Amazing Mongolian folk rock

I’m spamming this band all over the place, so I’ll put it here too. You probably know I’m a big fan of folk and black metal, but I can appreciate folk rock. And this weekend I discovered a most amazing band: Altan Urag. Here with their song Xöx Tolboton:


I think this stuff rocks some cocks. The Mongolian throat singing, the great sound of the Mongolian language, the fantastic array of traditional Mongolian string instruments (morin khuur, ikh khuur, bishguur, yoochin, etc.)… I’m completely in love.

I’ve downloaded their two released albums. There was no other way to get them, neither legally nor illegally. Therefore, one word to Altan Urag’s label(s): Please distribute the fucking CDs more widely. Thank you.

0 thoughts on “Amazing Mongolian folk rock”

  1. Hi!

    I just started working with Altan Urag as their rep in the UK for Europe and Worldwide and boy they kick some ass! They are an indie & unsigned rock band and I was going to organise their gig at The Relentless Garage in London at on 13 Jan 2010, which has been now postponed due to some technical reasons. Watch this space though – they will come to Europe as they have been signed up for several fests around Europe this year. We are now looking at the ways to promote the band and distribute their CDs (4 already and AU are working on 3 more this year, which is pretty unusual to European bands etc..)around the world. So, I appreciate if you come up with a proposal for Switzerland, for example, and give contacts so we can contact them etc… or anything else as their fan. It is pretty tough for an indie band and we will soon start selling their CDs via our and AU’s website. BTW, they are looking for some techies who can help with their website, too!

  2. Hi Unurmaa,

    Wow! Now that’s an unexpected reply, and so quickly 🙂 You really seem to have your eyes on the fans. Great! Sorry for the harsh words in the blog posting, but I did get very frustrated when I couldn’t order the discs anywhere.

    Unfortunately, I know barely anything about music distribution. I mostly listen to bands that don’t even sell 1000 records per album, so I know it can be tough for an indie. The specialized store I usually buy CDs from has gone bankrupt because it’s a hard life in this scene.

    I’d love it to just be able to hit or and order Altan Urag — quality-wise they’re certainly miles above most of what Amazon usually sells 😛 And 4 albums plus 3 more this year? I’m amazed.

    For a start, I’ll just wait for your site to start selling the CDs and then I’ll send you all my money. I’ll contact you by e-mail, I know some people in the Swiss metal scene and one guy who owns a nordic music distribution chain in Switzerland — maybe there is something we could do for Altan Urag as well. Not on his nordic label, but perhaps he has friends in other folk- and regionally-specific distributors.

    If you look at my page, I’ve been listening to “Made in Altan Urag” lots of times since discovering it yesterday, I’m sure I’m not the only one in Switzerland who likes them 😛

  3. Hei,

    Happen to be online answering fan mails as you noticed that Altan Urag have a huge following around the world. It was so facinating to see that we sold 150 tickets within a few days and were going to put on another performance and almost 70 per cent of those who bought the tickets were foreigners! 🙂 The band understood the importance of it and proposed that I work with them… We have fans as far as Native Indians, who said that this was the best music that they ever discovered and that they were going to let their chief listen to the tracks. This request was so unusual and they bought several CDs that I had available!

    It would be great if you put me in touch with the distributor so we can see what they can do for AU!


  4. That’s amazing to hear! Well, if you ask me, AU should sell out even a 10’000 people stadium, but that’s just me.

    I can see how a Native American might related to AU’s music. Some of the elements remind me of the melodies a Native American songcatcher might catch, they seem very raw, tribal. And the Mongolian long song that you hear in some of AU’s songs (and Mongolian traditional music in general) somehow seems similar to Native American chanting or the north European Sámi yoiking.

    I know all these elements only superficially seem similar and that they have totally different meanings in each of their cultures, I’m not trying to simplify things. But I think the reason many different people from over the world might like AU is that the musical elements of their music touches you in the same places that all these folk and tribal melodies touch you as well.

    Mongolian throat singing, on the other hand, now THAT is 100% totally unique 🙂 I love it, I hope it doesn’t turn people off.

    Well, enough rambling like a fool. I’ll have another listen to Made in Altan Urag and I’ll get back to your e-mail.

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