Never really been a big fan of ethnic,slash,'world' music......I blame Peter Gabriel for that, and all those middle class Womad festival fans, whose very existence seems to remove any point in making,writing about, or listening to music at all. The very thought of millionaire urban folkies exploiting the impoverished musicians of a third world country to win a 'Grammy' for their theft, makes me wanna bash my own brains in. Specifically, I'm thinking Paul Simon here.....what a bastard he was/is!?
High in the 'Bastard' stakes, along with Simon, is Coca-Cola, but replace the 'C' with a 'K' and we get super-bizarre Nanai tribe member and trad folk singer Kola Beldy.
In 1986 he was awarded the title of 'Meritorious Artist of the RSFSR' (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist republic!?);we've all got one of those.....haven't we???He had a number of Soviet-era permfrost themed hits, most famously with the top ten smash, "I will take you to the tundra", hmmmm yes please???......you don't get hits with titles like that in the UK.....well....I suppose we did have "Snooker Loopy",which you sure as hell wouldn't find in the Soviet Charts of the time.You wouldn't think that Chas,of Chas'n'Dave, was in Gene Vincent's backing band in the early sixties now would you?
The awards kept coming for Kola,winning "Award no.2"(that's the name of the award NOT his second award!) at the 'Sopot International Song Festival' in 1973....what "Award no.1" was, and who won it,remains a closely gaurded state secret to this day.
This album, has any number of bizarre sounds augmenting Kola's ethno-operatic fusion,which adds greatly to its score on the 'weird' scale.Certainly one for the coveted 'Other' section in the record shop.
Luckily, politics and common sense stopped Paul Simon from making a 'collaboration' with Mr Beldy, and just good luck saved him from Peter Gabriel's insidious clutches.The Iron Curtain had its uses after all?
1 White Island (Saami Song)
2 Master Of Forest (Mansi Song)
3 A Seagull (Dolgan Song)
4 Return Home (Chukchi Song)
5 To The Ocean (Yukagir Song)
6 A Hunter (Evenki Song)
7 Fisher-woman (Evenki Song)
8 Holiday (Eskimo Song)
9 By Dog Sledge (Hanti Song)
10 My Darling (Hanti Song)
11 Greeting (Ulchi Song)
12 Strange Girls (Nanai Song)
13 Kmali Chinekh (Itelmen Song)
14 Emaron Island (Nanai Song)
15 Toasting Song (Yakutian Song)
16 Snowy Tundra (Saami Song)
17 My Little Reindeer (Evenki Song)
18 Fisher's Song (Nanai Song)