instruments without a doubt, are their throats.  They begin by humming a deep, throaty foundational note upon which they produce layers of higher pitched notes simultaneously.  The result is indescribable, you will have to hear it to believe it.