New release this Nov. 12th, " Mountains of Tongues, Musical Dialects of the Caucasus"
Cüneyt Sepetçi and Orchestra Dolpadere, "Bahriye Ciftetellisi
A Hawk and A Hacksaw, "You Have Already Gone to the Other World" 2xLP
John Jacob Niles, "The Boone-Tolliver Recordings"
A Hawk and A Hacksaw "Cervantine"
All releases are available on vinyl, CD and digital
Yes, we still play weddings, bar mitvahs, circumcisions, quinceaneras, saints day feasts, general parties, etc.
We are super excited to be curating this year's Transmissions Festival in Ravenna, Italy, March 20-23rd.
Our newest release, Mountains of Tongues: Musical Dialects of the Caucasus, is available on vinyl (with download card) and digital download.
You can now order through our distributor, Revolver:
"It's not poetry but community, that is lost in translation," literary translator David Bellos has argued. "Absolutely any other formulation of the expression...constructs a different identity." The joy of Mountains of Tongues is that is leaves the ethnic, self-identifying dimension of these unfamiliar musical utterances intact, and the poetry still shines through." -Julian Cowley, The Wire
Precious recordings full of wonder, grit and beauty by more than fifty musicians — Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Chechens, and smaller groupings which don't fit national grids, like Azeris from Georgia, Kurds from Tbilisi, Avars and Lezgis from Azerbaijan, Molokans... Tremendous." -Honest Jon's
In 2012 Stefan Williamson Fa and Ben Wheeler left for a journey across the Caucasus,in search of musics of the region that transcends the political borders of the area and documents little heard folk sounds from Azeri, Georgian, Armenian, Avar, Chechens, and many other ethnicities. Their recordings are not reissues, and give us a rare glimpse into the state of folk music in the Caucasus today.
"Our journey to collect these recordings began with a gathering of goats and Azeri bards on the side of a dirt track road in Georgia and ended in a dark kitchen in a Molokan collective in Azerbaijan, a Christian sect banished from Russia to the Caucasus in the 19th Century. We travelled through the three countries of the South Caucasus - Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan - fueled by cheese pies and glasses of wine that were endlessly offered to us by our hosts."
This album includes recordings of songs in languages that have rarely been caught on tape (Lezgi and Batsbi), instruments that only exist in extremely small numbers (the Tushetian chianuri of which there are only two and the agach komuz from the remote territory of Dagestan), as well as performances from a variety of underrepresented ethnic minority communities. These are recordings of musicians who, whether they recognize it or not, are guardians of the distinct musical cultures of the Caucasus, a region whose many traditions are still relatively unknown to the rest of the world.
The Caucasus is a mountainous region situated at the borders of Europe and Asia, between the Caspian and Black seas. Because of its unique geography, the region has been at the crossroads of multiple empires as well as home to an exceptionally diverse population, resulting in a rich mosaic of history, culture, religion, and language. Early Arab travelers to the Caucasus referred to them as the “Mountains of Tongues,” a term that reflected both the geographic and linguistic variety they discovered there. An incredible number of languages and traditions still exist but many have yet to be thoroughly documented and are close to disappearing completely.
The Sayat Nova Project is a non-profit group with the goal of preserving and promoting the musical dialects of the Caucasus. The recordings on this album were made between September and June of 2012/13 in villages, towns, and cities across the South Caucasus. Members of the project recorded over 50 musicians playing a wide variety of instruments and singing in 10 different languages.
This album presents the music of the Caucasus without regard to political borders. Through the inclusion of recordings by Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Chechens, and many others ethnicities, it attempts to represent this region's unique traditions and shared histories and emphasize the diversity that exists within these “mountains of music.”
Also available, "Cüneyt Sepetçi and Orchestra Dolapdere" some of Istanbul's finest musicians playing songs from Turkey, Greece, Albania, Spain and Macedonia, in their own inimitable and virtousic style
"When rock music finally dies, I really hope the Orchestra Dolapdere play at the wake" Bruce Russell, The Wire Magazine
"It’s good to hear this kind of music rescued from the smoothness of the belly-dance circuit and plunged deep into the fire of Dionysiac revelry." -The Arts Desk
"Supported by brittle oud, sorrowful violin, sprightly kanun, and buoyant polyrhythms on darbouka and tef, Sepetçi blows astringent, rapid-fire lines on his Turkish clarinet, ripping through a venerable repertoire of regional folk songs with clarity and bite. The performances are as raw as they are virtuosic." -Chicago Reader
"Sepetçi playfully swoops around and bends the notes in music that has a foot-tapping drive and breathtaking virtuosity. A musician that I am longing to see play live." Simon Broughton, Evening Standard
Songlines Top of World, Issue #95
8/10 Uncut Magazine
"Dort Beygir" Rough Trade track of the week
Also available: "You Have Already Gone to the Other World," by A Hawk and A Hacksaw:
“A Hawk & A Hacksaw’s music is a fusion of folk music styles that feels unforced, thoughtful and celebratory, and You Have Already Gone To The Other World is their finest work yet.” -Emusic
“You Have Already Gone to the Other World, produced by Deerhoof's John Dieterich, is their best yet.” 8/10 Uncut
“The duo [are] at the top their game, effortlessly weaving the past into the future (and vice-versa) with undeniable skill and refreshing amounts of empathy. “ -All Music Guide
“Almost half a century may have elapsed between the release of the film and this album, but there’s evidence of shared artistic approaches at play, both parties occupying positions on the edges of their respective fields.” -Music OMH
“Coming at it from a Western perspective, it’s tempting to consider whether A Hawk And A Hacksaw have made their Loveless, or Nevermind ...“ 9/10 Drowned in Sound
“Gritty lutes sounds like they're played with granite plectrums as men dance acorss shattered glass. A hammer dulcimer (santur) burbles in frenzy... An honourable and exciting tribute.” -The Wire
“ There is a constant stream of music – in the fact the whole history of music – flowing in the upper atmosphere,in what they used to call the 'Aether'. Apparently The Hawks (HAAHS) have managed to mainline a very particular vein of that lofty realm, and now the music of fervid pagans, of revelers, of the intoxicated, the sensualists and the joyful brawlers flows through them effortlessly. They’re riding the snorting steed of Bacchus. Their instruments and their voices are ecstatic swords, swooping with blithe abandon through the soft flesh of the world, killing and then discarding the ordinary and the mundane with an unbridled commitment to joy and mesmeric, gleeful self-immolation. Have fun!" -Michael Gira (Swans)
Also Available, "The Boone Tolliver Recordings," By John Jacob Niles
"The songs of the "Old Weird America" never sounded quite as weird as they did when voiced by John Jacob Niles." Uncut
"Beautifully packaged early work of Appalachican folk artist here telling ancient tales of love and murder to euphoric and terrifying effect." Mojo
"Back before the folk revival of the Sixties, John Jacob Niles was the repository of an American folk tradition rooted not in the topical-song movement of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, but an older, stranger world traceable to the ballads of the British Isles brought over by early settlers." 4/5 stars, The Independent
"In their stark intimacy, the songs impart the same sensation: They transcend time and place." The Boston Globe
"...it’s an interpretive and intensely personal approach and you never feel as if anything has been surrendered to “authenticity” or convention. Frankly, at times this record sounds bananas. But always brilliant, and especially listening now in our regulated times." Incendiary Magazine
"Recording at home obviously suited him, for the performances are deeply involved. And suddenly you realise just how hugely influential he was.." FolkRoots (UK)
Also available "Cervantine" By A Hawk and A Hacksaw
"Though so much of A Hawk and a Hacksaw's Balkan folk-inspired music is tied to a particular sound from a particular place, the passion they imbue into their performances seems to know no bounds." Pitchfork
"Like watching the funnel cloud of a tornado and being amazed a thing of such uncontrolled power can hold its shape." Blog Critics
"A Hawk And A Hacksaw have returned to their New Mexico home, bringing with them a cast of experts. The resulting album has all the fire and spontaneity of a hot and sweaty live performance paired with a sort of technical mastery that feels ripped from the classroom. It’s passionate, but also expertly crafted." Music OMH
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